The environmental cost of the pumpkin spice latte

September 13, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

With fall around the corner, the pumpkin spice latte (PSL) has already taken over Starbucks menus across the country, and it’s likely that the crisp mornings will send you straight for the drive-thru. But before you prove your loyalty to the iconic, autumnal beverage, consider the effects your morning brew might have on the environment and your health, from the ingredients to the drive-thru to the disposable cups. The ingredients can be bad for the Earth and our health The recipe varies from one place to another, but it’s worth asking the question, “What is in that pumpkin spice latte, anyway?” Most contain a combination of traditional fall spices, steamed milk, espresso, often sugar and sometimes some pumpkin puree, topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. While that might sound wholesome, researchers have found things like sulfites, potassium sorbate and annatto, which have been linked to breathing conditions, damage to genetic material and effects on blood pressure. Even when Starbucks announced its intention to switch to real pumpkin instead of a mixture of artificial flavors, other ingredients might also be problematic, such as commercially produced milk and non-organic pumpkin that contributes antibiotics, pesticides , insecticides and herbicides to our diets and ecosystems. Organic is a better option, and some groups have pressured Starbucks to make the change to no avail. Related: The problem with coffee pods and the eco-friendly alternatives to use instead You should also know the concoction is barely even coffee, with a very low amount of caffeine. While it’s difficult to know exactly what’s mixed into your cup, before you indulge, do your own research about what you’re ordering. Note that a 16-ounce cup, or “grande,” with 2 percent milk and whipped cream serves up 380 calories , 14 grams of fat, 52 grams of carbs and 50 grams of sugar. PSL impacts our planet in many ways Cultivating the ingredients for your cup of seasonal Joe is rough on the planet. Consider the impact to the Amazon alone, where 2.5 million acres have been cleared in favor of coffee plantations over the past few decades. Sure, your single PSL isn’t to blame, but the cultural and habitual elements of the daily coffee run are; not to mention the whipped cream topping and the ever-growing awareness of the effect cattle has on the planet. Animal agriculture is one of our planet’s largest contributors to air quality issues, making that frothy topping and milky foundation anything but a treat. Then, there is the fact that coffee is a water-intensive crop, with Mother Nature Network reporting that it takes about 37 gallons of water to grow and process the coffee beans to make one cup of coffee . Take into account the process of making a cup of PSL and washing dishes afterward, too. Humans are responsible for polluting our waterways , which comes as no surprise after many years of headlines regarding landfills, lawn fertilizer runoff and microbeads. What you might not realize is something as simple as a cup of PSL can result in water pollution. While it might not be as toxic as Roundup , a group called Sound Citizen has monitored the waterways around the Pacific Northwest for the past decade and reported finding higher amounts of cinnamon and pumpkin spice throughout the fall season. PSLs leave a trail of waste Following the damage that the ingredients of the PSL have on the planet is the waste left behind. To perform at the level we expect, manufacturers coat the disposable paper cups in plastic, for which the planet does not thank us. Even when the paper manages to break down naturally, the residual plastic is left to sit in the soil and eventually the waterways. Add to that the plastic lids and straws (unless of course, you have your own ), and you’ve contributed plentiful carbon emissions and landfill waste in a single sip. The larger point to this is that everything we produce and consume has an effect on the water and earth, from the pumpkin and coffee remnants tossed at the cafe to the garbage full of drippy, plastic-lined cups to the waste we release in our urine. How to enjoy an eco-friendly PSL You might not be able to pass up the PSL 100 percent of the time, and we’re not saying you should, but awareness is a huge part of the battle. There are several things you can do to lessen the burden on the planet. Firstly, bring your own refillable cup and skip the single-use option. At the very least, avoid the lid and straw. Secondly, skip the whipped cream and opt for soy or almond milk options. Finally, avoid idling in the drive-thru. Organize coffee stop carpools at the office, walk to your morning spot or at least turn off the engine while you wait. Related: The homesteader’s guide to a perfect pumpkin spice latte Another alternative option is to make your own PSL at home. Enjoy the warmth and endearing scent emanating from your mug with ingredients sourced locally. Plus, using your own recipe means you know what went into it, like organic milk and pumpkin. If you’re not sold on making your own concoction, seek out local coffee shops that offer organic and natural ingredients. Cheers! Via Care2 , Society 19 , Earth Day , Independent , Mother Nature Network and Atlas Obscura Images via Pexels , Mimzy , Robert Couse-Baker , Daniel Spils and Jill Wellington

Here is the original:
The environmental cost of the pumpkin spice latte

How Kohler turned production ‘waste’ into a new tile line

September 13, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

It took more than three years of experimentation with industrial byproducts to hit on the right formula.

See more here:
How Kohler turned production ‘waste’ into a new tile line

Extreme heat is a growing business risk

September 13, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

There are 20 times more deaths caused by rising temperatures than by hurricanes. It’s time to design communities with that in mind.

Read the original post:
Extreme heat is a growing business risk

Here are the winners and losers on climate policy in 2019

September 13, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

State lawmakers this year made it easier to get renewables in some parts of the country, but others gutted clean energy expansion.

View original here:
Here are the winners and losers on climate policy in 2019

Episode 188: What’s up with former Unilever CEO Paul Polman; one busy day for Interface CSO Erin Meezan

September 13, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Plus, for the Tillamook County Creamery, sustainability is a multigenerational thing.

More:
Episode 188: What’s up with former Unilever CEO Paul Polman; one busy day for Interface CSO Erin Meezan

A seemingly insatiable appetite for food startups

September 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

After years of nibbling at the market, venture funds are investing in an increasingly diverse menu of entrepreneurs, ranging from food waste crusaders to alternative protein providers.

Go here to read the rest:
A seemingly insatiable appetite for food startups

Utilities are getting in on the microgrid action to make communities more resilient

September 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

The technology can help withstand catastrophic events and allow for quicker recoveries when the worst occurs.

Here is the original post:
Utilities are getting in on the microgrid action to make communities more resilient

Dig for legitimacy: The case for good ESG in mining

September 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Increasing scrutiny has delivered major improvements in the mining industry’s approach to environmental and social governance.

Original post:
Dig for legitimacy: The case for good ESG in mining

Restaurants are helping to drive carbon farming practices

September 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The industry that’s bigger than agriculture and retail can incentivize regenerative land management practices.

View original here:
Restaurants are helping to drive carbon farming practices

4 reasons why urban landscapes are a linchpin for climate resilience

September 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Properly designed and managed using sustainable landscape strategies, outdoor areas can help communities significantly.

See the rest here:
4 reasons why urban landscapes are a linchpin for climate resilience

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1220 access attempts in the last 7 days.