Do you start your day with a cup of coffee? If you're like many Brits, the answer is likely yes! In fact, 98 million cups of coffee are consumed in the UK each day, making it the most popular hot beverage in the country. But have you ever stopped to think about the sustainability of your coffee choices?
With Earth Day just around the corner on April 22nd, it's a perfect time to reflect on the impact our coffee consumption has on the environment and the importance of choosing sustainable coffee options. Read on to find out more.
Earth Day and Sustainability
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22nd, with the aim of raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices. It aims to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Earth Day started life in 1970 and now involves over a billion people in more than 193 countries. The official theme for Earth Day 2023 is Invest in our Planet.
When it comes to coffee, sustainability is a critical aspect to consider. Coffee production involves a complex life cycle that includes growing, harvesting, processing, and transporting the beans, and each stage has the potential to impact the environment and local communities.
What is Sustainable Coffee?
Sustainable coffee refers to coffee that is grown and produced in a way that has a minimal negative impact on the environment and provides fair treatment and compensation to farmers and workers. This includes practices such as using organic and regenerative farming methods, conserving water and soil, protecting biodiversity, and ensuring fair prices and working conditions for farmers.
Why is Sustainable Coffee Important?
Sustainable coffee helps protect the environment by reducing the use of harmful chemicals and promoting practices that conserve natural resources and biodiversity. This contributes to maintaining healthy ecosystems and protecting wildlife habitats. Sustainable coffee also promotes social equity by ensuring that farmers receive fair prices for their products, which can help improve their livelihoods and support their communities.
On top of this, sustainable coffee addresses the economic viability of coffee production by promoting the long-term sustainability of coffee farms, ensuring a stable supply of high-quality coffee for consumers. Raising awareness of this importance, allows consumers to make a conscious choice that aligns with their values and contributes to a more sustainable and responsible global coffee industry.
Making Coffee More Sustainable
So, how can you make coffee more sustainable? Coffee can be made sustainable through various practices that prioritise environmental, social, and economic considerations. These can include adopting organic and shade-grown farming methods that reduce the use of harmful chemicals, preserving biodiversity, conserving water, and managing waste.
Fairtrade certification can ensure that farmers receive fair prices for their coffee and are treated ethically. Moreover, supporting initiatives that provide training and resources to farmers to improve their livelihoods, such as investing in regenerative agriculture practices, can also contribute to making coffee production more sustainable.
Improving the Coffee Industry’s Sustainability
Several factors contribute to making the coffee industry sustainable, including responsible farming practices, fair trade, ethical sourcing, shade-grown cultivation, responsible water management, supporting local communities, and promoting biodiversity. Additionally, consumers can play a significant role by choosing sustainable coffees and supporting brands that prioritise sustainability.
The Best Ethical Coffees
A growing number of sustainable coffee options are delivering great taste coupled with a positive impact on the environment and communities. But, what should you look for from your sustainable coffee brand:
Rainforest Alliance Certification
The Rainforest Alliance is a non-profit organisation that works to promote sustainability and ethical practices in the agriculture, forestry, and tourism industries. Their Certification is a system of standards developed by the organisation to promote responsible farming practices, protect the environment, and improve the livelihoods of farmers and their communities.
To obtain this certification, farmers and producers must meet a set of rigorous environmental and social standards. These standards include the protection of natural resources such as water and soil, the conservation of biodiversity, and the promotion of decent working conditions and fair treatment for workers.
When a product bears the Rainforest Alliance Certification seal, it means that it has been produced in accordance with these standards and that it is verified to be sustainable, ethical, and socially responsible. This can give consumers confidence that the product they are purchasing has been produced in a way that promotes environmental and social responsibility.
Fair Trade Certification is a system of standards and certifications that aims to promote fair and ethical trade practices, particularly for small farmers and workers in developing countries. The certification is granted by Fairtrade International, a non-profit organisation that sets standards for fair trade and certifies products that meet those standards.
To obtain Fair Trade Certification, producers must meet certain environmental, social, and economic criteria. These criteria include ensuring safe working conditions, prohibiting child labour, promoting gender equality, and paying fair prices to farmers and workers. Additionally, a portion of the fair trade price must go towards community development projects, such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure improvements.
Products with this label are able to guarantee that their goods have been produced in accordance with these standards and that the producers have received fair compensation for their labour. This can give consumers confidence that the product they are purchasing has been produced in an ethical and socially responsible manner, and that they are supporting farmers and workers in developing countries.
Organic Certification is a system of standards that promotes the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. The certification is granted by various organisations around the world, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the European Union (EU), among others.
To obtain Organic Certification, farmers must meet a set of standards that prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and other harmful chemicals. Additionally, farmers must promote soil fertility through practices such as crop rotation, composting, and the use of cover crops. Organic certification also promotes animal welfare and prohibits the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock.
Organic labels on products demonstrate that the product has been produced in accordance with these standards and that it is free from harmful chemicals and additives. This can give consumers confidence that the product they are purchasing is both healthier and more environmentally friendly than conventionally produced products.
Is Organic Coffee Sustainable?
Organic coffee can be considered more sustainable compared to conventionally grown coffee due to its cultivation practices that minimise the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers. However, sustainability is a complex concept that encompasses various environmental, social, and economic factors, and all of these need to be considered when deciding if a brand of organic coffee is also sustainable.
However, if you want more from your sustainable coffee, our range provides you with a little something extra.
Cheerful Buddha’s Ethics
At Cheerful Buddha, the ethics of our products is at our core. Peace, love and having a positive existence are what our brand embodies, so producing high-quality cbd-infused and superfood coffee blends that are also sustainable was a no-brainer.
By focusing on blending our Rainforest-Alliance-Certified arabica coffee beans with all-natural foods and substances from plants, you can enjoy a premium coffee experience full of added benefits. To accompany our sustainable drive, we like to share our knowledge of the lesser-known powers of plants and fungi.
What's the most eco-friendly coffee?
The most eco-friendly coffee is typically one that is certified organic, fair trade, Rainforest Alliance Certified and shade-grown. These certifications ensure that the coffee is produced using sustainable and ethical practices that have a minimal negative impact on the environment and local communities.
What is the aim of Earth Day?
The aim of Earth Day is to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainability, conservation, and protection of the planet. It serves as a reminder of the importance of taking action to address climate change, protect biodiversity, and preserve natural resources.
When is Earth Day?
Earth Day is observed annually on April 22nd. It was first celebrated in 1970 and has since become a global event that is recognised in over 190 countries around the world.
How can I celebrate Earth Day?
There are numerous ways to celebrate Earth Day and contribute to the cause of environmental protection. Some popular activities include planting trees, participating in clean-up drives, conserving energy and water, reducing waste, advocating for policies that support environmental sustainability, and reviewing your food and drink to favour those that are kinder to the planet. It is also a good opportunity to educate yourself and others about environmental issues in more detail.
Why do we have Earth Day?
We have Earth Day to highlight the need for collective action to address pressing environmental challenges. It serves as a platform for individuals, communities, organisations, and governments to come together to raise awareness, take action, and promote sustainable practices to protect our planet for current and future generations. Earth Day also serves as a reminder to respect and appreciate the natural world and the interconnectedness of all living beings.