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The Perfect Sustainable Gift For The Coffee Lover In Your Life

A third of Aussies think Christmas is the most wasteful time of the year, according to research commissioned by ING.

But flipping the script on Christmas wastage doesn’t have to mean foregoing gift-giving (and, let’s be real, gift-receiving #sorrynotsorry) altogether.

It’s definitely possible to get a kick out of the look on your friends’ and family members’ faces when you pass over a shiny parcel on December 25… and not kick the environment in the face in the process.

“We believe it's important to make the most of the festive season without the avoidable waste -- the holiday season doesn’t have to be a wasteful time,” says Kayla Mossuto, co-founder and managing director of Crema Joe, which specialises in sustainable coffee-pod options.

Hers is just one of the businesses you’ll find at the ING Dreamstarter Good Gift pop-up and online shop.

“From shopping locally to buying second-hand and DIY gifting, having a happy, greener Christmas is easier than you think. It's simply about getting creative, rethinking some traditions, and gifting more consciously.”

We’ve teamed up with ING to learn more about how we can have our latte and save the planet at the same time.

Image: Supplied

Building A Better Cuppa

Whether it’s a cappuccino on Chrissy morning or just a cup of something to help us find the strength to face life on any one of the 364 other days of the year, good coffee’s a non-negotiable for a lot of Aussies.

And good coffee that’s convenient? Well, that gets a big yes from us -- along with the 6,000,000 other people around the country who use a coffee pod machine every single day.

That’s one heck of a pile of used pods heading to landfill -- and this realisation is what prompted Kayla and her husband to give their own capsule usage a rethink back in 2014.

“My husband and I were originally confronted with our own coffee pod machine waste,” Kayla tells 10 daily.

Image: Supplied

“We began looking into the impact of the coffee capsule industry -- where would our capsules end up? And would they actually be recycled? We recognised that there was a lack of good sustainable alternatives for coffee pod machine owners and we were determined to find a guilt-free alternative, and drive behavioural change.”

After reading about ING’s Dreamstarter program in a newsletter from the bank, the pair applied to take their idea of selling reusable coffee pods from side hustle to serious business – and were approved.

“The ING Dreamstarter program is such a powerful and positive initiative, it really helped to nurture our business when we were in our infancy, turning our passion project into a reality,” Kayla says of the program -- which helps give change-makers the knowledge, training and platform they need to build, validate, launch and scale their ideas for social and environmental good.

“We feel better equipped as business owners, and continue to grow and scale our sustainable business thanks to the ongoing support from ING, which of course in turn helps us to create more impact within the community.”

Image: Supplied

The Gift Of Sustainability

Let’s take a second to do a little math: making three coffees made using single-use capsules equals more than 1000 pods going into landfill in a year (not to mention the production of 45kg of greenhouse gases in the process). That’s a pretty good incentive to wrap up some sustainable solutions and pop them under the tree for the caffeine lover in your life this Christmas, right?

“Our bundles are perfect for Christmas gifting,” says Kayla, adding that Crema Joe has a pod to suit almost any brand of machine. “They're great value and include everything you need to get started on your sustainable coffee journey. We have the SealPod Coffee Bundle for Nespresso users, our FeePod Coffee Bundle for Aldi pod machines, and our new My-Cap Reusable Bundle for Nespresso Vertuo machine owners.”

Image: Supplied

Kayla’s always been sustainably-minded, she shares, and building Crema Joe from the ground up has only opened her up to even more eco-friendly ways to live. So it makes sense that a socially conscious holiday season is on the cards for her family.

“I’ve got a pre-schooler and I tend to do a lot of shopping second-hand for him, particularly if there’s something that he’s interested in that’s a plastic item -- I’d rather source that kind of gift second-hand, and it’s pretty amazing what you can find on Marketplace!” Kayla shares.

“When it comes to gifting, we try to gift quite responsibly. I’ve noticed, since we had our son, we do tend to get an influx of plastic toys and other plastic wrapped items at Christmas time, so we try to encourage our families to consider alternatives like quality time together as a gift, maybe a trip to the zoo, or a term of swimming lessons. We’re encouraging others to think outside the box at this time of the year as well. I guess it’s that reminder that family time is what Christmas is really all about.”

And that’s what’s at the top of Kayla’s wish list, too.

“I'd happily accept some babysitting IOUs for Christmas -- hello date night!” she laughs.

Want to create your own wish list of pressies that don’t contribute to waste this Christmas? Check out the ING Dreamstarter Good Gift Shop.