Here at The Coffee Ride our commitment to sustainability runs deep. So deep that over the last 6 years we have ridden our bikes over 15,000 miles and counting, just on our Thursday deliveries alone. This is just one piece of the sustainability puzzle to prove that small acts can create big change. We take this to heart in every aspect of our business from roasting, community, and the environment to ensure we can all continue to enjoy the ride.
We believe in a constant evolution of striving towards perfection. We believe in a holistic business approach which takes into consideration the entire process when making decisions. Decisions that are not only good for our business, but also for our environment and everyone involved in the process from the farmers to the end consumer. We believe in full transparency and improving the world we live in whether you're our immediate neighbor or on the other side of the world. To us, we’re all one community and strive to make a positive impact on the earth and everything in between.
We source all our coffees direct trade, from a supplier in Seattle that focuses on importing ethical and truly unique coffees direct from small coffee growing communities. What does this mean to you? We are able to source even higher quality coffees and by cutting out the people in the middle, the individuals doing all the hard work on the farms are able to get paid more.
Working directly with the farmers also means there is a clear transparency and a direct line of communication with the farms in order to (1) Make sure the farmers are treated fairly (2) make sure the environment is prioritized (3) Educate the farms on our coffee culture, which allows for higher quality of coffees which in turn allows the farmers to earn more. While some of the coffees may be organic/fair-trade certified, most of the farms we work with are too small to absorb the costs of these certifications, but are going above and beyond what these certifications require. We love being able to make a positive impact on individuals across the world by making ethical choices on where we purchase our coffees. By supporting us, you too are able to make the same impact on people and the planet, on the other side of the world, that you may never meet or see. Pretty cool stuff and thank you for all your support.
We get asked all the time… “Why bicycles”? “Wouldn’t it be easier delivering by car???”. The answer is Yes, it would be. We also didn’t go into business because we thought it was going to be easy. We set out to create a product and service that makes a positive impact on peoples lives and the environment. To do this we focus on creating our own unique pathways of doing things and improving upon anywhere we see it possible from how others are doing it. Locally here in Boulder all our coffees are delivered by bicycle. This includes residential front doors, coffee shops, businesses, grocery stores; to the post office where we ship our coffees to our customers across the country. We have a fleet of couriers that service around a 40 mile radius every Thursday and in the last 6 years we have ridden over 15,000 miles, just on our delivery day alone.
Recycling Grain-pro Bags:
All green specialty grade coffees come in a plastic Grain-Pro bag inside the traditional burlap coffee bag. This helps prolong freshness as well as protects the beans from environmental conditions during transport/storage. While great for coffee preservation, this creates a large amount of additional plastic waste that is difficult to dispose of. Believe it or not, we did our due diligence and found it was possible to recycle all these bags through Walmart’s recycling program. So thank you to them for helping us keep these plastic bags out of the landfills.
Compostable Packaging material:
Creating a business that leaves the least amount of environmental impact behind, while still providing the highest quality product possible, is at the forefront of mission. To design our fully compostable package design we consulted with the sustainability department of CU-Boulder to make sure our products were safe for our local street side composting program. Our coffee packaging is currently the most eco advanced packaging in the industry. This material is certified backyard compostable, made from 100% renewable materials and even the one way valve is constructed out of compostable material.
In addition to the special packaging, making sure it ends up in the right place is equally important. A common misconception is that compostable material can be thrown away and is still better for the environment than other plastics. These materials need to be composted in order to fully biodegrade otherwise they sit in a compressed landfill for the same amount of time as other plastics. While we are not the first roasting company to use this packaging, we are the first to implement a QR code directing customers on proper disposal of this product. Remember, tear off tin tie and our entire package is backyard compostable.
Composting Chaff and Reusing Green Coffee Packaging:
One byproduct of roasting coffee is a thin, paper-like product called chaff. This chaff is the exoskeleton of the coffee bean that is released when the beans change phase and release steam during the first crack. This product makes for an excellent addition to compost. We work with our local partners at 63rd St Farms here in Boulder to compost not only our chaff, but also all our grounds and compostables from our brewing events. In addition to this, we also donate all our green coffee bags and boxes for use of veggie storage, collection and CSA pickup. Remember the saying reduce, reuse, recycle? All packaging is reused prior to recycling thanks to our wonderful sustainability partners.
Compostable Materials and Cups for Events:
We try as much as possible to us ceramic washable cups whenever possible, but for those events where it’s not possible, all our cups are compostable. Not only are they compostable, but we make sure that all these products are properly disposed of as well.