Green tip of the week: Be green with your beans and lug a mug

someone holding Organic, shade-grown coffee

someone holding Organic, shade-grown coffeeLike millions of other Canadians, your day probably starts with a cup of java. Before you double down on a double-double or linger over a latte, think about where your coffee comes from and what kind of cup you are using.

Organic, shade-grown coffee

Organic, shade-grown and fair trade coffee is better for the environment and for the people who grow and harvest coffee beans. It is estimated that more than one million disposable coffee cups go to landfill from Toronto every day. This is because paper coffee cups cannot be recycled in Toronto and compostable coffee cups aren’t really composted either.

So if you’d like to green your bean consumption, try the following:

For coffee beans or ground coffee, Las Nubes certified fair trade coffee can be purchased from Aramark or the York University Bookstore. Las Nubes coffee comes from the Las Nubes rainforest in Costa Rica, where York University is an active partner in researching and protecting the rainforest. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Las Nubes coffee are reinvested back into student research and conservation activities in Costa Rica.

If your office uses a Keurig machine, buy k-cups that are fair trade, organic or certified by the Rainforest Alliance. The Rainforest Alliance is an organization that provides third-party certification to identify companies and products that are contributing to conserving biodiversity and protecting local livelihoods.

Use a reusable mug in the office and take it with you to the coffee shop. Through the ‘Lug-a-Mug’ program, many coffee retailers at York University offer discounts of $0.10 to $0.25 cents if you bring your own mug.

To learn more about what York is doing on sustainable food, green procurement, and other environmental initiatives, visit the Sustainability and Food Services websites

At home, there are a number of ways to make your purchasing habits more sustainable, such as buying:

  • used items
  • items with recycled content
  • items with minimal packaging
  • organic and or locally made products and food
  • products certified by a third party certification system, such as Energy Star appliances and electronics, Forest Stewardship Council or EcoLogo paper, Fair Trade certified products, or Rainforest Alliance certified coffee and tea.

Check out the purchasing pledges on the Sustainability website and Environment Canada’s Green Buying Guide for more information.

The Green Tip of the Week is brought to you by sustainability@yorku. Check out the new Sustainability website, sign your office up for the Green Office program, or become a Sustainability Ambassador. It’s never been easier to get involved in sustainability at York University.

Do you have any green tips to share? E-mail and your idea could be featured in a Green Tip of the Week.