When you drink a cup of coffee, don’t just consider the impact it has on your health or even on the growers of the coffee beans, instead think now of the effects that single cup of coffee may have on the environment. One of our main responsibilities in this world is to take care of the world making sure it’s going to be around for many years to come through responsible living.
Think for a moment how coffee has impacted our world. In order to grow the highly sought-after beans, so much forestry land is being cut down to make way for coffee plantations. This is called the “sun coffee” method. This way coffee beans can be grown with the optimal amount of sunlight, at the expense of other plant life. It allows the highest yield of beans, but this method also destroys the great diversity which once occupied the space. This destruction of biodiversity doesn’t just stop at plant life, it affects the insects and other animals that would normally thrive in the different types of plants.
Additionally, coffee production is known to weaken soil, make it less fertile, and can even lead to unnecessary soil corrosion. This eventually destroys more and more fertile land which will take a lot of time to replace, and may never ever return to its former state.
Many may not realise it, but in order to make just a single litre of coffee, 120 litres of water are needed for the plants. To me, that sounds like a great waste of water. I’m sure there has to be a way to grow coffee in a more ethical and productive matter which doesn’t destroy biodiversities and doesn’t need as much water.
As designers, we find solutions to problems. Right now, an evident problem in our world is the over cultivation of coffee leading to a mass deforestation and waste of resources around the world. We need to find solutions to this, making the production of coffee greener and more sustainable.