Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sustainability in Practice- The Coffee you Drink

One of the first things I do in the morning is have my coffee. In order to wake up and become functional before my 9 a.m. class I NEED my coffee! This is a notion shared by many college students across the world. We have weird sleeping hours, a lot of classwork and still try to squeeze in some time for fun! 

While we choose our cups, however, do we ever consider where the coffee came from? Most likely not. A quick fix is usually top of mind, but maybe we should. A sustainable cup of Joe would be one in which the beans had no adverse affect on the environment or people during their production.

So what does sustainable coffee farming mean? There are two parts here- the environment and the people. 

In terms of the environment, sustainability means utilizing renewable resources, minimizing water use and pollution  and making a habit of organic farming and sustainable agriculture. 

For the people side of the equation, sustainability means taking care of employees. This means providing safe and comfortable working conditions as well as a fair compensation for work. 

Finding sustainable coffee is not as hard as you might think. Here in Washington,  Boyd Coffee- served on campus at WSU and across the west- and Starbucks are both sustainable coffee participants.In Canada, Tim Horton's also carries sustainable grown coffee. These are just a few shops. I am sure there are several other brands and campuses across the globe that take part! As sustainability becomes more important to the world, as I can only hope it will, sustainable coffee will become easier to find and more common practice. 

So, next time your in the grocery store selecting the prefect blend for in-home preparation or out looking for the nearest coffee shop on campus, try factoring sustainable practice into your decision! 

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