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Thread: The green discussion

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    South Coast NSW

    The green discussion

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    No, not about green coffee this time *:o
    After having just carried 40 buckets of water from the washing machine to put on the garden, I had a thought about the environment, and the things that I can do to give it a helping hand.

    I’ve seen people make mention of the things they do to in relation to their coffee making routines that help to reduce their ‘footprint’ on the environment, whether it was intentional or not.
    Some of the things that spring to mind are:
    - composting used coffee grounds,
    - using spent coffee on the garden as a fertilizer,
    - using spent coffee as a pest repellent around the garden,
    all of these lead to a small reduction in land-fill at the tip and a reduction in the use of chemical pesticides, and fertilizers.
    - using insulation on espresso machine boilers to cut down on power costs,
    - people using rainwater in their machines (this may be a necessity rather than choice of course).

    Do you think that we as ‘Coffee Snobs’ are a bit more environmentally aware, or is it just that our habits generate more waste and that we have to think of creative ways of getting rid of it? *:-?
    I want this to be a fun discussion, and not become a political debate, or a ‘my eco-credentials are better than yours’ type argument. *;)
    I’d be interested to see what other people are doing, no matter how small it may be, that would be perceived as being ‘eco-friendly’. It doesn’t have to be limited to your coffee making habits either. The rest of us might pick up a few pointers along the way as well. *:)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: The green discussion

    Hmm, good discussion, Lovey! Hopefully, it will stay fun and light.

    Personally, I have stopped throwing out the coffee grinds from work and bring them home for the compost and garden. About a shopping bags worth every other day. I also have started "crushing" the milk containers down via the use of the steam wand, as per someone elses suggestion here that I read. I think TG talked about that one somewhere.

    As we work in an industry that has been blamed for terrible things being done to the environment over the years, I actually think that we are more conscious of what we do do to our own little part of the world. Spraying has over the years been an ugly business and especially over the cotton, however, I can tell you now that things are way different and that most of you use worse chemicals in your own homes than we do over a field of whatever crop.

    Also, I think at home, Ive been made to rethink what chemicals I use around the house due to having a biocycle septic system. In order to keep it functioning with the good bacteria, we cant just throw just any old chemical into it as it will kill the bacteria. So things like bleaches are not biocycle friendly. However, stuff like food scraps and the like are well liked by the septic! It does really make you think about what you buy and use in the house. I am very careful of not using products high in phosphorus and I actually use a soap powder in the laundry that claims to be phosporus free. Of course, the upshot to all of this is we have the greenest patch of lawn out round the back of the house that is kept nicely watered by the treated water from the septic.

    On the water saving issue, Im probably a bit slack there as we have bore water which is not unlimited. (However we do pay for it and that is probably just as a good way to limit usage.) Having horses and other domestic animals it is vital, IMO that they have as much water as they need. Weve installed on most of the water troughs automatic fillers, whether they are water saving or not I am not sure. I do have gardens that are fairly drought tolerant, anything that cant survive drought for any length of time is not "drought tolerant" and wont be planted again!

    No one washes cars out in the bush and one friend has even stated that she is not going to wash the car until it rains. So, imagine her disappointment the other week when she took it to get a service and the very nice men gave her car a wash! I had a laugh! Even my scooter is dirty but the Duke gets a cover put over her so shes kept nice and shiney. Except for the spiders of course! Cant stop them!

    They also say that frogs are a great indicator of a healthy eco system. Well, if that is true then out here were doing very well! I dont know where frogs go when there is no rain but as soon as there is a hint of it, my house echos with the sound of big green frogs trying to out do one another in the bellowing stakes! And I am always chasing them out of the toilet! Which is no mean feat considering that we are 12 feet up off the ground! Talk about persistent!

    I like to think we dont have a huge impact on the environment, though in reality we probably do. I do after all own two cats! :D ;D

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Re: The green discussion

    We get 100% of our power from renewable sources. Sure it costs a bit more, but its the long-term impacts that make a difference, rather than short term gains in the pocketbook.

  4. #4
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: The green discussion

    I was born in the country and I think thats rubbed off on me because despite living in the city for over 40 years now I still am a country boy at heart.

    Ive always tried to save water. I dont always but do occasionally water the lawn with the rinse water from the washing machine. More so of late due to the drought.

    I dont remember the last time I washed a car of mine. I had my first one for over 12 years and washed it maybe three times.
    Ive had this one for 10 so far and its going strong.

    Ive previously used a compost bin for my lawn clippings but I dont garden as much as I used to so have stopped that now.
    I do put a lot of spent pucks into my remaining little garden bed and mix some into my watering can for the pot plants.
    Ive also started mixing up a bug repellant from espresso (1 part espresso 19 parts water). I just pull a second shot through a spent puck. I figure the bugs are gonna be repelled even further with an overextracted brew.

    I now have energy saving bulbs throughout most of the house.

    The ceiling was pumped full of recycled paper insulation probably 20 years ago now.
    That radically cooled the house down in summer and saved on fan use.

    If you open the windows just right and keep the sun out with curtains/blinds, you can reduce cooling costs and vice versa in winter.

    We tiled all the floors in the house a few years back.
    They are cool in summer and in winter you let them catch as much sun as possible through the day and they radiate heat back at night.

    I have 2 recycle bins.

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