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organic coffee trick

Posted Sep 12 2008 9:30am


While shopping at Whole Foods recently I spotted this cool coffee package. Not only is the coffee itself a eco-friendly choice, but the packaging is as well. I'm always a sucker for a pretty package (and I needed coffee anyway).

The package seemed completely compostable, with no glues or plastic linings whatsoever. The package said, "the package material was made from handmade paper produced by EARTH's University and Jireh from banana stems and recycled paper. Jireh is a two woman micro-enterprise located in one of the rural communities bordering EARTH's campus. EARTH university is dedicated to advanced education and sustainable agriculture in the tropics."

Yes, I know coffee has to be shipped a tremendous distance and that does not make it "local." However, I love, love, love drinking coffee and think that would be hard to give up. If you are like me and are determined to keep drinking coffee no matter how many healthy people say you shouldn't, the best option is to buy fair-trade, organic coffee which is shade grown. This particluar pacakge of coffee contains Allegro's first Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee, which means it was processed using environmentally sustainable growing practices and safe labor conditions.

Now if that isn't a feel-good way to start your day, I don't know what is. But here's where my story takes its turn.

The next morning I opened up my cool coffee package and inside the pretty, handmade, compostable paper bag there was a typical plastic coffee bag containing the coffee grounds! LAME!


Not only does that seem incedibly decipetful to me, it is so wasteful. In addtion to the typical bag they have added the banana paper sack and the paper band (printed 4 colors, mind you) and a metal clasp. What a huge addition of waste and energy!

I feel like such a sucker for falling for it. I really had thought it was a clever, original packaging idea. You can bet I'm going to send a letter to Allegro letting them know how dissapointed I am with their marketing trick. Just goes to show that all this 'going green' stuff is never black and white.
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