Easy Ways to Practice Sustainability, According to This World-Famous Coffee Brand

Nespresso Club members visit Holy Carabao farm to learn about eco-friendly practices.
Easy Ways to Practice Sustainability, According to This World-Famous Coffee Brand

As the effects of climate change continue to spread, it’s never been more urgent for everyone to start considering an eco-friendly lifestyle. But what exactly does it mean to live sustainably? In a nutshell, it’s all about being mindful of your carbon footprint and reducing your use of natural resources. While switching lifestyles may seem overwhelming, it can be a lot more doable if you break it down into small steps. Below, a few eco-friendly practices you can easily incorporate into your daily life.

Support companies that are environmentally sensitive.

The push companies need to go green start with the consumer. Patronize local, eco-friendly brands, and businesses will realize how big a factor sustainability is when it comes to market trends. You’ll also feel a lot less guilty when you choose to support eco-friendly brands—and you won’t even have to compromise anything in your daily routine.

For example, enjoy a cup of morning coffee—sans the guilt—with Nespresso’s coffee capsule recycling program. Just recently, Nespresso hosted an event at a local organic farm in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Holy Carabao to spread awareness about this initiative with its Nespresso Club members. Essentially, once you’re done with a capsule, you can bring it back to any Nespresso Boutique or Pop-Stores. The returned Nespresso coffee capsules are then processed for recycling. They are separated from the coffee grounds, shredded, and turned over to partner smelter Katipunan Metals Corporation. The company recycles it back to its raw form and uses it to manufacture other aluminum products, like bicycle parts, automotive parts, and kitchenware.

“It’s good because it's bringing in local players to participate. I would come across friends who would tell me that I’m not doing a service to the environment because of my purchase, but I would tell them, ‘That’s not true because they actually recycle!’” said Kristia Mercado, a Nespresso club member.

Not only does Nespresso recycle its used capsules, it upcycles them as well. The brand has partnered with Bacolod-based foundation Negrense Volunteers for Change. Besides nutrition and education programs, the NGO has livelihood projects wherein they teach local artisans how to craft art pieces using broken tiles, eggshells, and used Nespresso capsules. The organization then markets these pieces in local fairs such as Artefino and Negrense Trade Fair. The proceeds then go to the feeding and education programs of the organization.

"I was really surprised," said Loren Ching, another club member. "Someone told me that they recycle the coffee grounds, but I didn’t know that they also upcycle the capsules. That’s really good. That’s what I felt guilty about because I drink about four cups a day."

Learn about composting.

Composting is a great way to reduce your food waste and turn your scraps into something that will feed your urban garden. It adds nutrients back into the soil, which increases food quality. Here’s what you’ll need: brown materials that are carbon-rich, like dry leaves, wood chips, and sawdust; and green materials that are nitrogen-rich materials, like eggshells, vegetable and fruit scraps, and even coffee grounds. Place them in a composting bin, and dispose of your food scraps in it.

You can use the compost to fuel a small garden full of fresh fruits, herbs, or vegetables. "City farming should really be a thing," said Nespresso club member Alden Ching. "We should teach our children more about recycling and planting food."

True to the brand’s sustainability commitment, Nespresso partnered with Holy Carabao to use residual coffee grounds as organic fertilizer to improve and provide much-needed nutrients to the soil. “Nespresso contacted us because of its desire to partner with a farm in order to compost its coffee grounds. We are happy to partner with any brand, big or small, who share our philosophies on ethical business and environmental practices,” said Holy Carabao co-owner Hindy Tantoco-Weber.

The club members were grateful to learn about how easy it is to do this practice. "I always try to be eco-conscious," said Loren Ching, "but this is one of the things that I didn’t know I can do because I live in the city and there’s not a lot of places where you can learn or do composting."

Schedule an eco-sabbath and dial down your demand for energy for a day.

An eco-sabbath is basically a rest day for you and the environment. Commit a day, an afternoon, or even an hour a week to not using electricity. Prepare for that day by planning it so you won’t need any electronics, appliances, or transport. Perhaps you can dedicate the day to reading a novel you haven’t had time for, or use the day to meditate and exercise. Doing this not only helps the environment, it also serves as a time when you can truly relax and live unplugged.

Watch this video to learn more about Nespresso's recycling program and how the Nespresso club members spent their day at Holy Carabao Farm:

Remember that it may take a while to change your habits but you can always start small and make a difference! For more info, visit www.nespresso.ph

This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with Nespresso.