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Cup of Virtue: Grounds for Change Uses Carbon Offsets to Become First Carbon-Free Coffee Roaster

Searching for that truly virtuous cup of coffee? If you’ve looked into the impact of your morning cup of joe recently, chances are you know that most coffees are their greenest when they’re still on the plantation, or maybe the tree.

Roasting, shipping, marketing, bagging and processing all take a lot of energy, and most coffee in the world travels a fair distance before it ends up in our french presses. Coffee is an equatorial crop, and we don’t all live on the equator.

A coffee roaster in Seattle has decided that the bitter aftertaste of unsustainable coffee production has got to go. So they did something about it. Grounds for Change, a family-owned company, has become the first coffee roaster to offset 100% of their global warming emissions produced in bringing their coffee to market. That’s right, carbon-neutral coffee.

Grounds for Change has recently worked with Carbonfund.org to tally up their carbon footprint from production and distribution of their coffee. Carbonfund.org, a nonprofit that provides carbon offsets and carbon emissions calculation services, has now certified Grounds for Change as 100% CarbonFree. This certification makes Grounds for Change the first coffee roaster to attain this certification. They’ll be planting trees for all of the non-renewable energy they use, and choosing renewable energy such as wind power for the rest.

Grounds for Change sells their coffee online and to local coffeehouses, and they participate in 1% For the Planet, which allows them to contribute 1% of their sales to environmental groups worldwide. Oh, and by the way, Grounds for Change sells only Certified Organic, Certified Fair Trade, Shade Grown Coffee. Now that would be enough for most roasters, but I’m also told that the coffee is quite delicious to boot.

So go ahead, have that cup of coffee, stare into its virtuous blackness, and think of the potential of a carbon-neutral future. Could you pass the cream and sugar?

Image credit: mikefats at flickr under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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