10 Zero Waste Coffee Ideas in making Coffee that helps the environment

By far, coffee is one of the most loved beverages globally, with 2.25 billion cups of coffee being consumed every day globally, and up to 65% of American adults have coffee every day.

However, as a coffee enthusiast, you need to understand that coffee does not have to create ay waster for it to taste great. There are different ways in which we tend to increase the amount of waste when in our environment as a result of coffee consumption; however, it does not have to be this way.

zero waste coffee maker

With an increase in global temperature, it is high time as a coffee enthusiast to come up with zero-waste coffee ideas that will reduce the amount of waste piling up in our environment. With that said, in this article, we shall be discussing 10 zero waste coffee ideas that will help in improving the state of our environment significantly.

10 Zero Waste Coffee Ideas

Brewing coffee at home

Nowadays, convenience is considered as the capitalists’ game. The hustle and bustle in urban centers have made people give their needs first priority without considering its impact on the environment. Due to this, coffee shops have become popular since they make coffee within a few minutes.

However, this does not go without saying there is an increase in carbon emission from these companies, which has a significant impact on the environment. Fortunately, it is never too late to develop an eco-friendly coffee habit that will help you reduce your carbon footprint significantly.

Making coffee at home is a great way to start and achieve zero waste coffee brewing. The idea might sound daunting; however, brewing coffee from home will offer you the benefit of producing an infusion that will best suit your taste to perfection. You will be having full control over the lightness or darkness of your coffee as you save money as well as the environment simultaneously.

Furthermore, recently, the pour-over method has propelled to mainstream popularity. It is a relatively easy method of brewing your coffee, and it involves drenching fresh-ground coffee beans with relatively hot water to dissolve the beans. This makes it one of the best zero waste ways to make coffee.

The things you will require to make a home coffee pour-over include;

Zero waste coffee grinder. The best way to choose a zero-waste coffee grinder is by selecting a manual coffee grinder over an electric one. By doing so, you will help in reducing energy usage significantly. In addition to that, you should consider investing in a long-lasting grinder to reduce the amount of waste being taken to landfills.

Pour-over brewers. The other thing you will require is a specialized cup that will be serving as a container for the coffee beans while pouring your hot water over it. Ensure that your brewer is equipped with holes at the bottom to facilitate the dripping of your coffee beverage into a coffee mug

Reusable zero waste coffee filter. Filters have contributed to waste when it comes to coffee production; therefore, you should consider using a zero-waste coffee filter. With most coffee filters being bleached using oxygen or chlorine, using a reusable filter will be the best idea since you will be reducing the amount of chemical being added to the environment. Even if you prefer using pod machines such as Nespresso, they come equipped with reusable pods allowing you to fill them with coffee grounds.

As an individual who finds the whole process is time-consuming, you should consider brewing a colossal batch that will sustain you for days and then store it in the fridge. It would be best if you considered planning your whole week to help in eliminating the pressure which goes with your busy weekday mornings.

Use your coffee mug at a coffee shop

While in a coffee shop, you might consider coming with your mug; this makes it an excellent idea for zero waste coffee to go. You might come with a travel mug or thermos to a coffee shop; this way, you will be able to reduce the amount of waste caused by disposable coffee mugs, which are increasing in popularity. In addition to that, using your own coffee thermos will help in keeping your beverage at the right temperature for an extended period.

Most coffee shops tend to use single-use coffee cups made from plastic. If you cannot brew coffee from home and would like to go to your favorite coffee shop, it is best to go with your coffee mug or tumbler. By doing so, you will be reducing the amount of disposal containers being added to the environment.

Usually, the single-use cups are very detrimental to the world’s status as of today. There are approximately 300 million tons of plastic waste being produced yearly. As a coffee enthusiast, you should consider becoming an eco-friendly consumer and start using a reusable cup while visiting the coffee shop.

Consider Composting

Composting is an incredible practice which involves recycling organic waste product such as the ground coffee beans. You might consider turning your waste from a manual coffee grinder into manure or mulch to increase the fertility of your garden. This makes it the best zero waste coffee beans idea that is worth practicing. When it comes to composting your garden, here are the vital steps you will need to follow;

zero waste coffee grinder

Look for a nice pit place. If you have a backyard, you might consider digging some space to start your compost pit. However, as an apartment resident, you might consider disposing of your zero waste coffee beans in a biodegradable waste by purchasing a container. Drill some holes at the base to improve aeration and then place your vessel above a tray in order for you to catch the drainage. Go ahead and pour soil along with worms to help in facilitating the decomposition process.

Adding material. It would be best if you considered doing this layer by layer. You will start by placing twigs along with straw in order to create a small space at your compost pit’s bottom. By doing so, you will be allowing aeration within your pile. Once that is done, you should consider adding alternative moist as well as dry materials to aid your waste breakdown faster.

Moist the compost often. It is highly recommended that you moisten the compost more often, especially during summer seasons due to rain scarcity. Moisture is a determining factor when it comes to the decomposition process.

Retain heat. It would be best if you considered covering the compost pit in order to retain heat. In addition to moisture, heat also aids in speeding up the breakdown of all organic components. Therefore, it is best to cover your compost pit using carpet scraps, wood, or a plastic sheet to aid in retaining heat.

Aeration. Ensure that you aerate your compost pit every few weeks. Just like heat and moisture, oxygen is a determining factor when it comes to decomposition. As a result, you should consider setting aside some time to aerate your compost pit.

As a coffee enthusiast, you will need to think twice before getting rid of your coffee grounds. Instead of disposing of your coffee grounds in the garbage, you should consider taking advantage of them and using it as a natural exfoliant to eradicate dead skin cells with the utmost ease.

In addition to that, they are a great source of nitrogen; this means that they will serve as an excellent compost pile. This is one of the best ways in which you can use your coffee grounds, making it zero waste coffee grounds.

Do not buy coffee in excess 

Despite the fact that buying your coffee in bulk helps in minimizing packaging, having extra beans of coffee might make you brew more than you might require for the week or day. Therefore, you should consider the amount of coffee you require for a month. By doing so, you will be able to avoid grinding more amount of coffee than what you might need while brewing your coffee for the day or week.

Purchase from fare trade

You should consider supporting the local companies that keep in mind the environment as well as a craft just like you do. It is best that you look for zero waste coffee brads that join the fair-trade movement and put our environment along with customers first before profit.

You should carry out research and find the perfect zero-waste green coffee providers within your area. In addition to ensuring that the company sources their coffee correctly as well as have regarded on the environment, you will also come to recognize that products made by these brands this is because they use zero-waste coffee packagings such as biodegradable plastics and paper. This makes them stand out from other brands available in today’s market.

Single-serve Capsules

There is no doubt that coffee capsules are very convenient, and several companies offer pods with exceptional quality coffee. However, they tend to produce more waste in our environment compared to traditional methods.

This is because of the packaging. Most of the containers are designed from plastic materials, aluminum, or the combination of both of these two materials. Once you are done preparing your coffee, you should consider cleaning it thoroughly and then take it to a recycling facility.

However, this tends to be a less realistic approach for most individuals. In addition to that, most individuals tend to be reluctant to give up on their capsules; thus, you should consider switching to a more sustainable version.

This means that you will need to settle for zero waste coffee pods such as Gourmesso, which offers compostable pods. These pods have been certified by the Rainforest Alliance and are compatible with numerous single-serve machines.

Method of Preparing Coffee 

Perhaps one of the best coffee brewing processes is the use of the French press. It is considered the best zero waste way to make coffee since it has less impact on our environment. All that is required of you is to all your coffee ground into boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes. Once that is done, you will go ahead and plunger down and get your cup of freshly made and plastic-free coffee beverage.

If you are looking for an exotic twist, then you might consider trying the Turkish coffee. This coffee preparation method tends to use excellent coffee grounds that are stirred in boiling water and then served without filtration, hence eliminating the need for filters.

Read More:

Best Ways to Brew Coffee

Coffee making Machine

This is another critical thing you will need to factor. For individuals who love the taste of espresso, you might consider using a traditional espresso machine, which is well-known for offering incredible flavor compared to coffee capsules. Usually, this is done by compacting fresh coffee in a small holding device and force hot water piping through it.

Furthermore, a drip coffee machine has a smaller carbon footprint than capsules, and they use biodegradable paper filters. Making a whole pot of coffee using a single filter is also an added benefit. Always consider investing in a zero-waste coffee machine to help in curbing your carbon footprint.


When it comes to packaging, most coffee products are packaged in non-biodegradable bags. Purchasing your coffee beans from zero waste coffee brands that use biodegradable bags is a great way of curbing your carbon footprint.

Zero waste coffee bags are often affordable and have been designed to help in eradicating waste build-up in our environment. It would be best if you considered looking for brands that sell their coffee in plastic-free packaging.

Coffee on the go

If you find it relatively challenging or time-consuming brewing your own coffee before going to work, then coffee on the go is often your first priority. Well, purchasing coffee on the go from coffee shops is relatively convenient and helps saves time. However, it would be best if you considered buying your coffee from coffee shops that serve their coffee in biodegradable coffee cups. This helps in minimizing build-up in waste products.

coffee zero waste

As an individual who loves the environment, you will find out that going with your thermos to a coffee shop the best option over biodegradable disposable cups. This is because the biodegradable cups will still find their way to landfills since they are often not disposed of correctly.

But this does not make it the worst option since it will decompose within a short period compared to disposable plastic cups. This means that a reusable coffee mug or thermos is the best for use as a zero-waste coffee cup while biodegradable cups come second. The worst option is using a plastic non-biodegradable cup.

Final verdict

Quality over quantity is something most individuals fail to understand. The quality of your coffee tends to make a huge difference. When drinking less quality coffee, you will tend to take more or add cream or milk to improve palatability. On the other hand, by using high-quality coffee beans, you will be able to enjoy your coffee while taking a relatively small amount compared to low-quality beans.

Furthermore, pre-ground coffee is among the top foods involved in food fraud, meaning that pre-ground coffee might not be 100% coffee. To avoid these issues, you should consider purchasing your coffee beans from fair-trade, and you will be guaranteed quality in almost every purchase.

Always consider using biodegradable material to help in reducing the environmental pollution. As we conclude, we hope that you have found this article helpful and that you should try and practice the tips discussed here to help reduce environmental pollution.

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