How to Brew a Greener Cup of Coffee

By EatingWell Editors, "Conscious Coffee," March/April 2011

Expert tips on how to brew a sustainable cup of joe.

"I also have 5 cup coffee maker with a reusable filter. Nothing to throw out, except the used grounds which now add to my backyard garden! I make coffee for me mainly so only brew as little as I need! "

You're already greener for making your coffee at home instead of driving to the coffee shop and burning fossil fuel. Could you do more? Here, experts' tips on brewing greener:

Buy From a Local Roaster

Buy from a local roaster to reduce the impact of "coffee-miles-traveled" to your cup, says Kimberly Lord Stewart, author of Eating Between the Lines: The Supermarket Shopper's Guide to the Truth Behind Food Labels (St. Martin's Press, 2007). After all, coffee is grown chiefly in equatorial regions, so the beans have already made a long journey; by shopping local, you'll keep it from being any longer. And chances are the beans will be fresher since you've eliminated some of the middlemen steps. Don't forget to reuse or recycle the container you bring your beans home in. Extra points for choosing an environmentally committed roaster like Boulder, Colorado's Conscious Coffees—which makes deliveries by bike and recycles its coffee leftovers into fertilizer for local farms.

Next Tip: Choose an Organic Brew »

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