Fashion / Food & Drink

Making coffee runs more sustainable

Walking along the cobbled streets of the old city in Bilbao. Katie wears her hair pulled back and oversized sunglasses with a white halterneck swing dress and white sandals.

If like me you love your morning (and mid-morning, and mid-afternoon) coffee you’ll likely have noticed the increase in cafes offering single-use compostable cups for takeaway. And if you’re like me you thought: “This is awesome! Finally a guilt-free way to enjoy coffee on the go when I forget my re-usable cup!” But wait right there. Because I’m totally, absolutely wrong. 

Walking along the cobbled streets of the old city in Bilbao. Katie wears her hair pulled back and oversized sunglasses with a white halterneck swing dress and white sandals.

Turns out that this “sustainable” option is anything but. Just like the traditional plastic-lined single use takeaway coffee cups, these compostable versions require specialist facilities to dispose of them correctly. And because the infrastructure for these facilities is still in the early days of construction, many of this “sustainable” alternative often ends up in landfill.

Walking along the cobbled streets of the old city in Bilbao. Katie wears her hair pulled back and oversized sunglasses with a white halterneck swing dress and white sandals.

So what can we do?

1. Ask: is this compostable at home or in a specialist facility? If it’s only in a facility, find out if they do anything to send cups to the facility, so you can bring your used cup back later. If they don’t (or don’t know) politely decline to order and buy elsewhere. 

2. Bring a re-usable cup. I also use my hot reusable for iced drinks and tap water while I’m on the go to avoid creating waste. Bonus: many places now offer a discount or freebies for using your own cup, so you’re incentivised to do just that.

3. Slow down and have the coffee in, skipping the need for a takeaway cup altogether.

Outfit:

Dress: 2018
Shoes: 2019 (via sample sale for slightly damaged items, these have marks on the leather near the buckle)
Sunglasses: 2019 prescription

Much love, Katie xo

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