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5 Things Cafes Can Do To Lessen Their Environmental Footprint

Café owners and users are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious. There are several ways in which eating and drinking establishments can help to reduce their overall environmental impact. Here are some of the easiest ways in which cafés can alter their operations to become more environmentally friendly.

Use Recyclable Cups

Recyclable ripple cups and plant-based single-layer ripple cups are more environmentally friendly than non-compostable alternatives. Make sure that all takeaway cups offered in your café are recyclable. Importantly, you must provide a recycling bin where customers can deposit their cups. If you don’t, many of them will make their way to landfills regardless of their recyclability.

Encourage Customers To Bring Cups

Cafes can encourage customers to stop relying upon disposable cups altogether by generating an incentive to bring reusable vessels. Offering a small discount to customers that bring their own cups is a great way to make sure that you cut down on your overall usage of disposable items. Many cafes have taken to selling their branded reusable cups and then offering discounts to customers who continuously use them. This is a great way to increase brand identity at the same time as being more environmentally friendly.

Ditch The Straws

While many cafes have chosen to replace their plastic straws with paper ones, it might be worth simply ditching them altogether if you want to cut down on your business’s environmental impact. All waste – including recyclable waste – is bad for the environment. Paper straws might be slightly less damaging than their plastic counterparts, but they are rarely recycled correctly and thus have the same issues as any other single-use object.


Food waste is very bad for the environment. It requires lots of energy to dump in landfill and can create gasses that contribute to global warming. It is worth composting food and coffee waste if you have the space and time. This compost can then be used in the café garden (if there is one) or be donated to local allotment groups. People are always on the hunt for compost, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting it picked up.

Choose Responsible Coffee Roasters

The coffee itself is perhaps the most environmentally damaging aspect of the coffee industry. Coffee farming is often carried out in an environmentally irresponsible way. Huge tracts of rainforest are cleared for coffee cultivation every year, and soil fertility is thought of in the short term – instead of the long term – by large producers. Interestingly, coffee plants can be environmentally positive.

Coffee is an evergreen shrub, which means that it is very effective at removing carbon from the air all year round. Make sure to purchase coffee from a roaster that can guarantee the environmental responsibility of the farmers that they work with. Make sure none of your coffee comes from the rainforest, and none of it is responsible for the destruction of otherwise fertile land. You should also ensure that it is sourced from reputable fair trade farmers that are properly compensated for their work, as they tend to also look after their land better.

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