“Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity after petroleum. That’s 2.5 billion pounds every year”, according to YourEcoSource.com.
As a result, our beloved coffee takes a huge toll on the environment–from deforestation of the world’s rain forests to shipping costs.
So what can we do to reduce our coffee stained footprint while simultaneously sip a WONDERFUL cup o joe?
The answer: BUY LOCAL.
In any given city there are normally a number of locally owned coffee shops.
My newest fav in Nashville, TN is called Crema.
Why Indy Coffee Shops Are Better Than Chains
MUCH Fresher Coffee!
Most locally owned coffee shops use a local roaster. This means that the coffee/espresso they serve was usually only roasted a day or two before you drink it.
Why is that important?
I recently learned that coffee beans are already partially stale 2 weeks after they are roasted (and 20 minutes after they’re ground)! Even the whole beans at your local grocery store or Starbucks were likely roasted at least that long ago, if not even before then!
Crema (which is where I sit at this very moment) purchases their coffee from local roaster Drew’s Brews, not 10 miles from their shop.
Fewer CO2 Emissions from Shipping.
Because most locally owned coffee shops, like Crema, utilize a local roaster, the transportation costs are cut tremendously.
Better Treatment and Experience.
This could be more of a personal ideal, but I enjoy supporting entrepreneurial ventures. Normally, as is the case with Crema, an independently own venue of any kind is more appreciative of your business than a big chain store.
The person/people involved in a locally owned store are also normally more knowledgeable and passionate about their product, which is why they’ve invested, quite literally, their entire lives in it.
This passion often leads to a better product and more enjoyable experience as a whole.
What Makes Crema Rock So Hard?
Like us here at The Fun Times Guide to Living Green, they’re all about taking the simple steps towards living green.
At Crema they:
- have bamboo counter tops
- used reclaimed wood and building materials
- have recycling bins
- will soon be composting their coffee grounds
- use CFL’s in all lighting fixtures (using only 250 watts for all of their lighting combined)
- have low-flow toilets
- use timers to turn off their machinery after hours
- use organic and estate coffees from local roaster, Drew’s Brews
- serve locally baked, organic, natural pastries from Wild Muffin
- promote ceramic mugs instead of disposable cups
- showcase artwork by local artist, Aaron Grayum
All those simple steps put together make one giant step toward living green, preserving our environment, and living a healthier life.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Crema today and I’ll be going back very soon.
What It’s Like Inside Crema
Here are some pics to showcase the great design and wonderful ambiance of all that is Crema. (Note: at the artist’s request, the paintings have been blurred out of the pics.)
Read the story behind their dream here.
The view as you enter Crema (with the back of Cool People Care‘s president, Sam Davidson’s head in the lower left. I didn’t even know it was him until he stood up and turned around):
View from my table (and also of Sam Davidson’s head):
Slightly different view from my table:
The view of my first cup of coffee…about 30 seconds after I sat down with it. Man that’s some tasty roast!
I think every little step toward living green is an awesome one… but eco-snobbery sucks! My goal is to help newbies learn the most important steps toward living green — individually and collectively. Personally, I strive to have as little impact as possible on Planet Earth while I'm here.