The Perfect Cup: ‘Good’ Coffee with a Cause

In our green living tips blog, The Coffee Connoisseur, we touched on the importance of purchasing sustainably, but we wanted to delve into this a little further. So pour up and dig in as we share just what you should be looking for when picking sustainable brands.

Sustainable coffee is coffee that protects the planet and the people that produce it. If you’re confused on what to choose, let the labels be your guide.


Not sure which brand is right for you? Look for USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified ™seals. These seals are indicators that the coffee was sourced in an environmentally conscious way and free of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. It also ensures feasible working conditions and wages for farmers.  Read more about what it means to be Fair Trade Certified™ in our blog.


Bird-Friendly is another term to watch for. It means that the coffee has been grown in conditions that provide viable, forest-like habitats for birds. This designation carries a double certification because it also meets organic qualifications.

In addition to Bird-Friendly, Shade-Grown coffee is similar in that it provides good habitat for birds, prevents soil erosion and boosts biodiversity. Although this designation does not come with a certification, it does promote good farming practices that benefit the ecosystem.


Rainforest Alliance certified means that a farm meets the standards set by the Sustainable Agriculture Network, which includes ecosystem conservation and wildlife protection, as well as fair treatment and good labor conditions for workers.

Check out some of the brands we’re loving and why you should be digging them too.

  1. Tiny Footprint Coffee

USDA Organic ✔️

Fair Trade ✔️

Bird Friendly ✔️

Carbon Neutral ✔️

Why we like it: For every pound of coffee sold, the company donates a portion of the proceeds to Mindo Cloudforest Foundation in Ecuador to fund reforestation. Over time, these trees will remove 54 lbs. of CO2 from the atmosphere and provide habitats for native plants and animals.

  1. Thanksgiving Coffee Company

USDA Organic ✔️

Fair Trade America ✔️

Bird Friendly ✔️

Why we like it: The company supports endangered species like African gorillas, wild horses, wolves and bees.

  1. Larry’s Coffee

USDA Organic✔️

Fair Trade ✔️

Shade-Grown for bird safety ✔️

Why we like it: The company uses harvested rainwater to operate the bathrooms at their headquarters and solar panels to heat water and the floors in winter.

  1. Café Mam

Certified Organic: ✔️

Fair Trade: ✔️

Shade Grown ✔️

Why we like it: The company’s packaging is 100% recyclable or compostable.

  1. Hugo Coffee Roasters

Organic ✔️

Fair Trade ✔️

Why we like it: Proceeds from every bag of Hugo Coffee sold goes toward supporting dog rescue organizations. The company collaborates with retail partners on adoption and education events and holds its own fundraisers to give back.

If you’re going to drink coffee, you might as well do it the socially responsible way. Pay a little bit more to ensure your cup is helping the planet and the people hard at work to make sure you have that just-right cup of caffeinated magic to jumpstart your day.

Powering your home with 100% renewable energy ensures that your cup is kept sustainable from harvest to first pour. Choosing a clean energy plan is one of the most impactful things you can do to live greener. Sign up today.

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