Seven simple ways to make your coffee more sustainable

Great tasting coffee that’s kind to the planet: it’s simple!

Here are seven ways you can make it happen…


holding a red coffee mug


We know you know plastic is bad. And that we need to cut down on the single-use stuff. And take care of the trees.

But what about our coffee habit? Don’t let it pass you by when giving your lifestyle its next green check-up. It’s just as important (and impactful) as the beeswax wraps and metal straws. So check out our seven easy tips and you’ll be ticking the sustainability box on yet another front. Go you!


Don’t buy capsules

We’re just going to stop you before you say ‘ahhh… but I use eco coffee pods’. Plastic-free coffee pods come with plenty of problems. The ‘recyclable’ pods aren’t all that easy to recycle due to their complex materials. Many require specialist recycling stations, and you know what that means? Transport emissions. They also have to be thoroughly emptied and washed to avoid being rejected as contaminated. In fact, the process is so convoluted that we only recycle 25% of our recyclable pods. Compostable and reusable pods each carry their own troubles, too, which we’re not going to go through here because we’ve got six more tips to share!


Adding grounds coffee into v60 device sitting beside swan neck kettle


So, let’s avoid the pod problem altogether and buy freshly ground coffee instead. Accompany your beautifully fresh coffee (rather than stuff vac-packed in plastic) with a quality brew device made to last, and you’ve got coffee happiness guaranteed.


Get a reusable cup

Despite all the effort that’s going into creating compostable/biodegradable/plant-based cups, it is estimated that only one in 400 takeaway cups ends up being genuinely recycled. Not great, huh?


Freshly roasted birthday coffee


Of course, we’re not telling you anything new when we say GET A REUSABLE CUP. They’ve been the must-get coffee accessory for some years and aren’t going away any time soon. So, whether you’re buying your first one or adding no. 12 to your collection, treat yourself to an oh-so-sustainable new cup today. And with so many coffee shops offering discounts to reusable cuppers, what’s not to love? Grab yours and fill ‘er up!


Try plant-based milk in your coffee

Yes, latte lovers, you might find insta-worthy latte art a little trickier with dairy-free milk (it’s all down to their protein and fats contents), but it’s worth it for the planet, right? And with a glass of dairy milk producing around three times the emissions of a plant-based alternative, this is a sure switch to make if you’re after a greener cup.


Soya beans and Two Chimps mug - best milk for coffee


Finding the best plant-based milk for your coffee can take a bit of trial and error. Many milk alternatives carry a subtle taste of their original source, so need to be matched to the flavours in your coffee. Take almond milk, for instance. Its distinctive nuttiness tastes awesome with a rich medium or dark roast coffee, but you might find more neutral-tasting soya milk works better with a light roast. Do a bit of mixy-matchy and see what tastes top in your brew!

And, psssst, you can still make pretty lattes without dairy – just don’t use rice milk!


Milk and biscuits with coffee beans


Use coffee grounds in the garden

Coffee grounds. They’re good for everything but the kitchen sink.

So use them in the garden instead! It’s an easy way to make your coffee more sustainable. You can tip nitrogen-rich used grounds straight onto a compost heap to help prevent it from becoming too dusty. Or why not use them on your plants? They’ll give you one bloomin’ big thank you. Plants such as lilies, hydrangeas and tomatoes go potty (see what we did there?) for acidic soil, making naturally-acidic coffee grounds the ideal natural fertiliser. Simply work some cooled grounds into the soil and await plant perfection! You don’t even need to wash the grounds first, as this will affect their pH value.


coffee ground on plants in the garden


Look out for organic coffee

‘Organic’ is a word that raises some questions, but it’s certainly something to look out for when choosing an eco-friendly coffee. Organic coffee is grown in a way that respects the environment and without the use of artificial fertilisers or pesticides. By opting for organic coffee, you’re helping to protect plants and animals from chemical pollution in the countries where coffee is grown.


Close up of coffee farmer picking coffee cherries


Shade growing is another big plus-point of organic coffee. Because they avoid all chemical treatments, organic coffee farmers must find another way to protect the soil from being scorched by the sun. Towering tropical trees provide an easy (chemical-free) solution. And growing coffee in shady conditions is a double win; as well as protecting the soil, this way of growing also produces the best tasting coffee. Why? Because coffee plan aaaaa-dore shady conditions. It slows down their growing speed and gives the coffee flavours more time to develop. Scrummy and sustainable? That’s right.


Choose a climate-positive coffee roaster

But what’s the biggest, most absolutely utterly good thing you can do to make your coffee habit more sustainable? Buy from an independent, ethical coffee roaster like Two Chimps! We tick all the boxes when it comes to being green. We’re committed to our climate-positive values and reduce and reuse all that we can. Our standard-sized coffee bags are 100% recyclable, and we use eco-friendly stickers and glue dots, too.



We started out with a mission to prove that top speciality coffee can be sustainable, and we think we’ve cracked it!

Grab a bag or two today!


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