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5 Ways to Ensure You’re Buying Eco-Friendly Coffee

Environmentalism is having a serious moment right now, and it’s about damn time. Straws are the current vice on the chopping block, with Starbucks announcing that they plan to stop using disposable plastic straws by 2020, switching to recyclable plastic lids. But straws aren’t the biggest issue you should consider when reaching for your summery iced coffee. Coffee itself can be a source of environmental devastation, with 2.5 million acres of Central American rainforest having been cleared to cultivate the crop. There are also other problems to consider, like human and labor rights issues for workers in developing countries and the production of takeaway cups that end up in landfills. If you love your brew, here are some guidelines for making sure it’s eco-friendly and responsibly sourced.

2. Don’t use disposable coffee containers or pods. It goes without saying that anyone concerned about their environmental impact should steer clear of disposable products, which clog up landfills and waterways. The environmental problems inherent with Keurig cups, for example, are well-known. But even your takeaway Starbucks mug, recyclable though it may be, isn’t as good of a choice as a reusable thermos: According to the BBC, 99.75 percent of takeaway coffee cups are not recycled.

3. Look for the words “Fair Trade Certified.” Much like the Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade USA helps ensure that your cup of coffee is responsibly sourced. Though the organization does have an environmental component, its focus is on ensuring that people in developing countries are paid a fair wage for the products they cultivate. By helping to achieve income stability in developing regions, the organization encourages farmers to avoid environmentally destructive farming practices. Fairtrade America, part of Fairtrade International, is the other major US non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable practices and improving working conditions and wages for farmers. Java that has both Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade certification is your best bet for ethical coffee.

4. Buy coffee from local roasters. Support your local community by shopping small and purchasing coffee from a local roaster in your area. This has the advantage of letting you meet your roaster, so you can ask questions about where the coffee comes from and whether or not it’s Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade certified.

5. Buy organic when possible. Buying organic coffee can be a good move for the environment, as coffee is one of the most highly pesticide-sprayed crops on the planet. However, Coffee Kind also notes that the process of being certified organic is extremely cumbersome and difficult, so many small-batch farmers who technically grow their coffee organically never go through the process of becoming certified. This is yet another reason to get your coffee from a local roaster who can tell you all about the quality of the coffee you are purchasing.

Tweet us @BritandCo with a tip on where to score your favorite eco-friendly coffee!

(Photo via Getty)

Alright, folks. We've officially made it to fall. And if you haven't already started switching out your decor (as long as it's ready by Friendsgiving, right?) you still have time to do so. Draw inspiration from this round-up of new home products that includes harvest-inspired candles, cozy linens and textiles, and a v. practical piece of furniture. One scroll through these, and you'll have all the motivation you need to transition the seasons. Scroll on to start shopping.

Prism x LOREM Collection ($96+): Calling all Cali babes. The popular Long Beach boutique, Prism, announced a boho-fabulous collab with home decor line, LOREM, that we can't get enough of. Shop everything from plant hangers (eight options, to be exact) to artwork, all inspired by the very colorful vibes of the brands. If you were looking for a cheery way to tide you through winter, this. is. it!

Floyd Mattress (Price TBD): Fans of the cult-favorite Detroit-based brand will love their latest launch debuting on October 29. The highly-coveted Floyd Mattress will have the same made-to-last design and superior comfort as their other furnishings, tailored perfectly to fit the line's in-demand bed frame. Additional details for the mattress include a breathable foam material, highly-mobile packaging, and a low-profile design to secure your best night's sleep yet. Check back on the last week of the month to get one for yourself.

Dims 'Composed Vanity' ($595): Small space? No problem! Direct-to-consumer brand, Dims, is giving you a quick and stylish solution to your storage needs with their newest item that doubles as both a desk and vanity. The functional piece is made with non-toxic, chemical-free materials and can be assembled in seven minutes or less. Throw in four sleek shades to choose from, and this may just be your best purchase of 2019 yet!

Saatchi Art x The Citizenry Holiday Collection ($225+): Get ready to deck your walls this holiday season. Saatchi Art partnered with The Citizenry in a one-of-a-kind collection that features a curation of art across styles. Explore everything from modern to abstract creations in a selection so stunning, it's bound to spark a conversation at your next gathering.

NEST Spiced Orange & Clove Collection ($16+): If you haven't experienced the addicting aromas of the beloved NEST fragrance brand, this is the perfect time to get on board! The label recently released their latest scent — spiced orange & clove — just in time for all your gatherings. Inhale festive notes of orange pomander, spiced brandy, cinnamon, and gingered honey across their suite of candles and diffusers to bring all the good vibes to your home.

Bloomingdales x RiLEY Home ($19+): RiLEY Home gets millennials. So they teamed up with Bloomingdales to make shopping their selection more attainable than ever. Now, you can get in on long-lasting, luxurious staples like flannel sheets, bedding, printed throws, premium pet beds, and more, by shopping online and in-stores at the department store. (Trust us: These dream goods are ones you're going to be *glad* you stocked-up on.)

Italic Serene Towels ($12+): The luxury brand that prides itself on using the *same* factories namesake brands (like Calvin Klein and Lacoste) use, but without the price tag behind them, brings you a new product for fall. Treat yourself to Italic's ultra-soft towel set spun from fluffy, 100% Australian cotton, in a convenient set of six. Consider it the perfect indulgence after a long soak in the tub on a cozy FNI (Friday night in)!

Hyascent x Neiman Marcus ($169): 'Tis the season for a delightfully scented home. Warm your abode with scents like bourbon joy, cheeky rose and more in a unique diffuser that doubles more as decor than a fragrance-inducer. Fresh off the (online) shelves of Neiman Marcus, explore nine scents that last up to six months in a specialized hourglass holder. (Shhh! Your friends will never know the secret of why your place smells so darn good!)