Julius Meinl Advent Calendar: 24 ways to be more sustainable

Everybody loves an advent calendar, right? Well, this year at Julius Meinl, we thought we’d do something a little different – we’re forgoing giving a little chocolate for everyday leading up until Christmas and instead offering 24 little tips on how you can make your coffee drinking ritual more sustainable in a big way. 

Meanwhile, our promise to you when it comes to making coffee more sustainable is the same as it was when we celebrated World Coffee Day this year: You enjoy the moment. We’ll do the rest. 


We’re truly committed to making coffee not only better for you, but also for future generations.

1. Get to know your coffee and tea 

Get to know the coffee and tea you’re drinking and only brew at home beans and leaves that are certified as fair trade and UTZ, and are clearly responsibly sourced (aka, like Julius Meinl’s coffee).


2. 100% biodegradable capsules 

Opt for 100% biodegradable coffee capsules (and it just so happens that Julius Meinl released some of those this year). 

3. Sustainable packaging

Be mindful of the packaging your coffee comes in. It’s not easy to create packaging for coffee that is 100% sustainable due to coffee’s various diva-like demands regarding how it likes to be stored. 

However, you can opt for brands that are at least trying to go sustainable with their packaging (full disclosure: Julius Meinl has pioneered sustainable packaging in its tea range and is working on it when it comes to its coffee products – watch this space). 


4. Quality versus quantity 

Adopt the mantra – quality versus quantity – when it comes to your coffee consumption.


5. Go plant-based 

Reduce or replace your dairy consumption with the various delicious plant-based alternatives now available.

6. Brew manually 

Start making your coffee using a manual brewing method. This will reduce the electricity you’re using. Every little bit helps! 


7. Stick to that reusable filter 

Get yourself a reusable filter for whatever your go-to brewing method is at home. There’s a wealth of options out there that put any paper filter to shame. 

8. Proportion your coffee

Only grind the coffee you need for each serving. A good set of coffee scales will help you here.

9. Turn off your machine

Only heat the water you need for your coffee or tea shortly before you make it. That means, if you’re using an espresso machine at home, keep it off while it’s out of action.


10. Try cold brew in summer

Go one step further and embrace the wonderful world of cold brew in summer. You won’t even need to heat up any water for this kind of coffee summer love.


11. Mindfulness first

Brew mindfully and with care: reduce excess waste of water and the coffee that you use.


12. Buy second-hand 

Buy your coffee brewing paraphernalia second-hand. There’s plenty of it out there floating around on online marketplaces, and it’s not always necessary to buy it new. 

13. Check out energy rating 

Check out the energy rating on the coffee machine you’re thinking of adopting.


14. Repair & recycle

At some point along the way, we have forgotten the fact that not everything needs to be simply replaced when it stops working, but can also be repaired. While we hope you never suffer such a situation, if your coffee machine stops working, explore your options to get it repaired.

And when it does finally come time to put a coffee machine to rest, check out the recycling options offered locally.


15. Clean your coffee machine 

Keep your coffee machine clean to ensure that its heating function remains efficient, and it isn’t consuming any unnecessary energy.


16. Use eco-friendly cleaning products 

While this one might not directly be linked to drinking coffee, it does matter how you clean up after yourself once you’ve made a cup – only use eco-friendly cleaning products.

17. Reuse & compost 

Reuse and compost your coffee grounds. Those grounds you’re about to discard make for great fertiliser, and some people even use them to tenderise meat! Get googling on the various other ways you can use coffee grounds and give them a second life.


18. Treat your coffee right  

As we’ve already mentioned in an earlier tip in this list: coffee is a diva when it comes to how it needs to be stored. Nevertheless, we recommend treating your coffee right to ensure you waste as little of it as possible. This means that you should be storing it in an airtight and dark container, so it preserves its best qualities until its time to shine arrives.


19. Make an impact 

While you can’t control the sustainable practices your go-to coffee house implements, you can try to influence them upon your visits. Try to guide them in the direction of these tips that will make any café more sustainable.


20. Consult your barista

Ask questions of your barista and ensure they’re only using beans, like ours at Julius Meinl, that are responsibly sourced.

21. Find a waste-free café

Seek out cafés that are waste-free. They are out there, and they’re multiplying by the day.


22. Biodegradable to-go cup 

Get yourself a coffee-to-go cup that you love and carry around with you everywhere. And if you find yourself in a café serving up Julius Meinl coffee, and you happen to have forgotten your cup, never fear – we’ve developed a biodegradable coffee cup to-go.


23. Your friend the good old teaspoon 

Don’t go using any of the disposable stirrers at that beloved café of yours (yep, even the wooden ones!). Go zero waste when it comes to what you use to stir your coffee with by asking for a simple teaspoon.


24. Be an advocate for change 

Become an advocate for change. Whether it’s when chatting with friends, or when you’re ordering your coffee at your beloved local café – spread the word about how to make coffee more sustainable. 


You can keep up-to-date on the latest coffee sustainability tips here with us on the Julius Meinl blog. 

Interested to learn more?

Read more about coffee and tea, their preparation and popular coffee- and tea-based drinks.

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