Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘environmental sustainability’

Getting back to the brewHoliday season 2008… that means CoffeeInAction has left the desperate public with nothing to buzz about. We sincerely apologize. Not to worry. The book of everything (our log and notebook from the trip) has found its way back into our loving hands. Charming Chicago is next and both Melanie and Sara were, in fact, charmed. The “Windy City” is filled with social entreprenuers, local-community oriented businesses, and of course, sustainable coffee. Not to mention good friends and great times! And I (Sara) do promise you the conclusion of our road trip, and maybe some insight into our learning by February 2009. If not, I will buy anyone who has been negatively affected by our slacking a bag of sustainable coffee when they come to visit in Boulder. Happy reading!

Personal updates en route as well.

Read Full Post »

March 8th, 2008
First Day in Colorado!

Driving out of New Mexico into the breaking dawn; the inky midnight sky evolved into deep hazy blue. A slight glow cresting in the distance beckoned us on, “sunshine is coming, this will be a good day”. The horizon brightened in the East and Melanie drifted in and out of dreamy sleep as Sara drove on.

Switch.

big sky country

Big skies and bold mountains held Melanie’s attention.woah!

Sara slept. And slept. And slept. sleeeeeeeping
…and then…
We finally arrived in Denver. We went straight to see Kate and Rachel. Laughter and loving ensued. We were only able to hug Rachel before she flew away back to Northampton. Since the supposed 9 hour drive only took us 6, we had a few hours to relax. What do people on a coffee tour do? Go to coffee shops of course. Kate’s friend directed us over to St. Marks Coffeehouse. Once again, our coffee was paired with excellent conversation while sitting outside in the sunshine. 300 days of sun in Colorado seemed to be coming true for us.

 

Kate took over driving up to Fort Collins since our clutch muscles were cramped. The sunshine continued as we unloaded at our friend Chris’ house.

The evening took us over to a business that enlightened our environmental minds. The New Belgium Brewing Company, besides making some incredibly tasty beer, focuses on the same things that CoffeeInAction does: environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and community; the three seeds. Their website, which is also pretty cool, lists what they are doing to be more conscious on a day to day basis. Check out their sustainability practices:

  1. Increased efficiencies in the brewing process
  2. Utilized green design throughout our building
  3. Implemented a process for treating our wastewater
  4. On-site energy production
  5. Wind-powered electricity since 1999
  6. Employ a High Involvement Culture
  7. Sustainable Eventing
  8. Actionable Advocacy
  9. Constant benchmarking
  10. Partnering to support innovative technology

We learned a lot at the brewery in Fort Collins and while exploring the website. According to our host Chris jobs at New Belgium are hard to come by because they provide ownership into the company after a year and support riding your bike to work by giving each employee/owner a new bike!

p3080188.jpg Chris and Kate

p3080201.jpg three united!

– Sara Rose and Melanie

Read Full Post »

Friday February 22, 2008

A phone interview with a local NY newspaper forced Melanie and I out of bed after dancing our booties off to bluegrass the night before. We hurried over to Izzy’s, a cozy and modern shop, patronized by Asheville hipsters of all ages for our morning coffee. The Baristas, Elizabeth and Susannah, were completely understanding of our traveling office. We found a quiet corner in the back and chatted with Dina from the newspaper for about an hour, answering questions about our friendship, our roadtrip, and our interest (or slight obsession) in coffee.

Coffee In Action Interviews

I learned that Asheville businesses who wish to recycle must bring their own to the recycling center. Izzy’s also reduces their own waste by composting their coffee grinds to the owners’ back yard. I ordered a soy cappuccino and scientifically geeked out with Elizabeth about air bubbles! The two lovely baristas recommended we make our last stop in Asheville a visit to Jay at The Dripolator.

Jay
Hi Jay!
At the Dripolator, a few aspects quickly caught my eye. Globe They purchase coffee from Larry’s Beans, a very aware roasting company in Raleigh (more about Larry’s soon). The globe and Jay’s coffee buying policies represent his awareness and commitment to a global community. He believes that coffee and espresso are “…a reflection of an amazing process…” starting at the farm.

Through our conversation I learned that Jay is equally committed to positively supporting his local community. There is a book exchange book exchange, stickers about and food from local farms Stickers - Dripolator, and locally made pottery in the store. Jay explained that he sees his “…coffeehouse as a community center for social change.” Groups, such as a cop-watch, meet every week in the cafe. To reduce the waste from the shop, The Dripolator sets out water and cups for customers to use, has metal utensils instead of plastic, and sends coffee grinds to local groups to use as compost. img_0922.jpgSpooning.img_0929.jpg

And as we set off for our next adventure, we re-established our office in the car.

The Office.

Read Full Post »

Coffee Labs Roasters: Tarrytown, NY

coffeelabslogo.png

Before working at Coffee Labs, Melanie and I knew we wanted to take this trip. I knew Coffee Labs was a great place, but I did not know to what extent they aligned with our ideas. Mike and Alicia, the owners and dog lovers, have created a wholly mindful business in their own unique way.

Environmental Sustainability

This is one category of our road trip where I am probably going to learn the most. Coffee Labs does many things to take care of the environment. I was surprised to learn the shop is 100% carbon neutral! They achieve this by investing in wind power and in low-impact hydro electricity. When a customer is not using a mug, the to-go cups, java jackets and napkins are made from post-consumer recycled and earth-friendly materials.

Commitment

While Coffee Labs has inspiring ideals, they also contend with the reality of running a business. They always keep an open mind to new ideas or innovations in the eco-friendly product world and incorporate them when the commitment makes sense for their business.

Community

When satisfying the local caffeine addicts at Coffee Labs I spend a lot of time interacting with the community. From the “renters” who sit for hours on their computers to the dad & daughter duo who read picture books once a week, Coffee Labs is a place where people come for comfort. Coffee Labs looks to other local business for items such as tea blends, milk, and pastries and in doing so helps strengthen the local economy.

I look forward to returning to Coffee Labs after this trip is over and discovering other businesses that uniquely embrace the ideals of CoffeeInAction.

– Sara Rose

Read Full Post »