Thursday, January 10, 2008

Home Brewing Waste Solution

If you're like me, you can't really do too much without a good cup of Joe in the AM. We make our own coffee here at home and I always use a re-useable travel mug, but what has been bugging me since the beginning of this project (and why you haven't seen so many coffee ground listings in "the haul") are those crazy plasticoated bags they come in that are not recyclable and have limited re-use potential.

So this morning, I headed over to Whole Foods and had a really interesting talk with Richard, the guy who's in charge of the coffee area there (and incidentally it's his first day at that, after being promoted so way to go Richard). I explained to him what I was up to and told him I wanted to figure out a way to be able to come to Whole Foods and buy coffee without wasting a bag each time. I asked him if I could just bring in my own container to fill, but he mentioned that when they weigh it up front, the weight of the bag is already calculated in. While I might not mind paying the extra charge for this I'd have to probably explain everything again each time I bought coffee and don't really want to go that route time and again.

So what we ended on was this. Next time I head there I am going to buy my coffee in one of those sturdy little coffee bags that I hate so much, filling it up from the bulk coffee bins (they have fair trade shade grown so it's pretty good stuff). I'll bring that home, pour it into our coffee bean mason jar, and fold up the bag until next time I need a fill-up. Ironically, the thing that makes these bags such a nuisance, the way they are sturdily built and therefore not recyclable, is going to be an asset because I really don't see why I can't get through the year (and then some) on one bag.

At home we have a little grinder and french press manual coffee maker, so that's all relatively waste free, and the grounds can go in the worm composter, the garden, the lawn, or a number of other places. If anyone has any other thoughts, I'm game.

I'm psyched (and amped on coffee).

Live Sustainably


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