Greenest Way to Drink Coffee?

What’s the greenest way to drink coffee? Jacob Leibenluft at Slate leads in as follows:

how to balance a caffeine addiction with a concern about responsible consumption [?]… You’ll have a hard time finding a more eco-unfriendly product than the material most of us call Styrofoam… Still, it may not always be the right move to switch over to ceramic or stainless-steel mugs. It all comes down to which aspects of the environment you care about most.

January MugsI was discussing this issue with a friend recently. I am fond of my reusable coffee mugs. I joined The Mug Project, which advocates the use of mugs to reduce waste caused by single serve beverage containers.

But is the per-use waste of paper and styrofoam cups really worse than the energy used to produce reusable mugs from plastic or other durable material? That’s the question raised in the Slate article. I’d like to see that question analyzed as well as raised (and sort of addressed), but I consider the article a good enough start to upmod it at Reddit, where I found it.

There are other ways of answering the question in the title. For example, how much greener is it to get coffee from Costa Rica (fairly near, and certainly good) than from Sumatra (much further away from Boston, and my favorite coffee)? And what about buying one’s coffee in the form of unroasted green beans, a la Sweet Maria’s?

Mug Me Twice…

I read about The Mug Project twice today: once at the Boston Globe, once at Universal Hub.

We raise awareness about the unnecessary waste caused by the use of disposable beverage containers and advocate for the use of mugs as an alternative.

We? Yes, I joined the project, already being in synch with its aims. That’s not just because reusable mugs are better for the environment. They are often better for the pocket, in that many places charge less to refill a mug than they do to give you a disposable cup of similar size. One such place that I’ve used a lot in the last month or so is Canto 6 in Jamaica Plain. I also find mugs to be better for the taste buds, since disposable cups mar the taste of coffee.

The Mug Project is a network: it’s implemented as a social network at Ning; I am member 50; and, although it started in Jamaica Plain, there’s no reason the network shouldn’t spread as far as…. Cambridge (MA)… Cambridge (UK)… and further.