Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Greener than it Gets!

We're taking this shameless opportunity to plug one of our very favorite organizations here in Guatemala (aside from Common Hope and Aguas de Unidad) - As Green As It Gets. You might recall a reference to them in this post a while back. Anyway, with a newly updated website, As Green As It Gets should most definitely be added to the favorites list of not only all you coffee lovers, but like minded environmentalists too. Here's the lowdown on this great not for profit organization (taken directly from their awesome website).

As Green As It Gets is a non-profit organization focusing on economic development and environmentally sustainable agriculture in Guatemala. We partner with producers from impoverished Guatemalan communities. We select our families based on their potential to produce marketable products.

As Green As It Gets places a strong emphasis on protecting the environment and land restoration as an integral part of business management.We believe that economic development is they key to reversing the poverty cycle. Our objective is to lift our producers out of subsistence agriculture by helping them attain skills that can be traded for their sustenance; thereby providing excess resources beyond their survival needs.

Aside from harvesting and selling what we think may be the world's best coffee, AGAIG also works to help entrepreneurial men and women from disadvantaged communities to establish independent, sustainable businesses that allow them to improve their living conditions and stimulate their local economies. They work with artisans, cosmetics, reforestation & appropriate technology all while striving to be green (as green as it gets!). Check out some of the products they produce right here at the Marketplace.

Continuing on with 2 things most people like - coffee and being green - we want to share with your our latest efforts to being green.

Like we blogged about before, in some ways "being green" here in Guatemala isn't as easy as it is back in the US. Sure, there are the obvious things we do here like using a car a whole lot less and buying most of our food locally, but there are some other biggies that are not necessarily a given - namely recycling. After a bit of effort we were able to locate a place to take our recycling, but it's so unavailable here that most people just don't do it.

In an attempt to keep on doing our part even in a country where the notion isn't very popular, we've begun reusing as much as we can. Our latest effort is the repurposing of our coffee grounds. I'm sure those of you who frequent Starbucks have probably seen as some point in time the bags of coffee grounds that they often offer to the customers for free. Well since (gladly) their is no Starbucks here, we have taken to saving the grounds from our daily brew and mixing it into the soil in our garden to help fertilize our flowers. The nitrogen and potassium in the grounds is an essential factor in plant growth.

It's so easy to do too. Each morning when cleaning out the french press we simply strain the grounds out and dump them into a plastic container. Once it's full, we select a flower bed to "treat" and mix them in to the soil evenly, being careful not to over do it! Unfortunately we don't have space to grow our own produce, but for those of you who do, this is a must, whether you save your own or pick them up during a stop at your local coffee shop. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you!

While you're at it, check out the Daily Green for 20 other ways you can repurpose your coffee grounds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The coffee is outstanding! I bought fifteen pounds from Felix while I was there with a vision team recently. My wife even loves it!

It was nice to meet both of you. I hope to see you again, Joel Wanner