At the farmers market, you can meet the farmer who grew your carrots, talk to them about their growing practices, and feel confident that your food dollars are going directly to the farm. But the path coffee travels from farm to cup is much more mysterious. How can you feel good about the businesses you’re supporting with your coffee dollars and ensure that farmers thousands of miles away are receiving their fair share?

Most US coffee drinkers have little concept of where their $4 goes after they get their artfully brewed cappuccino. Coffee is primarily grown in countries that have developing economies, and it is primarily consumed in countries that have developed economies, which sometimes presents moral dilemmas. The United States is the world’s top consumer of coffee (more than 400 million cups of coffee every day ) while the majority of coffee is grown in equatorial countries, with Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, and Indonesia being the largest producers.

In terms of straight out of pocket expense for the consumer, cups of espresso-based drinks are often around 4 dollars. However, there is more to the price tag than just the cost to the consumer. According to the online encyclopedia, approximately 6.5 million trees are used each year to make 16 billion paper coffee cups used by Americans. They report that the standard polyethylene coating used to prevent leaks, “as the cups decompose,…releases methane.”

Therefore, if you are one of the millions of Americans who drink coffee in one of these 16 billion paper cups, the cost of your cup of coffee is a bit more significant. Your cup of coffee represents extravagant deforestation and coupled with the release of a pollutant more potent than carbon dioxide.  As a natural sponge for the world’s pollutants, forests absorb methane, but they can be crippled in their sponging duties by deforestation.

So the cost of a morning cup of coffee is more than just the exorbitance of your local Starbucks, it is a part of the environmental degradation that we are all part of.

Come and join the discussion with local barista, Bailey, from Venice Grind who is passionate about serving a sustainable cup of coffee ...

Sunday, April 28

The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center Los Angeles reserves the right to substitute speakers or rearrange events if necessary. All of the listed speakers are confirmed at this time, bu should any be unable to attend, for any reason, the Center  will provide substitute speakers and/or topics. The views of each speaker are personal, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers.

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