April has been designated Earth Month, and the official Earth Day is coming up on the 22nd. It’s a perfect time to think about what we can do to be kinder to the earth and our environment.
From the very start, Ethical Bean Coffee has strived to be as green as possible in everything we do. At the top of our list is buying only fairtrade certified, organic coffee beans. This assures that farmers are paid a fair wage and their working conditions are safe from harmful chemicals and farming practices. Did you know all Fairtrade Certified Organic Certified coffee is also Shade Grown? This maintains older forest growth and the tree canopy houses birds and other animals that in turn pollinate and help fertilize the soil. Back at home, our building is built to LEED Gold Standard, our roastery & offices are carbon-neutral and run on green energy via Bullfrog Power. We do our best to always use ethically sourced products and materials.
In our café, all of the cutlery, cups and food wrappers are biodegradeable, and we encourage people to dine in so no extra packaging is used for their food or drink.
Below are 6 tips you can easily integrate into your life that can make a huge positive impact on our environment. See if you can get your friends to try them too!
1. Unplug appliances when they’re not in use.
If you plug items into a power bar it’s easier to switch them off all at once. You’ll save a ton on your power bill too!
“It is estimated that the savings in reducing products that use standby power nationwide to one watt would equal the amount of electricity needed to power 400,000 homes. Emissions reductions would be equivalent to taking a large coal-fired power generating unit offline.”
Find more easy-to-do energy saving tips on the BC Hydro website.
2. Use a travel mug.
Yes, we know, sometimes it’s hard to remember to bring your travel mug with you, but when you get into the habit, you’ll feel oh-so-good about yourself! It’s estimated that the average coffee drinker throws away 250 cups per year – that adds up to 58 billion cups per year – almost all of these are not recyclable.
There’s an added bonus to bringing your own coffee cup too – most cafés and coffee shops will give you a discount on the price of a cup of coffee if you bring in your own mug. At our Kootenay St. Café we’ll discount your coffee by 25¢.
3. Carry a reusable water bottle with you.
Toss one in the back of the car or in your gym bag so you can use tapwater instead of buying bottled water.
4. Recycle your old laptops, computers, small appliances, cellphones, batteries and packaging/styrofoam properly at London Drugs.
The have a great recycling program to help you with those difficult to recycle things!
Here’s a list of items they take.
5. Reduce your water use.
There are some small things with big results that can significantly reduce your water usage.
- Turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth.
- Keep a jug of water on standby in the fridge instead of running the tap until the water is cold enough for you to fill your glass.
- Try to reduce the number of times you flush the toilet. Yes, we know its icky but “If it’s yellow, let it mellow…”. You can also add a brick or a plastic litre bottle of water to your toilet tank to reduce the volume of water used in each flush.
Seriously. If you can do without using your car, then it’s good for your health and for the environment. Take a shopping trolly with you when you buy your groceries and buy in smaller quantities more often. Use neighbourhood retailers and restaurants so you don’t have a massive trek. You can even car share with friends or neighbours when you go to big box stores. (Everybody needs to go to Ikea, right?)
Do you have any easy-to-do-at-home ideas to lessen our impact on the environment? Let us know in the comments below!