Food Time

6 ways to identify sustainable coffee shops

In recent years, sustainability has become rife among many companies on the high street but some are still taking a little too long to embark on a fully sustainable business strategy. With coffee shops and cafes finding new sustainability methods all the time.

If you’re a consumer of coffee, buying from a coffee shop, you could be looking out for a few ways that they themselves are practicing methods of sustainability within their business.

Below are 6 ways to in which you can make sure you’re buying from a company that has sustainability at the heart of what it does.

They’re using wooden knives and forks when serving food

If you’re buying food takeaway, then look out for the use of wooden cutlery.

These can be just as good as the plastic versions but better for the environment. Often they’re just as smooth and comfortable to eat with as any other knife and fork.

They can be used with both hot and cold food from soups to salads and even cakes.

They’re using cardboard food trays instead of plastic

Again, if you’re thinking about buying your food from a coffee shop, what are their takeaway portions served in. Is it in cardboard or the dreaded single-use plastic?

These days there are so many options when it comes to serving food in sustainable packaging that you should easily be able to find a coffee shop serving with these materials at the forefront.

They’re using biodegradable cups or filling yours for you

Non-biodegradable, takeaway coffee cups have been found to be one of the worst things for the environment. Meaning bio-degradable coffee cups have surged in popularity.

Make sure, if you’re having a takeaway coffee, that yours is served in a biodegradable cup. You will usually notice that it’s biodegradable with a message printed on the side.

Alternatively, why not take your own cup? By doing so, you will be significantly reducing the overall carbon footprint of your daily trip to get your morning ‘cup of joe’.

They’re making cutlery optional

Some companies put cutlery in the bag as a matter of an automated processes. However not all customers need cutlery.

So, does the coffee shop ask you whether you want cutlery? If they do, then you can be sure they aren’t giving out unnecessarily and in turn creating more waste.

They’re using energy saving appliances like espresso machines

Nearly all appliances are tested based on how much energy they use during a single use.

If you go to the same place regularly, You could ask the company about their energy saving aspirations and whether they are committed to using low energy appliances.           

That way you can be sure that your food and drinks are made with the highest level of sustainability in mind.

They’re shopping locally or ethically

From coffee beans to fresh produce, all coffee shops can have some way of sourcing their goods locally or at least based on ethical terms of purchasing.

Whether that’s a coffee shop or a food market, simply asking where they source their food and drinks from will help you find out whether they are supporting the local economy. By supporting local companies they are helping the area be sustainable in its own right.

Even if they’re not buying locally, are they using a roasting company, like this one, who is committed to purchasing fairtrade products or green beans that are grown on co-operative farms?

You could easily find out by asking the business operator or the person serving you about the coffee suppliers they use.

In Summary

Overall, it’s a good idea to seek out the most sustainable ways of buying your products and food and drink should be no different.

It can be hard for consumers to ‘pluck up the courage’ to ask companies about their view on eco-friendly processes.

But, the more we put businesses under pressure by asking the right questions, the more they will realise the benefits and that moving towards a more eco-friendly strategy can be well worth it.

Sarah

This is a collaborative post

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