my subconscious is working against me

9 04 2008

I ♥ coffee. And I know I’m not the only one, but SO MUCH do I love a good cup of coffee that I try to drink only the awesome good stuff, like this brew. And this ardent love also means that I don’t have coffee every day (gasp, I know!) because it really is such a treat. Or at least it used to be.

Usually, I do my bringing-home-the-bacon from an office located on the outskirts of the city. This was the shortest commute for which I was qualified. (Qualified for what, you ask? Well, I am still figuring that out.) But for the past few weeks, my boss has got me working deep in the downtown jungle, in a client’s office. The commute is not as hellacious as some, but there are still days where I feel a bit sorry for myself – until I start wondering if my boss is trying to re-locate me into unemployment. But let’s not go there.

So what do I find deep in the downtown jungle – to the left, to the right, and across the street? Coffee shops! Good ones! Fair-trade-I-can-still-pretend-I’m-virtuous ones! I was walking back from one of them just a short while ago, when I remembered myself and my new treat mentality.

I can be so easily influenced. But, now that I’m finished this latest cup, back in the saddle I go. No coffee until I sort things out with my subconscious!


local connection… coffee

11 03 2008

alright… I know coffee is NOT grown locally. I have several metres of snow in my backyard, so this should come as no surprise. But with my new treat mentality, rather than avoid the issue, I sip on coffee when I make a conscious decision to do so.

When I do indulge, I purchase coffee that has been roasted locally. Equator Coffee roasts in Almonte, Ontario – which is definitely within my 100 miles (in fact I think it’s within 1000 metres of my morning putter, but who’s counting :P).

I know that not everyone has the luxury of a local roaster, but even fewer of us have the luxury of coffee grown locally. And those of us who do have it grown locally, it can still pose a challenge finding it. When I lived in Ecuador, I was within a hop skip and a jump of coffee beans on the bush, but all I could find in the grocery store was Nescafe.

By choosing a local roaster, I reduce my cup’s food miles much more than if I were to purchase it at the busy coffee chain just next to my office. And by choosing to see coffee as a treat, I reduce my lifestyle’s imprint.

Oh and one more thing – if you can stand to listen to me for just a little bit longer on my soapbox – that paper or UGH styrofoam cup that holds the coffee… well, it’s just NOT necessary. Bring a mug with you – wherever you go – or resist the treat.

logging the miles

9 01 2008

If you’re looking for a tool to track your food miles, there’s a good one over at the LifeCycles Project website. I used it this morning to compare the food miles of my local applesauce with an imported one. Now I had to fudge it a little bit, by selecting ‘apples’ in the calculator instead of ‘applesauce,’ but if anything, I figure that means that I’m calculating the bare minimum in food mile savings. A mass-produced applesauce is going to add even more food miles to the total. The LifeCycles calculator showed that my local applesauce eaten at breakfast saved 295g of greenhouse gas emissions. That may seem small to some, but I’ve been eating a lot of applesauce lately…