Coffee’s Grande Water Footprint

Read the full post at Triple Pundit.

In a world of depleting resources, the onus to think about consumption is not just on the manufacturer but also the consumer. There are many everyday items that take up natural resources that you might not think about. Take for example your morning coffee – have you ever wondered about the footprint of this little drink we all take for granted? Every sip translates to land, water, labour, food miles and carbon emissions. Water is probably the most important component of food production.

According to a recent article in The Guardian by Jason Clay from WWF, it takes only 0.05 litres to brew a cup of coffee, for example. But it takes a lot more to make the plastic lid (2.5 litres) as well as the paper cup and sleeve (5.6 litres) it comes in. It takes water to process the coffee and grow the sugar (7.6 litres). But it takes the most water to produce the milk (49.4 litres) and actually grow the coffee beans (142.8 litres) needed to make that single drink. Most of the water that goes into the drink is invisible i.e., the consumer doesn’t actually get to see it because it belongs to the back processes of the final product that they hold in their hands. In sum total, it takes more than 200 litres of water to make the average grande latte.

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