The world is going to hell in a handcart. It’s a scientific fact. But that doesn’t mean we should actively be trying to burn it to the ground. Assuming we don’t nuke ourselves into oblivion in the next couple of years, it would be nice to leave something resembling a functional planet–ozone and all—for the generations to come.
And one Alabama coffee roaster is doing their part. OHenrys Coffee in Birmingham has gone fully solar powered at their roastery, the first in their state to do so. That includes their two-group La Marzocco Linea. It’s espresso, powered by the sun.
Going green at a roastery isn’t a new concept. As we’ve previously reported, coffee companies across the country have big steps towards being environmentally friendly. This includes (but is certainly not limited to) Colectivo using solely renewable energy, Kickapoo drawing all of their electrical power from solar panels, and Portland Roasting Coffee being completely carbon neutral, even harnessing exhaust heat from their roaster.
And now OHenrys. But the move was more than just for environmental purposes. The installation of the 15-kilowatt solar energy system is slated to save the roaster $2,000 in the first year and pay for itself within five years, according to the company’s press release. And the solar panels create a windfall for OHenrys. When the facility is not in use, the energy created by the solar power can be sold back to the grid at Alabama Power.
Coffee is a strange product. The amount of energy it takes to run a roasting facility directly contributes to things like global warming, which are already proving deleterious to coffee farms. But with more companies stepping up and switching to renewable energy—and more importantly, showing that green energy is actually cost effective—the coffee industry as a whole may be able to stop hamstringing itself. And, you know, saving the planet for those miniature creatures that share a striking resemblance to us.
Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.