Sustainable Cafes in the UK

It’s probably not something you automatically think of when you feel that caffeine urge and run into your nearest coffee shop, but every time we buy a coffee, we are unconsciously making a small impact on our environment. Public awareness is thankfully increasing over climate change issues, and people are starting to realise that the simple changes in our lives can actually have a significant impact if we all make our contributions.

Did you know that even when a cup is deemed recyclable, only a small proportion of this material is fully recycled? Did you also know that roughly 2.5 billion coffee cups are used and thrown away every year in the UK alone, which in other terms, is enough to wrap around the world about five and a half times; it's estimated that only 1 in 400 of these are actually processed and "recycled". Well it shocked us too. Fortunately, the new normal is to bring your own cup, minimising cost and our carbon footprint, a fantastic example of a simple alternative with a great impact. We’ve got some eco-friendly options here, perfect for at home and on the go. 

Coffee Cup

So WHAT exactly constitutes an “eco friendly” cafe? Well, cafes all around the UK are slowly recognising their coffee-print on the environment and are providing recyclable cups and cutlery, but there’s a lot more they could be doing, just like the ones we've listed below. Aside from tobacco, coffee beans are actually sprayed with more chemicals than anything else we consume. Swapping your usual coffee beans to organic (which means the beans aren’t sprayed with anything harmful to us or the environment) or fair trade beans (a trademark that ensures your coffee beans are grown in an environmentally friendly way) is the first thing you can do to give back to our planet with that espresso (whilst avoiding those nasty chemicals for yourself!) 

There’s actually a LOT more that coffee shops could be doing from investing in low energy espresso machines (yes, these actually exist!) to reusing their coffee grounds as fertiliser, which is why we’re so happy to have discovered the below!  We wanted to find cafes around the UK that you can visit on that staycation or simply in the morning before work starts. These coffee shops have mother nature in mind from the minute you order to the minute you leave, and we would love you to let us know your experience there! 


1. WILD FOOD CAFE - London

Whether it’s for their coffee or one of their raw/vegan food options, the Wild Food Cafe tops our list of incredible, environmentally-friendly eateries in the UK. They have two sites in London and place a huge emphasis not only on the food they make but mother nature that provides it in the first place, sourcing their organic products from local suppliers and small farms whilst promoting the use of bringing your own reusable coffee cup. An extra 99p is added to your bill which is used to plant a tree in a campaign for re-forestation. We love it there, what are your thoughts?

Visit their instagram here:


- London

Located in Kensal Rise, this is the perfect cafe for a quick coffee and a lovely brunch. All food made here is raw and (you guessed it!) plant-based. The design of the cafe encompasses the eco-friendly vibe, with all their up-cycled wall hangings and cutlery trays! Definitely worth a visit!

Visit their instagram here:

Petersham Nurseries Cafe encompasses everything a sustainable cafe should aspire to be.

For starters, nearly all their waste, from coffee to food, organic to glass and paper are recycled with SRA approved Quantum Waste. This company use lighter vehicles and collect locally to use less fuel and reduce their own carbon footprint. The cafe’s coffee and food waste are converted back into water and coffee logs (which they then go onto sell). If that wasn’t enough, the cafe has enrolled with Recorked, the UK’s leading natural wine cork recycling programme, who take used corks and pass them to schools to use them for arts and crafts (whilst donating to a chosen charity). With cling film made from compostable bio-film, imitation grease-proof paper created from sustainable forest paper and even their chef jackets created from recycled bottles, we think Petersham Nurseries Cafe is a winner!

Visit their instagram here:

4. DAYLESFORD - Gloucestershire

Daylesford can be found in numerous locations across London but we love their cafe based in Gloucestershire - there’s nothing better than having a coffee surrounded by the beautiful English countryside. The cafe ensures all produce is homegrown, organic and fresh, all packaging is 100% compostable or recyclable and produce isn’t wasted. If you're looking for an organic, vibrant environment to enjoy a coffee, a little bit of peace and quiet, and some fresh and local produce, this is the one. 

Visit their instagram here:


5. HONEY POT CAFE - Penzance

Fancy a nice staycation in Penzance and want to find a cute cafe that doesn’t have an impact on the environment? Look no further than Honey Pot Cafe, who compost all of their raw food waste and give all cooked food waste to their livestock. From compostable tea bags to special recyclable juice cartons, we highly recommend this cafe for a visit, suitable for vegetarians, vegans and gluten free!

Visit their instagram here:

Do you recommend any sustainable cafes? We’d love to hear them!


Credit: emilys.eyes.explore - A mental health & travel writer 💚

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