Thursday, October 9, 2008

Zero Carbon Coffee?

We may have a new heavyweight champion for most tree-huggiest company of all time.

Grounds for Change already sells organic, fair-trade, shade-grown coffee roasted using 100 percent renewable electricity. They also donate one percent of sales to environmental organizations.

And now they're offsetting 100 percent of their emissions with CarbonFund.org. I mean, I don't think it could be any greener if each bean was hand-raised by Al Gore.

Check out their "comprehensive 'crop to cup' analysis" of their carbon footprint:
  1. Organic cultivation of coffee plant
  2. Non-mechanized harvest of coffee cherries
  3. Pulping and washing of cherries (to extract beans)
  4. Sun drying of coffee beans
  5. Transport of beans to dry mill for hulling
  6. Burlap bags used to contain finished green coffee
  7. Transport to port city in country of origin
  8. Ocean transport from origin to US west coast ports
  9. Warehousing in US port cities
  10. Transport to Grounds for Change roastery
  11. All energy used in roasting processes
  12. All energy used in operations and business travel
  13. Coffee packaging materials, labels and shipping boxes
  14. Transport of finished coffee to customer
  15. Customer disposal of empty coffee bag
What, they're not offsetting my half and half too? Greenwashers! (I kid.)

Grounds for Change also offers blends from Cafe Femenino Mexico, which "is a new origin for this special project that empowers women coffee farmers by involving them in every step of the coffee production process."

The Green Miles ordered a pound of the Sumatran and a pound of the El Salvador. The shipping is a bit steep, starting at $6.20. But the pound bags are $1.50 off right now, so that makes up for it nicely.

My current favorite coffees are the Starbucks Organic Sumatra-Peru Blend and the Sulawesi from Central Coffee Roasters. I'll let you know how the Grounds for Change coffees stack up!
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