When the stars align I blog about climate change and sustainability ideas. Here I catalog innovative ideas that I think contribute to a sustainable and authentic lifestyle. I love art, design, technology, and to travel. I love the idea of minimalism and philosophies that discuss creating value so those ideas sneak in here and there. 

Sacrifice Your Coffee to Save the Climate


I really love coffee. You may already know that from my What I Love post from last summer, where I  took the climate reality challenge and learned about how 8 things I love are threatened by climate change.

That's why I can sympathize with coffee lovers in Europe who may have to give up a piping hot cup of joe. To save energy, the European Commission has mandated that drip coffee machines (or percolators) must shut off after 5 minutes and espresso machines after 30 minutes. These new energy regulations will be applied to all new coffee appliances and essentially will only impact the length of time you can warm your brewed coffee. Maybe this means my scuzzy old, timer-less machine will become a black-market commodity soon?

Although it can be a drag to have someone interfere with your morning (and for me late morning and afternoon) rituals, I am all for this initiative. Annual CO2 reductions are estimated at 28 million tons! And it is through small change like this that we are going to change behavior and consumption patterns and create a sustainable society. We all can do better and this is how it starts.

Plus, a fresh brew is better than once fresh morning-long warmed one any day. My favorite ways to brew a cup of coffee are manual. For an espresso I like a stove top percolator and use this one by Bialetti. And for a regular drip I love a fresh french press. Currently I am using a recycled plastic press by Bodum, but an insulated press is even better if you have more than one cup over the course of a morning. And not to forget the pour over method; I am currently lusting after Manual Coffeemaker No1, which was kickstarter funded last April and is now available for purchase. The manual method may not be as convenient, but I enjoy it far more and am happy to have one less electronic device to plug in.

So I am sorry EU coffee aficionados, but I am sure in a couple of months you'll be enjoying those electricity savings far more than that bitter, hour-old cup of coffee beside your keyboard.

For more on manual coffee brewing checkout one of my favorite YouTubers, Chrissstttiiine: