Coffee That Does Good
Posted on March 26 2021,
Coffee That is good - and does good!
Do no harm. I don't know if it is the Boy Scout in me, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been picking up trash or finding ways to recycle - such as repurposing abandoned wood or old metal and turning it into something new and useful. So it just comes naturally that one of our core values at Bald Guy Brew is to be eco-friendly.
However, it can be hard to be “green” when your coffee travels halfway around the world. So, how does a coffee roasting company with retail locations strive to be eco-friendly? It starts with a belief and a conviction.
You may not know this about me, but in addition to being a coffee roaster, I'm also an ordained minister. So my belief stems from the day God charged man to take care of a garden. The creation story does not authorize the destruction of mountains, rivers, and coastlines. Instead, it points to a responsibility, an environmental mandate, that, in my opinion, still needs to be carried out.
You don't have to share my beliefs to share my values, and if you're reading this article, I'm guessing you care about protecting the environment too.
This was as important to me the day I started my business, over a decade ago, as it is to me today. And whether it's caring for the environment, or caring about the well-being of our coffee farmers who live a world away, or caring about our local community, I firmly believe a business should be doing good in this world - and if it's not, what good is it?
Here's a clip from 2016, when I was invited to speak about the importance of a business doing good at The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University.
For me, being able to combine my desire to do good with my passion for great coffee is the greatest gift of all and something I'm focused on every day. So just how do we do it at Bald Guy Brew?
The 'How' of Being Eco-Friendly
The "how" of being an eco-friendly business starts with the 5 R's: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle.
Refusing to purchase wasteful or non-recyclable products is the first step. That is where conviction comes into play. There can be no change of action without changes in what we perceive our responsibilities to be. I don't necessarily like the cost of buying products for our business that are "green," but if I compromise at this stage, I've already thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
Reducing the use of harmful, wasteful, and non-recyclable products is the second step. That is why all of our cups and lids (hot and cold beverages) are 100% petroleum-free as well as 100% biodegradable and compostable. In the fall of 2020, we switched to 100% recycled poly mailers while shipping our organic coffee in PLA (a corn-based film) lined bags.
Last fall, we switched from purchasing syrups to making our own organic syrups in-house for our retail locations. Along with doing away with bottled water (we now carry canned), we reduced our waste plastic by 26 pounds since we made these changes.
3. Re-use ...and 4. Repurpose
If you have ever visited the roastery, you know I'm a big fan of reusing and repurposing anything I can get my hands on. After the fire in 2016, I had to start over. Fortunately, I live in a community that values reusing and repurposing odd and sundry items. I can't tell you how many times someone has brought me something that's been just what I needed!
Finally, and probably the easiest one of them all, is recycling or finding a good home for the waste products we incur. Everything has a use and a home, from burlap bags, wooden pallets, and lots of boxes, to the “GrainPro” bags that are used to ship our coffee.
Can we do more? Of course!
Just this week, I met with the town manager of Blowing Rock along with the head of landscaping to formulate a plan to compost our coffee grounds.
We also recently became an Eden Reforestation Project partner and have committed to planting at least 3,000 trees and contributing 1,000 volunteer hours in 2021.
The next big project is to build a press to compact our coffee chaff and turn it into fire pucks. The fun thing about all of this is if it doesn't work, we can try something new, as there is always room for improvement.
A friend once told me that elephants don't bite, but mosquitos do! The key to an eco-friendly business isn't the big things...those are easy. It is in the little things that we do that add up and make a difference.
If you feel like it, let me know how you incorporate the 5 R's in your business or home!