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Spring Cleaning: You've Got a Latte to Improve on

Tips on greening your java and consuming more conscientiously.

This challenge is in partnership with Levi's ®

Caffeine is a fix that Americans show no sign of foregoing. The United States consumes one-fifth of the world’s coffee. To make a single cup of coffee, the process of farming and production requires the use of about 55 gallons of water. And due to climate change, we’re seeing a reduction incoffee yield for even higher prices. Before you guzzle your next latte, read our tips on greening your java and consuming more conscientiously.

Home is where the joe is. Basic math: If you buy just two cups of coffee per week at around $3.00 a pop, you’re spending more than $300 a year on your buzz. Buy beans instead. Use a French press. Or buy a reuseable coffee filter for your coffee machine or your pour-over. You save paper and money. Plus, who needs a milk steamer?

No more paper cups. If you’re not just addicted to the drink but to the coffee shop experience, bring your own mug. Some shops will even cut you a small discount. Get a cheeky paper cup look-a-like if you’re attached to your to-go aesthetic.

Buy organic and fair trade. Organic means your cup will be free of additives, pesticides, and genetically engineered crop. Fair Trade supports farmers and guarantees fair wages.

Buy shade-grown coffee. Coffee beans naturally grow best shrouded in shade, but over the years, leafy forests have been chopped down, coffee bushes crowded together and doused with chemicals to make them grow faster, and ecosystems forever altered. Look for beans that are Rainforest Alliance Certified, and learn more on the certification process at the Sustainable Agriculture Network. Follow GOOD’s guide to eco-friendly coffee labels.

Good even after the last drop. Coffee grounds are a great addition to compost piles!

Photo via (cc) Flickr user libraryman.

To learn more about how you can save water every day, click here and take the Water<Less Challenge.

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