It might be cliche, but we really do treat every day as if it were Earth Day, a national day of awareness and focus on the environment. Every decision we make here at the Beanery gets an environmental gut-check: how is this impacting our planet? Is there a more energy-efficient or sustainable way to do this?
We often talk about our critical People-Centered Development work with the coffee farmers at origin, but this time we want to call out some of the projects, and ways of doing business, we do here at home to help better our little corner of the world.
- We were on the forefront of Omnidegradable packaging, now being replicated by many companies.
- We stay abreast of the newest technologies to ensure we are still using packaging that will have the least impact on the earth.
- We do in-house testing, and partner with our local compost company to test the claims of various biodegradable and compostable packaging solutions.
- We are still searching for biodegradable replacements for some of our Sweet Justice products' foil bags.
Composting Our Waste:
- We partner with our neighbor, Clear View Composting, to compost all our spent grounds, food scraps as well as all the chaff that naturally results from the roasting process.
Reuse of Coffee Sacks:
- We receive hundreds and hundreds of burlap bags with each shipment of green coffee! Instead of sending them to the landfill, we give them out to locals looking to use them in their gardens to incrase their yield and suppress weeds and pests.
- They are first come, first serve, and we often run out of them in the Spring time!
- People also use our spent coffee bags on creative, artistic projects and displays.
- We were thrilled to be one of the nation's first recyclable alternatives to the environmental disaster known as the K-Cup.
- Installed in 2006, we're going on our second decade of having solar panels to power the Beanery.
- Right now, the solar panels make up for about 50% of our total usage of electricity.
- We are continually looking for ways to reduce our consumption, and met just the other day with a company to see if there are ways we can further maximize our current solar array.
- We have two Loring Smart Roasts. This roaster is the first of its kind, for its use of leading edge technologies to make the coffee roasting process less impactful on the planet.
- These roasters use 80% less propane than traditional roasters.
- Our roasters have a recirculating system, which makes them virtually smokeless without an afterburner. This means no nasty smoke and pollutants going into the atmosphere!
Periodic Carbon Audits:
- Every couple of years we do a carbon audit to ensure we are still doing what we're setting out to do, in terms of Carbon Neutral No CO2 Peruvian Coffee and our reforestation project in Peru.
- We calculate the estimated carbon-output from in-bound as well as out-bound shipping and local deliveries, then calculate how much of that we have offset with reforestation in Peru.
- Our most recent audit was in January, and we discovered that the trees planted absorb 18 metric tons of C02 each year than our facility emits.
- In 2017, we are looking to replicate the success of the reforestation program in all 9 of the countries from which we buy coffee.
- Whenever we can, we use local businesses and providers for our materials needed to do business. Labels, merchandise, boxes, etc.
- We we can't buy local, we are sure to buy USA Made as much as we can! Sometimes that is just plain not possible, and then we do our homework and select responsible companies.
Supporting our Local Land Trust:
- We have long been supporters of Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, an environmental stewardship organization that protects our scenic and agricultural areas here in North Central and Western Massachusetts, for the benefit of the environment, the economy, and future generations.
- This Earth Day weekend we're selling their co-branded "Amazing Mount Grace" coffee as a fundraiser. We'll give $2.00 from every pound sold to the Land Trust, so they can continue their 30-year legacy of protecting farms and forests.
Stay tuned on social media throughout the Earth Day weekend for some great pictures to bring these environmentally-friendly actions to life!