Sustainability is a big word to reckon with. The impact of human greed and insatiable mining of this earth’s natural resources is manifesting itself in various forms: The silent but steady rise of global temperatures, unprecedented floodings in Europe, and deadly droughts in Cambodia — the worst the country has experienced in decades.
It’s certainly too late to reverse these consequences — but it’s not too late to make a change in the way we live now so the future wouldn’t be all doom and gloom. As headlines across the globe fill up with stories to commemorate World Environment Day, we take a look at how we can make sense of sustainability closer to home.
Take for a start something as small and simple as your daily cup of coffee. If you have a Nespresso coffee machine in the kitchen, chances are you’ll be popping a coffee capsule into it each time your caffeine craving hits. Here’s the big question: What happens to the capsule after you’ve downed your espresso? Do you toss it into the bin or into the dedicated bags that form part of Nespresso’s recycling initiatives? What happens then, to the capsules that are sent on their way for recycling?
To keep carbon footprints low, these coffee capsules are processed and recycled right here in Singapore. The aluminium capsules are sun-dried before the used coffee ground within are separated from the vessels. The waste aluminium is then re-melted and given a new lease of life as fresh aluminium products.
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Interestingly enough, the used coffee grounds aren’t tossed either. They find their way into our local farming industry as compost for Quan Fa Organic Farm. Who would have thought that coffee grounds can help to improve soil drainage, water retention, and aeration? Moreover, it doubles up as a natural pest repellent, effectively keeping slugs and snails at bay without the need for toxic pesticides. Below, we follow international television host and Friend of Buro Anita Kapoor as she explores how the coffee grounds are put to good use at the farm.
This feature originally appeared in Buro247.