Earth Day 2022

Happy Earth Day!

As a company, we must do our part in keeping this place we all call home beautiful for generations to come. And we are committed to just that! We have become increasingly aware of our impact on the Earth. One of the most prominent environmental issues we have addressed is waste.

We have made strides in all aspects of the coffee journey, some little and some significant, that lessen our impact on this home planet of ours.

Our mission is to serve well-produced, sustainable coffee, while empowering people with great coffee. This journey starts with protecting the health of our land by choosing to work with sustainable coffee farms.

FARMS

We are proud to work with some of the best farms worldwide. Farms dedicated to the land and intentional farming practices that maintain land health so they can produce quality coffee for decades!
We purchase beans from farms that reject pesticides and utilize sustainable practices. The farms we buy from have made strides in water-conserving de-pulping methods, introduced symbiotic relationships with nutrient-enhancing organisms, and created self-sustaining systems.
Did you know desertification and high soil toxicity (often resulting from irresponsible farming techniques) cause land infertility? Soil acidification, rising temperatures, the prevalence of droughts, and the spread of disease impose serious threats on coffee farms. By implementing practices that support the health of the land, the farmers we work with provide us with high-quality beans that positively impact the environment they're grown in!
Juan Diego: Earth University 
One of our Direct Trade producers, Juan Diego of Finca El Socorro, even graduated from Earth University in Costa Rica! Diego's farms are renowned for their high quality, having been awarded numerous international distinctions.
 
"In 1980, Diego's father, Juan De La Cerda Colom, started growing coffee. In this way, the graduate became the heir not to a company, but to a legacy of commitment to quality, which is reflected in the collection of awards he holds. Sustainability is added to the quality of its product. The farm has an efficient ecological wet mill, which pulps the coffee beans, then mechanically transports the coffee and its pulp, while recycling the water in the process. The water is then treated using clean production techniques, before being allowed to return to the forest." 
Purchasing green beans from sustainable farms is only the beginning of our journey. Once they make their way to our roasting facility, they're roasted on one of our Sustainable coffee roasters, the Loring.

Designed for efficiency, these roasters minimize environmental impact while delivering consistent quality. The single burner roasts coffee while incinerating smoke, providing 80% fuel savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The single-flame design helps heat air efficiently by recirculating warm air to reach ideal temperatures, requiring less time and energy. By implementing these thermodynamic properties and fast-reacting thermocouples, the Loring allows us to find the most precise roast profile for each varietal and origin of coffee bean.

Last year alone, our Loring Roasters helped us save an estimated total of 168,670 pounds of CO2.
  • Betty (small roaster) Saved 62,785 pounds of CO2.
  • Patty (medium roaster) Saved 105,885 pounds of CO2.

  • *totals are calculated from Loring's Website
    Up next are the supplies we work with and the products we produce!
     

    Once our green beans are sustainably roasted, they're packaged in our Biotre sustainable coffee bags. The Biotre material used for our bags is made from renewable plant-based material. These bags break down into healthy compost in only 12 weeks! The goal of Pacific Bag Inc., the creators of Biotre, is to provide the industry with packaging that protects both the product & the planet.

     STRAUS DAIRY FARMS

    If your go-to is a whole milk latte, you can be sure you're getting the best, sustainably produced milk on the market. 
    This certified organic, non-GMO creamery produces 100% organic dairy products. On top of producing a high-quality product, Straus puts intention into sustainable packaging, transportation, consuming 97% carbon-free electricity and has become TRUE® zero waste certified! ⁠
     The Straus Dairy Farm utilizes carbon farming, organic pasture-based feeding, rotational grazing, manure and enteric methane reduction practices, compost application, and an electric feed truck to stay aligned with a carbon neutral dairy farming model. Using these techniques helps to maintain the health of the land that feeds these cows! 
     
    The Straus Dairy Farm has even been strategizing plans to be carbon neutral by 2023 and all dairy farms that supply Straus Family Creamery will be carbon neutral by the end of this decade. 
     Lastly, using a true cost of production pricing model provides long-term financial stability for farmers and protects them from changes in marketplace supply and demand. Sustainability matters to us on every level of producing a product. From the coffee farms to the dairy creamery, we guarantee quality, and sustainable practices are emphasized in every element of producing coffee!

    DETPAK 
    To-go cups, but make them sustainable! Detpak, the producer of our hot cups, has an all-encompassing approach to manufacturing products from ethically sourced raw materials. By choosing Detpak, we are supporting a company deeply committed to environmental and social responsibility.
    KARAT

    Living in San Diego means hotter days and more iced drinks! Our recyclable to-go cold cups are served with sip lids that don't require straws, although we have compostable straws available upon request.

    FLAVORS

    If your go-to drink includes Madagascar Vanilla, Sandpiper (Hazelnut), Salted  Left Coast (Caramel), or Chai, those delicious flavors are made in-house and delivered to cafes in reusable containers that get washed, rinsed, and sanitized between each use. By making our syrups in-house, we reduce our carbon footprint immensely with no shipping + packaging materials, and no one-time-use bottles.

    SPENT COFFEE GROUNDS 

    After you drink your cup of Bird Rock Coffee, you may think that that's the end of our sustainability journey. But we don't stop there. Each drink we produce results in spent coffee grounds, and these spent grounds are perfect for your home garden or compost. We encourage customers to "take a bucket, leave a bucket" at our La Jolla and Morena locations or talk with the Baristas at any other locations so you can take some home! 

    When used correctly, spent coffee grounds are great for:
    • Improving Fertilizer
    • Giving Nutrients to plants
    • Deterring Pests 
    • Composting 
    • Mulch 

    Next time you're done making your coffee at home, think about how you can recycle your grounds before dumping them into the trash!

    OCEAN FRIENDLY CERTIFIED

    We are proud to be Ocean Friendly Certified through the Surfrider Foundation! 

    Just as we are committed to sustainable coffee production from the farms we work with to your cup, we are committed to making choices that keep our oceans healthy and lessen our environmental impact.

    To become an OFRestaurant, we have:
    1. Eliminated single-use plastics (such as silverware & lids that require straws)
    2. Refined our waste systems with proper recycling & composting of used coffee grounds
    3. Never using expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) or plastic bags)
    4. Encouraging reusable cups with a discount when bringing your own mug!

    PRODUCTION 

    When talking to head roaster Tony about sustainability in Production, he said, "One of my many phrases (and I have many) on the production floor is "think green." I ask that we reuse, as much as possible, most of the items we use daily."

    Some examples he proudly gave are:
    • The liners used for the roasted coffee become trash can liners whenever possible, along with the GrainPro liners.
    • The barrels that we transport our bulk Monkey Bite to the cafes in are reused.
    • We use both sides of pages whenever printing and do so in black ink, only using color for labels.
    • We save the grounds from the cold brew process and chaff from roasting for anyone to take home. We even partnered with Misadventure Co, and they made a sustainable coffee liquor out of 100 gallons of spent cold brew coffee grounds. 

    We strive to be “green”, while providing quality coffee in every step of the process, from the farms with work, the roaster we use, the packaging we pick down to where our coffee grounds end up! 

    As Tony says, "It may not be a lot, but I think that every little bit counts." We hope this blog inspires you to think green and vote with your dollar! 
     Thank you for being part of this sustainable journey with us. 
    XOXO,
    BRCR

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