We all take regular breaks at office in our own way, by having a cup of tea, coffee or even milk. It makes us a little relaxed and for some, it is also a good time to spend with friends. But, how many times have we pondered upon the question of how sustainable are our practices, our habits and our preferences. Yes, speaking about sustainablity might not be a priority for you till now. Imagine a future with landscapes filled with trash, children going to schools wearing masks, commercial air spaces in cities. Is that the future we want to give to the coming generations, from whom we have borrowed this Mother Earth? or you want to be a good parent who wants to give a green, clean and sustainable world to your children. This is where following sustainable practices comes into the picture. We can make sustainable choices in almost everything we do. I will be pondering on a few of them once in a while through this section. I am starting with a little about tea and coffee – not about kinds of teas, not which is tastier of tea and coffee?, not how many cups of coffee or tea should we drink? Rather I am going to talk about the medium through which we take our tea and coffee, what are the implications of it and what are the sustainable alternatives.
The few options we have in which we can have a tea or coffee in general include a paper cup and a ceramic cup (I would restrict myself to these for now). Here is a poster that shows the overall green house gas emissions, landfill contribution and health hazards involved in case of paper cup, styrofoam cup and ceramic cup.
As can be clearly seen usage of ceramic cups is a sustainable alternative to existing paper cup usage. Moreover as far as finances is concerned it reaches financial breakeven with styrofoam cups in 1-2 months and paper cups in 2-3 months. More than that it is very safe for our health and environment too.
Both paper cups and stryofoam cups make disposal a major issue, both of them never biodegrade and even decompose partially. Further usage of steel, glass or porcelain cups is the best option – it is healthy, economical and environmental friendly.
So, all of this said, I would leave it to you to decide what would be your choice for having your tea or coffee. You can even get more creative and use steel and clay cups with designs, prints etc.
Happy Break, catch you again some time soon with another sustainable practice… aloha!