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Sustainability

As a small roastery, we are working towards as much sustainability as possible. Here’s how!

At the Farm Level

Unleashed Coffee: Sustainability in Coffee Farming [image: Coffee Farming Partner's farm in Brazil]

Brazil

“A visit to our farm, Fazenda Mandacaru, you would see the evidence of our sustainablity practices. We have close to 50% of our farm covered by natural untouched vegetation, as well as wild animals throughout the plantations, both of which help our soil naturally improve over time.

We don’t spray any pesticides unless it is utterly necessary (not proactively, not actively, but reactive treatment only when there is no other choice). As such we safely eat from our land and drink water from our own springs near coffee plantations.” ~William Murad, Farmer

Unleashed Coffee: Sustainability in Coffee Farming [image: Coffee Farming Partner's farm in Guatemala]

Guatemala

Because Finca Santa Marta is at such a high elevation, the diverse ecosystems host natural predators to coffee pests reducing the need for chemical pesticides. The shade cultivation at the farm provides a natural canopy which creates a microenvironment that is less favorable for coffee pests. The cooler temperatures also slow the life cycle of pests and diseases further reducing the need for chemical pesticides. In the event they are needed, Finca Santa Marta uses pesticides that meet or exceed the regulations for both the United States and Japan.

Unleashed Coffee: Sustainability in Coffee Roasting [image: coffee beans being roasted]

At the Roasting Level

We are reducing our carbon footprint by roasting in a modern, low emission roaster. The Loring Falcon is up to 80% more efficient on fuel and reduction of greenhouse gases compared to conventional roasters.

Unleashed Coffee: Sustainability in Coffee Packaging [image: Unleashed Coffee Bag on Packaging Line]

At the Packaging Level

Coffee Bags

This was a tough one for us. As we researched all the packaging types available that would keep our coffee fresh at a sustainable price point for our customers, we struggled to find a compostable option that was fully compostable, or a recyclable bag that could actually be recycled. What we found was that the materials used for the zippers and valves (main components necessary in keeping our product fresh), are not fully compostable, only the bag material. When we turned our research towards recyclable bags, we learned that although the material is technically capable of being recycled, the waste management plants here in Northern California where we are based, do not have machinery that can actually recycle these products.

If we moved forward with any of these alternative packaging options, I felt we would essentially be lying to our customers about the positive environmental impacts we were making while having to increase our prices to pay for [the lie]. Neither sat well with me from a sustainability or transparency standpoint. So, until the packaging technology improves to a point where it meets all three of our criteria: being financially sustainable, being truly recyclable or fully compostable, and being able to keep our coffees at the peak of freshness, we have opted to continue using bags that will retain the integrity of our product. In the meantime, our research continues!

Printed Labels

The flavor notes of coffee changes from farm to farm and from harvest to harvest. So, instead of printing zillions of labels with the flavor notes and farming information that could change before we use up the labels, we instituted QR codes on our packaging labels instead. This way, we can update the landing page on our website with any updates in flavor notes or farming information any time a change occurs without any printed waste!

Unleashed Coffee: Sustainability in Coffee on Our Mobile Cafe [image: Unleashed Coffee Mobile Cafe, The Pony Express-O]

At the Mobile Cafe Level

Since we don’t need to be concerned with bean freshness or storage for serviceware, finding compostable and recyclable options was much easier for the mobile cafe!

Cup Sleeves

Our custom printed sleeves are printed using environmentally friendly soy and vegetable-based inks on premium recycled paper for maximum biodegradability.

Hot Cups

BPI Approved Cert # 10528598
The cups we use are certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) as compostable in a commercial composting facility. Compostable products will turn into nutrient-rich organic materials when disposed of with other compostable items in limited areas where facilities exist, leaving no visible or toxic residue.

Hot Cup Lids

This item is able to be recycled under some recycling programs, and are commercially compostable. They are ASTM D6400 Certified and can be composted in municipal and industrial aerobic composting facilities.

Cold Cups/Lids

Unlike regular eco cups, which are made with recyclable PET plastic, our eco friendly plastic cups are made with PLA plastic. Derived from renewable resources like corn starch, PLA is compostable after usage and will break down far quicker in landfills when compared to other cup materials. These compostable products are not recyclable and should be sent to a commercial composting facility upon disposal.

In addition to compostability, a portion of every custom printed compostable cold cup we buy, our cup supplier donates directly to charity:water to support clean water projects around the world.

Sustainable Beverages and Condiments

In addition to our own Farm-to-Cup roasted coffee, we also source and serve a variety of other farm-to-cup beverages including Tea, Apple Cider, and Hot Cocoa. Additionally, we offer plant based sweetners and organic sugars, as well as sustainably produced plant based milks by Elmhurst 1925 with six ingredients or less. These milks are produced using the HydroRelease process.

“HydroRelease is a zero waste process, meaning all parts of the grain, nut, or seed are used. Our cartons are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and 100% recyclable in most US homes. Plant-based foods generally have a lower carbon footprint than their animal counterparts.” ~Elmhurst 1925

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