Drink More Coffee and Save the Environment?

The good (and bad) news about coffee.

In this blog posting Original Wavelength: Drink More Coffee and Save the Environment! the blogger points to recent research showing that used coffee grounds can be turned into biodiesel fuel.  That’s the good news.  We could certainly use more non-fossil fuel, especially when it’s made from a waste product like coffee grounds intead of from a crop like corn grown just for that purpose.

Unfortunately for our concerns about water, the downside to coffee is that it takes approximately 140 liters (37 gallons) of water to bring you one cup of coffee.  Now you might think that would create a very weak brew, but the fact is that most of the water goes into growing the crop and processing the beans before they ever make it to your local Starbucks or your kitchen.  This is sometimes known as virtual water, water that is used in the production of some consumer goods that do not become a part of those goods.  The water is consumed in some faraway place and is only virtually contained in the end product.

So next time you’re standing in line waiting for your latte and reading about the latest water restrictions, remember the 37 gallons of water you’re about to consume.  Do you really want to make that many trips to the restroom later?

Save water….drink water!



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