Green tip for week #2– Week of May 11, 2008

Brew your own coffee — save the environment and save money at the same time

Our easy green tip for week 2 is an easy way to reduce the damage to your wallet, while reducing the impact you have on the environment. Trust me, as a coffee lover, I’m not trying to suggest something unreasonable here (like giving up coffee altogether). Instead, this is a simple change that could have significant impact if everyone commits to it. Try to commit to brewing your own coffee for a week, and see if that’s a habit you can then commit to for a longer term. Brewing coffee at home, instead of stopping by the local coffee shop every morning, will reduce the wasted fuel and energy resources expended by all the individuals making a stop out of their way for a cup of joe. Additionally, you will help curb the wasted paper products and energy expended in the production and use of paper coffee cups, which ultimately make their way into landfills.

Many people make a stop at their favorite coffee shop part of their daily routine. That seemingly insignificant choice can cost $2-$3 or more each day. Added up, that habit of stopping by the coffee shop for a coffee each day takes $60 or more each month, or over $700 each year (not including cost of fuel and lost time). Brewing coffee at home and taking a travel mug with you can not only reduce the wasted cash, but it can reduce the wasted time waiting in line. Meanwhile, your travel mug will actually keep your coffee warm! Even if you can’t get into the habit of brewing your own coffee, at least bring a reusable mug – you will be helping to eliminate the wasted paper cups, and the energy that goes into producing them.

We certainly don’t want you to give up on your favorite local coffee shop — buy your beans there to brew your favorite coffee at home, and stop by from time to time as a “treat” (making sure to use your reusable travel mug for reduced impact on the environment and warmer coffee!). Consider buying fair trade coffee, and you will help advance yet another effort toward global sustainability.

Breaking the cycle of making the coffee stop part of the daily routine will have positive economic effects for you, and beneficial environmental effects for everyone. That is an easy tip for a green tomorrow!

If you like this idea, please share this post with others, leave a comment, or tell others about Green52.org. Even more importantly, be sure to visit each week – if everyone adopts even some of the suggestions in our weekly green living tips, it will have a positive effect on the environment.

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