Cool Coffee for a Hot Planet

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There’s fair trade and organic coffee, shade-grown, and even bird-friendly. You can drink it in a recycled cup with organic soy milk and sugar from plants that haven’t been genetically altered.

But still… carbon neutral coffee?

When I first heard of it, it struck me as a gimmick, a marketing ploy. But the truth is, by the time the beans have been grown, harvested, processed, roasted, shipped, ground, and brewed, your morning cup of coffee has left a pretty big footprint on the planet. About 3 pounds of CO2 are released into the atmosphere for every pound of coffee that is produced using environmentally responsible practices. More when it has been factory-farmed.

Carbon-neutral means that the sum of the world-wide activities that produced your coffee did not contribute to the carbon in the environment. To accomplish this, a grower or roaster conducts an audit of their energy usage and emissions, and then plants carbon-sequestering trees and purchases carbon offsets in an amount that mitigates their own impac

Dean’s Beans was the world’s first carbon neutral coffee company. They sell sweet, velvety roasted Peruvian beans that are organic, fairly traded, shade-grown, and yes, kosher. They calculate the carbon load from planting to drinking, and neutralize it with hardwood plantings by the coffee farmers themselves.

Grounds for Change has a coffee of the month club that is a good introduction to more than a dozen blends of their certified organic, fair trade, shade grown, carbon neutral beans.

Even better: you can do your part to minimize your own carbon footprint by shopping locally. Coffee Habitat will tell you where you can find roasters in your area that have demonstrated social responsibility in both their bean imports and their own business practices.

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  1. Pingback: Cool Coffee for a Hot Planet | Gigabiting | Tryme

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