4 Tips for Opening Your Environmentally Sustainable Café


If you have decided to make your business eco-friendly, you will find it is not as hard as it seems. There will always be something extra you can be doing in terms of sustainability, but making small choices that are better for the environment is a good place to start. Moreover, with sustainability being at the forefront of the consumer’s mind, it will also help businesses. With that said, here are tips for opening your environmentally sustainable café.

Coffee, Tea, and Sugar

If you want to make your café environmentally sustainable, order from wholesale organizations whose products are fair-trade. You are likely familiar with the term, but fair-trade means that the entire process of sourcing and selling products is ethical, sustainable, and beneficial in reducing poverty. When you see that a product is fair-trade, you can rest assured that the development is sustainable and that the workers are working in suitable conditions and are paid a fair price for their labor. Remember that certified programs vary in quality, implementation, and follow-through, meaning that not all fair-trade production standards are the same. Look to reputable, long-standing organizations like the FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International) for pricing information. Coffee, tea, and sugar make up a considerable amount of your business, so if you can make sure these products are fair-trade, that is one of the best tips for opening your environmentally sustainable café.


Another popular product you will have in stock will be a variety of add-ins that customers can include in their beverages. With health-conscious consumers on the rise, your regular sugar and cream will not cut it anymore. But don’t worry, as there are many flavorful add-ins to include in your café. No matter what add-ins you decide to stock, ensure that these products are environmentally friendly. Dairy milk alternatives are considerably more eco-friendly in their production compared to their dairy counterparts, and you could also make your own dairy milk alternatives, which significantly reduces your business eco-footprint. Moreover, it is best to buy from local organizations to lower emissions and transportation costs and support your local community.

Retail Products

A fun way to make your café more sustainable is by selling mugs. This serves two purposes; first, it allows consumers to re-use their cups rather than throwing them away (which contributes to waste), but it adds a layer to your marketing. You can also have fun decorating your mugs in tasteful and unique ways to make consumers want to purchase your products and show them off. You can also sell products like reusable straws and cutlery, which you can personalize.

You may also allow customers to bring their own travel mugs. This option may be a little trickier, so you should have specific standards in place for what type of mugs you will accept (considering the sizing). Nonetheless, you will have to stock non-reusable products, but there are many compostable options that you can purchase.

Pro Tip: Consider setting up a rewards program that encourages customers to purchase and re-use your personalized products, which will boost marketing, business, and sustainability.


You may not know this, but coffee grounds are a great addition to a compost bin. Consider setting up a compost bin where you will add any vegetable scraps, newspaper, cardboard, and coffee grounds your business uses. You can do a couple of options with your compost; you may add it to your garden, donate it to local schools and community gardens, or allow customers to use it for free.