German city offers ingenious alternative to single-use coffee cups

December 5, 2017 by  
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What do you do when you arrive at a coffee shop and realize you’ve forgotten your reusable mug ? Many of us, in need of caffeine, would guiltily accept the disposable cup that may or may not be recyclable. But the city of Freiburg, Germany came up with an inventive solution. They created the Freiburg Cup , which coffee lovers can snag for one Euro and return to participating stores to be cleaned and used again – up to 400 times. In Germany, over 300,000 disposable coffee cups are consumed every single hour, according to Freiburg representatives . And the 2.8 billion disposable cups consumed a year require 43,000 trees, 320 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 1.5 billion liters of water, and 3,000 tons of crude oil – not to mention many aren’t even recycled . And these resource-intensive cups are typically used for a mere 13 minutes before being tossed out. The city launched the Freiburg Cup around a year ago, and there are now around 107 bakeries and cafes participating. The cups are manufactured in southern Germany. Related: Vancouver on track to kill wasteful single-use packaging Coffee drinkers can obtain the plasticizer- and BPA-free cup comprised of recyclable polypropylene at participating cafes, identifiable by a green sticker in the window. When they’ve finished the beverage, they can return it to any one of those cafes, which will disinfect the containers. The city doesn’t offer a reusable lid, for financial and hygienic reasons, they said. But they seem to think the disposable lids have a good chance of being recycled – when the cup is returned for cleaning, the lids are placed in a yellow bag for recycling. So far the Freiburg Cup has been incredibly successful, according to TreeHugger , with other cities in the country expressing interest. Coffee drinkers can find the locations of participating cafes on the Freiburg Cup website . + Freiburg Cup Via TreeHugger Images via Freiburg Cup ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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German city offers ingenious alternative to single-use coffee cups

London buses swap out diesel for a coffee-based biofuel

November 22, 2017 by  
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Brits may prefer tea, but their busses will be getting a buzz from coffee. U.K. startup bio-bean , Shell, and Argent Energy have teamed up to fill London’s double-deckers with an innovative new java-based fuel. According to CNN , bio-bean has already brewed up 6,000 liters (1,585 gallons) of the high-octane joe, an amount able to power one city bus for an entire year. So, how is the coffee oil manufactured? As bio-bean shares on its site, the company gathers grounds everywhere from small cafes to Starbucks-like chains to universities and even instant coffee factories. The grounds are then brought to the bio-bean plant where they are dried and coffee oil is extracted. Related: Could coffee help fight cancer? The extracted oil is then blended with other fats and oils to create a “B20” biofuel, which is further mixed with traditional mineral diesel. The new concoction offers a 10-15 percent reduction in CO2 emissions as compared to pure diesel, and prevents the release of any methane that would have occurred had the grounds been sent to a landfill. Notably, the mix does not require a specialized engine and can be used with any diesel bus, making the switch easy. Bio-bean estimates that Britain produces nearly 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds a year—enough to power a third of London’s entire transport network. At the moment, bio-bean’s plant has the capacity to recycle 50,000 tonnes of grounds a year. Company founder Arthur Kay, however, hopes to scale the project. Kay, in fact, has his sights set on the U.S. where coffee consumption is the highest of anywhere on the planet with 400 million cups downed daily. + bio-bean Via CNN Images via Pixbay and bio-bean

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London buses swap out diesel for a coffee-based biofuel

How Starbucks brewed a stronger sustainability bond

November 16, 2017 by  
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It’s been a year since the coffee giant issued the first bond of its kind. What’s the effect on the marketplace, and what’s next?

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Could coffee help fight cancer?

June 2, 2017 by  
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Your morning joe could give you more than just a buzz; it might even stave off the most common form of primary liver cancer. In a new study published this week, researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh claimed that people who consume at least a cup or more of caffeinated coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of developing hepatocellular cancer than those who abstain. Heavy coffee drinkers can assert an even bigger advantage: imbibing up to five cups a day can reduce the same risk by half, scientists said. Even decaf was found to have a protective effect, if “smaller and less certain than for caffeinated coffee.” Despite coffee’s potential as a lifestyle intervention in chronic liver disease, Southampton’s Oliver Kennedy, the study’s lead author, advises some modicum of caution. Related: Edible Scoff-ee cups let you have your coffee and eat it too “We’re not suggesting that everyone should start drinking five cups of coffee a day though,” he said in a statement. “There needs to be more investigation into the potential harms of high coffee-caffeine intake, and there is evidence it should be avoided in certain groups such as pregnant women.” To reach their conclusion, the scientists analyzed data from 26 studies involving more than 2.25 million participants. Hepatocellular cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death globally, particularly in China and Southeast Asia, usually develops in people who already suffer from chronic liver disease. Experts suggest that we could see as many as 1.2 million cases by 2030. Related: Trouble brewing for coffee – half the land it needs to grow could be unfit by 2050 Previous studies have shown that increased coffee consumption can protect against liver cirrhosis , which can develop from partaking in too much alcohol. “The next step now is for researchers to investigate the effectiveness, through randomized trials, of increased coffee consumption for those at risk of liver cancer,” Kennedy said. + University of Southampton Via the Guardian Photos by Unsplash

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US states and cities say they’re sticking to the Paris Accord without Trump

June 2, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump said he was elected to represent Pittsburgh, not Paris, as he withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement on Thursday. Pittsburgh, however, isn’t sticking with him – at least not on climate change. The mayor of that city, along with 29 other mayors, three state governors, over 80 university presidents, and over 100 businesses have banded together to commit to the Paris Accord without the president. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s helping lead the effort, said in an interview, “We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed.” Trump’s move to yank America out of the Paris Agreement was criticized by many as abdicating American leadership on the global stage in the face of the climate change crisis. But this group of states, cities, businesses, and universities won’t leave the world to battle the crisis alone. The unnamed group is working with the United Nations to see if their submission can be added to the Paris deal. Related: BREAKING: Trump announces U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement Other mayors include those of Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City. Mars and Hewlett-Packard are among the businesses involved. And presidents or chancellors of universities like Wesleyan and Emory are getting on board as well. Bloomberg said businesses, states, and cities could reach the Obama administration’s Paris goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent down from 2005 levels by 2025. California Governor Jerry Brown, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo formed the United States Climate Alliance immediately in the wake of Trump’s announcement, and called for other states to join in. In a statement, Brown said he doesn’t believe “fighting reality is a good strategy” and that states will step up if the president won’t lead. Even former President Barack Obama broke the silence traditionally maintained by former presidents to help ease the country’s transition into new leadership. He released a statement published by The Washington Post , saying, “…even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.” Via The New York Times Images via Fibonacci Blue on Flickr , The Climate Mayors on Twitter , and Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

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US states and cities say they’re sticking to the Paris Accord without Trump

How Finland plans to completely eradicate tobacco use by 2040

January 27, 2017 by  
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Finland is looking to set a world standard for anti-smoking campaigns , with an ambitious new plan to make the country largely tobacco-free by 2040. That means the Finnish government wants less than 2 percent of adults in the country to consume tobacco in any form – be it cigarettes, snuff, pipes or e-cigarettes – by that time. According to CNN , smoking rates in Finland have been declining on par with those in other industrialized countries around the world – by and large due to things like bans on advertising and shop displays, as well as the creation of smoke-free public spaces. Still, the Finnish government has its work cut out for it, as 16 percent of 15 to 64-year olds in the country smoked as of 2013. That means they need to achieve a 14 percent reduction in just 23 years. Related: Coffee addict? It’s all in your DNA They’re hoping a “revolutionary” approach to tobacco reduction will help them meet the lofty goal. As CNN reports, instead of just targeting one area at a time, like exposure in public space or cigarette use, the Finnish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs plans to be precautionary in every angle, using a “comprehensive set of policies,” according to Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Kaari Paaso . They’re not going halfway by advocating for milder products that do less harm like e-cigarettes or snuff, as happened in neighboring Sweden. Instead, they’re moving to phase out all products. “We don’t want to fall into the trap of other policies that have less harmful products,” said Paaso, noting that he fears the promotion of other products will just create different problems for the health care system to confront down the road. “We want to phase out all products.” Finland plans to use a method that has worked in many other locations, raising the price of cigarettes, but with its own unique take. It plans to charge a licensing fee for vendors and an annual fee to pay for surveillance officers who ensure compliance with rules – which is sure to drive the price of tobacco up even further. Via CNN Images via Pixabay and Pexels

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How Finland plans to completely eradicate tobacco use by 2040

On the slopes of Kilimanjaro, climate change hits coffee

January 26, 2017 by  
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New research shows that if the world hopes to sustain its 2 billion cup-a-day habit, new climate-resilient species of coffee must be developed.

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Dear young people: Create the change you need

January 26, 2017 by  
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Time and again, young people have stepped up to the plate to create the change they need for a vibrant, healthy and sustainable future.

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The 10 most sustainable coffee businesses in the United States

November 22, 2016 by  
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Peet’s rates the roasters giving the coffee industry a caffeine kick in combatting climate change.

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Tokyo factory is transformed into an industrial-chic Blue Bottle Coffee cafe

November 7, 2016 by  
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Topped with a triangular roof, the Blue Bottle Coffee Nakameguro Cafe comprises a cafe on the first floor, as well as a tasting room and a workshop—two kinds of spaces new to Blue Bottle. Wooden countertops, an open floor plan , plants, and transparency temper industrial elements, such as the tall ceilings and concrete surfaces. The coffeehouse serves a community gathering space for workshops or coffee sampling sessions. The Blue Bottle Coffee teams from Japan and the U.S. occupy the upper two floors. Related: Tokyo’s first multistory building made of 100% wood overcomes rigid fire regulations “Since this neighborhood is located far from the station, the streets are lined with many unique and small-sized shops,” writes the architect. “In order to continue the sense of small scale into the space, floors are divided in a stepped-floor style, while utilizing the existing openings formerly used for loading/unloading and storing. Horizontal pivot windows installed on the front glass façade help defining the boundary between the interior and the surrounding environment, while establishing a visual relationship of “see and be seen” so that people become aware of each other’s presence wherever they are in the space.” + Schemata Architecture Office Images via Schemata Architecture Office , by Takumi Ota

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