Ecothrifty coffee and tea

Tea and coffee are very popular drinks around the world, and they are frugal when made at home. Unlike soft drinks, they also have some health benefits when consumed in moderation. Many herb teas can be grown in your own backyard and air dried, eliminating any carbon footprint.

Despite the environmental costs of transporting black tea and coffee over long distances to North America, drinking tea and coffee is better for the environment than drinking soft drinks or bottled water because the amount of waste is minimal. The box or can in which the dry tea or coffee is purchased is small compared with the amount of tea or coffee that can be prepared from the dry tea leaves or coffee beans. Making tea or coffee at home and taking it along with you in a travel mug is the ecothrifty alternative to buying that take-out coffee in the morning. If you only want one cup of coffee at a time, coffeemakers that brew coffee in single servings are available.

Savings: You can easily spend $2 to $4 on a cup of coffee or a cappuccino, whereas I spend $11 on 12 ounces of organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee. We use .9 ounces of coffee to make a 12-cup pot, which costs us about 80 cents for the whole pot.

This is an excerpt from Ecothrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life.

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