With hundreds or thousands of cups of coffee produced every day, coffee shops have a sizeable carbon footprint. As an owner, how can you make your coffee shop more eco-friendly?
Coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world, which makes coffee shops one of the biggest industries today. However, just like many other businesses, coffee shops produce a lot of waste and contribute a significant amount of carbon to the environment. How can coffee shops reduce their impact on the Earth? Is that even possible?
If you want to make your coffee shop more eco-friendly, here are some strategies you can employ:
1. Buy coffee in sustainable packaging
There are many companies that produce coffee in sustainable packaging, such as coffee in compostable packaging from Scotland. By purchasing the bulk of your coffee supply in this type of packaging instead of plastic or foil, you can prevent thousands of single-use packaging from ending up in the dump or worse, the ocean.
2. Replace your cups
Plastic and paper cups are not biodegradable, and producing these cups contribute a lot of carbon in the environment. Instead of using plastic or paper cups for your coffee, why not go for bioplastics? Although bioplastics are still far from perfect, they can biodegrade and produce minimal emissions during production.
3. Get rid of straws
Straws are only a small part of the world’s plastic problem, but it still helps to rid your business of them. Instead of straws, try using modified coffee lids that allow customers to drink from the cup easily without a straw.
4. Recycle water bottles
Research shows that the world now produces a million plastic bottles a minute. And with the state of the Earth’s climate today, the plastic problem is only going to make it worse.
If you want to use your business to help reduce plastic bottles, set up a recycling bin in your establishment. You can even offer incentives or small discounts for customers who recycle their plastic bottles in your coffee shop. More importantly, you can also serve filtered water in reusable cups instead of offering water bottles in your shop.
5. Encourage the use of reusable cups
Incentivize the use of reusable cups so customers bring theirs instead of getting a single-use cup for their order. You can even offer your own design for reusable cups to promote sustainability.
6. Update your equipment
If your coffee shop is still using outdated equipment, you might be consuming more energy than necessary. To reduce your energy consumption–and save money along the way–replace your outdated equipment with more energy-efficient models.
7. Choose sustainable suppliers
Find coffee suppliers that use sustainable methods to grow, process, and distribute their coffee (and other ingredients). As much as possible, buy from local suppliers to reduce the fuel required for transportation, as well as provide support to local growers.
8. Consider getting solar panels
A solar panel system will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but it’s also a great way to save money on utilities. If this is a feasible option for your coffee shop, definitely consider it if you want to make your business more sustainable.
Going eco-friendly might cost you more, which is the main reason a lot of business owners are hesitant to go this route. However, sustainability will give you a competitive advantage and an excellent brand image among customers who want to support green businesses.