Zero Waste Coffee

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Ok, I have to admit, I am not so much a coffee drinker but my man is. Like other coffee addicts, he looks (and feels) like a zombie until he had his first dose of caffeine. He is not alone. About one-third of the people in the United States drinks coffee every day. Starbucks is the most famous one for their daily caffeine intake. Did you know that 4 billion disposable Starbucks cups were thrown away in 2017? This was a shocker to me… Even the paper cups are not really paper. These cups are lined with plastic making it impossible to recycle them. So what can you do to reduce your waste but still have your daily dose of coffee?

Zero Waste Coffee

Coffee on the go


This is kind of a no brainer but bring your own reusable coffee mug. If you don’t want to carry a reusable mug and a reusable water bottle, you could opt for an insulated water bottle. It keeps your water cool and prevents condensation because of the double wall. This double wall also makes sure your coffee remains warm while you don’t burn your hands. 


If you have some time, there is another option. You can ask for a real mug and take some time to sit down and drink your coffee at the coffee shop. 

Coffee at home


The most convenient one is a drip machine. They are widely available and have different budget options. Sometimes they are even available second hand to make it more environmentally friendly. This easy two-step system does not require a lot of cleaning which is a big benefit. Use a reusable coffee filter (like this one) or filters made with recycled paper. The production of ‘new’ paper has a lot of downsides. You can read more here.


Another great option is the French press. It is a very popular zero waste option and it is very easy to use. Put ground coffee into it, add boiling water and press the plunger after a few minutes. As said before, my man is a coffee addict, so when we moved in together I found that he had several (!) French presses. I claimed one that I now use for loose tea leaves.

Do you fancy a strong espresso but you don’t want a fancy machine? Try a Moka Pot! When my man had a tough day or has a really hard time waking up, he skips the drip machine and opts for his mini Moka espress. This Italian method is a bit a pain to clean so he does not use it often but his face tells me he loves his espresso this way.


pour-over coffee maker is another zero waste option. Just like the drip machine, a filter is required but also for this system, reusables are available. Just put ground coffee into the filter and pour over hot water to make coffee. 

Zero Waste Coffee

Note that this Moka Pot is very tiny. The cup is about 8cm/3inches high to make a real espresso shot.

Don't forget that the leftover coffee grind can be composted or if you like you can turn it into a body scrub.

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