Before coffee: Glen Close without makeup. After cofree: Glen Close looking glamourous.

Coffee. It wakes you up in the morning. It keeps you going through an all-nighter. It provides health benefits. And it's consumed by 1 billion people daily. If you're in that number, a few simple steps will help you create an eco-friendly coffee habit.

On The Go

Grab a clean mug before you leave the house. When you drop by your favorite coffee shop, have them fill your cup instead of using a disposable one. Keep an extra mug in your car or bag in case you forget to grab one on your way out.

The Office: Michael Scott holding a mug that reads World's Best Boss, saying: That pretty much sums it up.

Quiz

Harvey forgot to bring his mug to his favorite coffee shop. He wants to make an eco-friendly choice. What should he do?

At Home

Flaticon Icon Reuse

Purchase reusable items such as coffee filters and pods.

Flaticon Icon Compost

Compost your coffee grounds using a compost bin or simply sprinkling them in your garden.

Flaticon Icon Check the Label

Look for coffee that is organic or Bird-Friendly Certified. Organic coffee is grown without pesticides or chemicals . Bird-Friendly Certified coffee adheres to guidelines set by the Smithsonian that conserve habitats.

Brew Just Enough

We used to say our best customer was the drain because people brewed a whole pot of coffee — 12 cups — but maybe six of them went down the drain.

-- John Pigott, CEO of Club Coffee

When you make coffee at home, brew just enough that you and your roommates/family will drink. You can always make more if you run out! If you live alone or without other coffee drinkers, a single-serving pour-over method is a great choice to brew your coffee.

Rory from Gilmore Girls crying, saying: I really love coffee!

What about my coffee pods?

Single-serve coffee pods made of plastic end up in landfills and should be avoided by the eco-conscious. But don't toss your capsule coffee maker just yet! Examining the overall life-cycle of coffee, from growth to disposal, instant coffee has the least environmental impact, with capsules in second place.

Capsules generate more waste when thrown away, but take less coffee to make a single serving. To reduce packaging waste, there are alternative pods that can be recycled or composted. 30% of pods sold today are compostable .

Quiz

Susan drinks 2 cups of coffee a day. Her roommate, Mike, doesn't drink coffee. What can Susan do to be eco-friendly? (Choose all that apply.)

Take Action

Stephen Colbert sipping coffee. Now you know what it takes to stay caffeinated and sustainable!

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This Byte has been authored by

MD

Marilyn Day

Empowering Adult Learners