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How To Have A "Green" Bathroom
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Michelle's Blog

FAQ: How to have a “Greener” Cup of Joe?

As part of our FAQ blog series, we hope to answer common questions that we receive such as: How can I have a greener cup of Joe in general? Can K-Cups be recycled?   Did you know: According to statistics, Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee each day, which makes it second to the most globally traded product after petroleum. If you start every morning with a fresh cup of Joe, then these tips are for you.  

  
  • Look for eco-friendly labels such as Fair Trade or Bird-Friendly.
Fair Trade is an agreement between suppliers and buyers to build an equitable trading network that puts no one at an inherent disadvantage. Fair trade also helps protect the environment. When farmers receive a fair price for their coffee beans they need less land to sustain their livelihoods. Less land cleared for coffee plantations means more land left as natural habitat. Coffee beans labeled as shade-grown or bird-friendly have been grown on plantations with natural tree canopy above the fields. Instead of clear cutting land for coffee growers, shade plantations use the natural benefits of the endemic forest to improve the coffee yield and protect nature alike. The shade provided by a natural tree cover allows orchids, insects, reptiles, even small mammals such as bats to live comfortably among the crop trees.

  • Use Reusable and Recyclable Coffee Materials. 
Instead of throwing out the old coffee grinds, you can use them in your compost, garden or donate them to someone else's garden. Maybe they will give you a tomato or two!   Everyday, it takes over 11,000 trees to make all of these paper filters. That's 30,000 acres of forest/day! The paper making industry then uses toxic chlorine chemicals in its manufacturing process. By choosing a Reusable Coffee Filter, you can help reduce landfill waste, save trees, and help the planet.  Also, there are fun, local options like Coffee Socks that are reusable, organic cotton coffee filters www.organiccoffeesock.com

  • Keurig, K-Cups Recycling
Unfortunately, the manufacturer of K-cups--Keurig have themselves said that recycling of K-cups are difficult.  http://www.keurig.com/social-responsibility

However, we recommend two options to reduce the carbon footprint of K-cups:
 
1. Separate the cup after use.  The foil top and plastic can be placed in your recycling bin.  The coffee grinds can be composted.  The filter is not recyclable.
2. Use a reusable K-Cup filter.  http://www.keurig.com/accessories/my-k-cup

  • Green Coffee on the Go 
Now let's go green with that cup of coffee we buy to go. Bring your own reusable coffee cup to your favorite coffee shop. Once you arrived at the counter of your preferred coffee shop go ahead and order your regular cup of Joe and just show them your cup and they will fill you right up! 

Remember we all have the power to have a positive impact on our planet. 
Be a part of it and ReduceReuse and Recycle!

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