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Cups, Coffee, and What it Means to Be Future-Friendly

The What’s Next? Campaign has us dreaming about how our church can express our values sustainably, while also setting up the next generation for success. Part of that process–both for our church as an organization, and for the people within our church–means reevaluating the things we buy, and seeing how those purchases can be future-friendly (both financially and environmentally). Coffee is our greatest hospitality expense each Sunday morning, and so we did some exploring, hoping to find out how our coffee expenses expressed our values of fiscal, social, and environmental responsibility.


We had a lot of room for growth! A normal paper coffee cup is lined with a waxy substance that’s made using oil; which means that even a traditional paper cup isn’t environmentally friendly. The styrofoam cups we were using were even worse for the environment, because they’re neither recyclable or compostable.

So we did some shopping, and decided on our current cups–manufactured through Eco-Products–which are lined with a waxy substance made from plants, not from oil, are made with partially recycled content, and are compostable.

Our coffee, too, was sourced through a company whose labor practices created poor conditions for workers (which directly contradicts what we’re about in our global partnerships). So we went to The Abbey Coffee Co., and asked if they might be able to find a coffee we could be proud of both because of the taste and the treatment of those involved in producing it. Joel Thomas and Jizelle Miller over at The Abbey were able to find a coffee that worked for our price point and consistently pleases those we serve each Sunday.

For more information (or a coffee conversation) about how hospitality is endeavoring to be more future-friendly, email Ethan Linder at ethan.linder@collegewes.com.