Bad News for Coffee Lovers?
We can all relate to having trouble getting up in the mornings; especially through the winter months when leaving your warm bed seems like abject madness in light of venturing out into the grey drizzle of a still-dark outside world.
Similarly, everyone keeps some sort of start-of-the-day routine to help offset the early-morning blues, and whether you’re a top executive or a busy mother of two, you’ll probably relish the thought of a comforting a.m. coffee.
As the second most-traded global commodity, it appears that the population of Arabica coffee has carved itself a special place in contemporary culture. There are over ten thousand coffee shops sitting pretty in the UK alone and Arabica coffee in particular makes up 70% of what we drink in them, and at home.
Surprisingly though, it isn’t our feverish consumerism that’s moved coffee to extinction; it’s the standby settings on our TVs. Global warming seems to want to ruin everything fun. Our beautiful ice caps, our sunny summers… and now our go-to pick me up too.
Can you imagine a world with no coffee?
The fact that the delicate Arabica strain comes from a limited genetic stock means that the crop is all the more susceptible to pests and diseases, which is hugely worrying considering the depletion of crops due to deforestation. Plus, certain pests are thriving in the warmer climates brought on by global warming – pests that love coffee.
In the Western world, we’d probably just stick up some giant, climate-controlled greenhouses, spray our crops with an ocean of pesticides and be done with it. Unfortunately that’s just not possible in poorer countries such as Ethiopia and Brazil where much of the world’s coffee is grown. They simply don’t have the resources, nor the money, to combat the effects of global warming.
Are you as worried as I am? Not only are we facing a planet that’s dying on us, we won’t be able to have a soothing latte to calm our shaking nerves when we finally the irreparable damage we’ve done!
So to prevent us all from becoming a planet of under-caffeinated narcoleptics, and to save Mother Nature in the process, here are a few things you can do to help reduce how bad you feel when you think about climate change:
Try to use energy efficient light bulbs wherever possible. Not only will they save you money, but they have an extended running life of around 15,000 hours which equates to about two years, so less wastage too.
Be sure to switch off all electronics and lights when your appliances aren’t in use. The ‘standby’ setting can cost UK households from £50 to £86 per year, so killing the power as soon as your washing machine is finished can make a big difference to your planet, and to your pocket.
Instead of reaching for the thermostat when you start to get winter chills, try to layer up with extra clothing. Heating accounts for around one half of the average household energy bill, so this will save you money and help conserve natural resources.
By switching to public transport rather than driving to work each day you can reduce your carbon footprint and the release of other toxic emissions into the atmosphere. Maybe orchestrate a car-pool system if this isn’t a good option for you, or try riding a bicycle to work. Healthy O-Zone layer, healthy lungs!
It also helps to ensure that office equipment isn’t left on when it isn’t being used. Maybe switch photocopiers and shredders off at the wall fixture when they’re stood inactive, and look for energy efficient designs that’ll help to keep your working environment eco-friendly.
The little touches make all the difference. Substituting paper table covers for long-lasting, wipeable tablecloths and doing away with disposable napkins and plastic cutlery will reduce the amount of waste that ends up going to landfill.
If you have any ideas for saving energy at work or at home, get in touch and let us know!
Estelle Page is a self-employed interior designer whose morning routine requires a hot cup of Joe to coax her out of hibernation. When she’s not writing for Wipe-Easy Tablecloths, she’s finding new trinkets for her eco-friendly home.
- Arabica coffee becoming extinct in the wild? (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Another Reason to Hate Global Warming: Lousy Coffee (businessweek.com)
- Global warming puts Wild Arabica coffee plants at risk (summitcountyvoice.com)