Nothing makes this green mom, and primary school teacher, “go” quite like my morning cup of java. Coffee is my favourite part of my morning routine. As the shopper for our family, I try to make choices at the grocery store that reflect my commitment to the environment. For me, that means thinking an awful lot about food packaging. We bring our own bins and bags to the store, use washable mesh produce bags (or simply skip this step, and put produce right in the cart.) We avoid pre-cut, shrink-wrapped veggies on foam trays and buy bulk whenever possible. In the coffee aisle, we have some hard choices to make.
When the shiny new coffee pod machines, like Keurig and Tassimo, hit the market a few years ago, this green mom felt I must confess, a little green with envy. I love my French press coffee maker — don’t get me wrong. As my credit card company can attest to, I’m also no stranger to take-out treats in my reusable mug, from places en route between home and the public school where I teach. Having said that, I’m also a little bit of a gadget geek. I love new technology, particularly when it can make my life easier and save me money. When my parents got a Keurig machine from “Santa” a few Christmases back, it may or may not have been slipped onto the sleigh by yours truly. They’re getting older, I told myself. It doesn’t count if they really *need* one, right? Still, my own kitchen went stoically without.
Then, last year, we got a coffee pod machine at work. The school staff room was abuzz (even before we started brewing) with the news that we were “movin’ on up” in the world, joining fancy dental clinics everywhere. Oh, the flavours! Oh, the convenience! Oh, the garbage… As the in-school Queen of Green, I felt obligated to frown upon this particular “school improvement.” Nevermind the delicious aroma drifting from the shiny new machine, I was not, I decided, going to join the fun. Nothing, by the way, is less becoming than me wearing my “Hmph!” face, while you are trying to enjoy your delicious cup of hazelnut java.
I was thrilled, this fall, to learn that someone has finally addressed the coffee pod packaging problem! GoJava, an online coffee supply company, has partnered with TerraCycle, to actually collect and recycle your coffee pods, when you are done with them! In keeping with the theme of custom, convenient coffee, GoJava.ca is an easy-to-shop website with a huge variety of coffee pod brands and flavours. You can even send people (like your favourite teacher, for example) gift cards this Christmas. GoJava offers free next-day delivery and takes away your used pods when they make your next delivery. So simple!
As our school works towards improving our eco-school status, the staff was thrilled to learn that GoJava will deliver our new coffee pods, and pick-up our used ones, right from our door. They’ll even come into the office to get our GoJava bin from us. “Hassle-free” indeed! Children in our K-5 school are excited to see that their teachers are working to make personal strides in our own green practices, as well as in the classroom. I was able to share the process with my students, who were full of questions about how it works. You may be too:
First, you place a coffee order on the GoJava.ca website. Being paperless is a big part of being a green business. Your order gets delivered the very next day, arriving in a repurposed cardboard box, to reduce your order’s footprint even further. I recognized a kindred spirit in GoJava when I saw this, as it is something I do myself at iSpy Clothing (my own green business, a children’s clothing resale shop.) GoJava picks up the used coffee pods from your home or office, at no additional cost, when they deliver your next coffee pod order. You can even throw in used pods bought elsewhere, and any baby food squeeze tubes you may have, since TerraCycle recycles those too. When they have a full load, GoJava gets the pods to the folks at TerraCycle, who use machines to separate the coffee from the plastic. The coffee grounds get composted. The plastic gets recycled into plastic lumber that is used for things like park benches and playgrounds. Now that’s a project a green mom can get behind!
If you’d like to give GoJava a try at your place, you can save $10 on your first order with the coupon code DISCOUNT10. To learn more about the GoJava coffee pod recycling program, their partnership with Terracycle, and order your coffee pods and recycling bin visit them online at www.GoJava.ca You can also follow GoJava on Facebook at GoJava.ca and on Twitter as @GoJavaDotCa for all their latest coffee news. For myself, I’m so excited I can finally say “Go” to instant java.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GoJava. I am genuinely excited that a local Toronto company is finding a solution to the problem of coffee pods.