It’s no secret that Americans use way too much plastic. The word “sustainability” seems to be popping up more and more. As a coffee shop, it would be very easy to contribute to this problem. Between cups, straws, and everything else that goes along with coffee, we have to be very careful with our consumption. That’s why we decided to do everything we can to help reduce our waste and become more sustainable as a company.
One of the first things we did was get rid of plastic straws. Straws make up about 4% of the plastic waste that ends up in our water. To put that into perspective, that’s about 2,000 tons of straws out of the 900 million tons of plastic waste that find the way to our oceans each year. We have 2 different options in our shops to replace your straw. If you still want something disposable, we have paper straws. We also now carry reusable metal straws that have a silicone tip on them. This allows you to drink warm beverages from them without the metal burning your lips. Last, we switched our lids to “Sipper” lids. These allow you to ditch the straw completely and drink right from the cup.
Second, we encourage the use of reusable mugs. We try to serve any “for here” drinks out of either a glass mason jars or a ceramic mug. If you are taking your coffee to go, just bring your favorite mug along. We will happily make any drink in your mug and even give you a discount. We also have Achilles mugs and Klean Kanteen’s that come with perks and discounts.
Third, we compost all of our food and coffee waste with a local partner, Food 2 Soil. They are an organization that helps make composting easy, even if you are living in downtown San Diego. They offer resources and drop off locations throughout the city to take the mystery out of composting. Together with the help of our neighbors, we have diverted over 17 tons of waste from landfills.
Lastly, and most importantly, we make sure all the coffee we serve is responsibly grown and sourced. It takes about 37 gallons of water to grow and process the coffee needed for just one cup of coffee. That number can climb quickly if the farm is not following proper techniques like shade growing. Most coffee-producing countries have even less freshwater to spare than the United States, so every drop must be carefully accounted for. Sustainability is just as important for coffee growers as it is for coffee shops and drinkers.
Our stores take the initiative to recycle and educate customers about the proper separation of waste. All of these are small steps that we are taking to address a huge issue. Together we can help reduce the plastic epidemic. We will continue to do our part and educate the community about what they can do to reduce their footprint. Keep an eye out for future green initiatives as we continue to improve our sustainability.