A cup of coffee is a great motivation to leave our beds in the morning, and a loyal companion during boring meetings or unbearable traffic jams. It has become the second most-traded commodity in the world (after oil), and one of the most consumed beverages in the world, so much so that some people could not even imagine life without it. Unfortunately, this obsession has been taking its toll and, with coffee being such a hot item (no pun intended), causing detrimental effects on the environment.

Year after year, the demand for coffee continues to rise, but if we don’t step up and be more environmentally-responsible coffee drinkers, we could have a massive obstacle standing between us and our Italian coffee: climate change.

Coffee is a finicky diva of a crop. It is volatile to produce, moisture-sensitive, climate-sensitive, and threatened by the coffee rust Hemileia Vastatrix, a fungus that’s more likely to thrive in high and low-temperature swings—sounds very much like climate change, no? But just because we are at the weather’s mercy, does not mean that we have to give up our Java altogether. No, that’s not how it works, sweetheart; we fight for what we love, and in the case of coffee, we only have our old habits to conquer.

The world might seem too big for our individual changes to generate a huge impact, but the reality is that even minor adjustments come together to make significant changes in the long run. Here are some ways that we can become eco-friendlier and ensure that our perk-me-up elixir doesn’t cease to exist in the years to come:

1. Mind Your Waste

Coffee grounds make an outstanding fertilizer. The high nitrogen content in coffee helps plants grow well, and is released when the grounds degrade, so it is best to sprinkle the grounds in your compost pile. Even ESE PODS, which contain biodegradable paper filters, will also work well as part of your DIY fertilizer. If you don’t have a compost pile, however, you could just mix dried coffee grounds with your garden soil or just on top of the soil near specific plants.

2. Make Your Brew at Home

It’s convenient to drive by your favorite coffee shop, order your regular, then drive off again. Easy-peasy to get your caffeine fix. The vibe in good coffee shops is also conducive for studying or socializing with friends, plus the baristas there could whip up drinks so magically delicious, you’d swear their recipe book could have only come from Hogwarts.

But think about this: your car spews co2 every time you drive to your coffee shop; and if you forgot to bring your mug, you’d have to drink your order out of disposable paper cups. I hate to break it to you, but some of these seemingly harmless paper cups were chemically treated with polyethylene to prevent the paper from softening when liquid is poured inside, thus making it a challenge for recycling centers to break them down into pulp and make new paper out of them.

When you make coffee at home, though, it’s a lot cheaper, and you don’t have to hop in your car, either. Besides, Google can help you learn to make those fancy drinks right in the comfort of your home.

3. Ditch the lids

Sometimes you find yourself in a compromising situation: you forgot your travel mug, and you’re in dire need of coffee. What’s the best thing to do while still reducing your ecological footprint? Forego the plastic lid. Unless you are running in a marathon with your Americano, you don’t really need it.

4. Ditch the plastic straws, too.

It’s good that a lot of people realized how plastic straws have become hazardous to the environment and decided to step up and do something about it. Luckily there are eco-friendlier alternatives if you miss the convenience and mess-free sipping that only straws could provide: compostable, glass, or metal straws.
Make sure you look into the manufacturers and manufacturing processes of each, though, before making a purchase.

5. Buy in bulk, if possible

Buying in bulk minimizes packaging and the gas your car emits, by reducing the frequency of your trips to the store. If bulk-purchasing isn’t available, you can save on gas and fossil fuel use by buying the largest quantity available. Don’t worry on your coffee going stale; as long as it is stored in a cool, dark place, it should stay fresh for a while.

With climate change getting more drastic and its effects more damaging to the ecosystem every minute, it’s high time we make an effort to be more conscientious coffee drinkers. Remember: coffee gets so much better when it’s guilt-free!