How to Enjoy Everything That is Delicious to Sip, With Less or No Waste
Beverages really contribute to our enjoyment of the day, when you think about it. In the winter, hot coffee, tea or cocoa can take the chill out of your bones and give you something to look forward to after shovelling the walk or battling icy roads on your commute. In the summer, a cold, fizzy drink is refreshing, rehydrating and often a great reward after a long hike or a hard day at work.
The great thing about a lot of beverages is that they often come in glass bottles which can be easily reused/recycled. Glass bottled beverages are the best case scenario for packaged drinks. But beverages can also come with a fair bit of waste — bags of coffee beans or plastic tubs or ground coffee; tea bags which are, we were horrified to learn, woven with plastic (say it ain’t so!!); plastic bottles which may or may not be recycled; paper cups which will not, in fact, be recycled.
Despair not! We’re lucky to live in a time when there are many great zero waste options for delicious drinks. Let’s look at some here:
We’re starting with coffee because, well… coffee! I know every time I empty a bag of coffee beans or a plastic tub (or worse… a plastic & foil-lined cardboard container) of ground coffee, I definitely feel pretty guilty knowing that that packaging is headed to either the landfill or a dubious recycling future. Thankfully, this one is really easy to fix, thanks to multiple local coffee roasters who are offering their freshly roasted beans in bulk. We love to take advantage of this option by taking our own jar and having them fill it. The best part is that the beans are ridiculously tasty and buying them so fresh then grinding them ourselves means even tastier coffee.
The extra-extra-exciting part? We will be offering refills of locally-roasted Devil's Head Coffee beans starting around mid-July, once we finish our expansion. This coffee is sooo good and the owner, Chris is just the best guy.
If coffee isn’t your thing, chances are you might drink a little tea now and then. This is another easy one… in fact, maybe you are already enjoying zero waste tea! It’s pretty easy these days to find loose leaf tea in bulk (we carry a variety of tasty options from Natur'el Tea, plus matcha powder and more from Amoda Tea). Again, refill a tin or jar with your tea of choice; brew in a tea ball or a tea-infusing flask; and compost the leaves when you’re done! Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.
An important summer beverage, we love to enjoy our beer from growlers. This is the absolute best option for refillable beverages! Plus, growlers look cool displayed in the kitchen. Support your local micro-brewery (bonus points if they’re within walking distance) and refill a growler!
But growlers aren’t just for beer — some kombucha makers are following suit and offering their fizzy, gut-healing brews in growlers as well. This includes Calgary-based, woman-owned Wild Tea Kombucha with their cocktail-inspired brews. This is another super exciting refill option that we will be offering starting in mid-July, after our expansion — Wild Tea Kombucha growler refills!
If you are a cow’s milk drinker, consider buying your milk in glass bottles. And be sure to check whether the brand and store have a bottle return policy. D Dutchmen Dairy milk can be purchased in glass bottles at our neighbour, Bite, and returned for a $2 deposit (which can also just be applied to your next bottle).
It’s not quite as good as the milkman coming to take your glass bottles and leave new ones, but we’d argue it’s the next best thing!
Of course we recommend replacing your soda or pop with kombucha, but realistically, we understand you need to mix it up sometimes. Some people find that fizzy water helps them to stay hydrated (because they won’t drink flat water but will drink the water they need, if it’s fizzy). Others find that fizzy water is a sufficient replacement for sugary drinks. The SodaStream has been a great addition to our kitchen — it means we don’t have to buy bottles or cans of fizzy water or club soda, and it’s also great for mixing with simple syrups to create custom cocktails.
Want to be a part of the zero waste movement in Calgary? Have a look at our crowdfunding campaign to help us expand our store in Inglewood and bring more refill and zero waste options to Calgary (and the world via our website)! Each incentive level buys you more than what you actually pay for. How rad is that?!