By Bambi Semroc, Vice President, Sustainable Markets and Strategy for Conservation International and leader of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge
Trees get old. They
get sick. They die. And it’s up to us to replant them.
I grew up alongside two beautiful, mature and statuesque maple trees in the back yard. My parents saved those trees when they built our house. Dad said you don’t cut down old trees because it takes too long to grow another one. I watched showers of helicopter seeds fall in the spring. I raked their leaves and jumped in huge piles every fall with my brother. We mulched and planted flowers around them. Those trees are still standing, but my dad is not. I have long-since moved away and so has my brother. My mom now cares for those trees on her own. Last month she called with the sad news that she has to remove one because it is dying. I can’t imagine that tree not being there, and I wonder what tree we will plant to replace it.
While we expect sustainable-minded shoppers to spend up to $150 billion on sustainable products by 2021, sustainability is starting to drive gains in everything from resource management to product packaging.
Here’s a glimpse into the myriad ways in which companies are embracing sustainability (and outperforming) along the way.
By Loreal Crumbley, for the EPA’s Environmental Education Division
Many of you may be looking for effective green tips. One tip I can offer you is to recycle used coffee grounds.
Coffee mixed with soil can be used as a natural fertilizer. Used coffee grounds provide gardens with an abundant source of nutrition. Recycling coffee grounds is not only beneficial for gardeners but it helps in reducing the amount of waste going into landfills.
The coffee industry depends on the work of millions of workers who arrive to coffee farms all over the world during the harvest to pick coffee. Labor represents the largest portion of cost of production for coffee farming all over the world.
Although they represent millions and are key to the production of coffee, as an industry, we do not understand their situation, challenges, and opportunities enough.