Cusa Tea and Coffee was born in the outdoors. We mean this quite literally - it was on a backpacking trip that Jim Lamancusa, founder of Cusa Tea (now Cusa Tea and Coffee) first asked himself “Why hasn’t anyone made an instant tea that actually tastes good?” From that moment, he set out to do just that: create an instantly dissolvable, versatile tea that can be made anywhere and at any time but tastes like a fresh cup. He eventually figured out how to do just that, and three years later, we launched Cusa Coffee.
Inspired by that backpacking trip and Jim’s career background in the outdoors industry, Cusa began as a brand for backpackers, adventurers and wanderers. It didn’t take us long to realize we were onto something much bigger. Customers like us for convenience and versatility but love us for taste. Although we no longer say that Cusa is just for camping, backpacking and travel, we haven’t forgotten our roots in the outdoors.
REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Two years ago we honored those roots by joining the Climate Collaborate with four areas of focus: reduce food waste, protect our forests, reduce transit energy and package sustainability. Last year, we added a fifth: agriculture.
OUR TERRACYCLE RECYCLING PROGRAM
We believe that the end of life of our packaging is just as important as all of our other initiatives. So, in 2020 we established a partnership with TerraCycle to ensure that our empty tea and coffee packets can have another life. Any of our customers can send us their empty packets, and we will ship them back to TerraCycle in bulk so they can repurpose them into playground equipment and plastic decking. Even better, we help defer the shipping cost by sending them a $5 off coupon for their next order.
We are extremely proud of this program. It allows us to engage with our customers and take a more active role in ensuring that our product packaging doesn’t go into landfills. We don’t know of many brands that take this measure of responsibility for their packaging materials, so we’re also proud to offer a program that - let’s be honest - most companies should be offering.
To celebrate Earth Day and get our customers in the habit, for any orders placed today through May 2, 2021, we’ll send you a prepaid mailing label so you can mail in those empty packets for free. Just shoot us an email to email@example.com with your order number, and we’ll send you a prepaid return label.
GIVING BACK TO OUR COMMUNITY
Beyond the everyday decisions about how our business impacts the planet, we strive to find other ways to give back as a brand. After all, we know that a more sustainable planet means more availability of the clean, whole ingredients we rely on to make such an awesome product. We’re also grateful for the support of our local community - without them, we wouldn’t have made it to where we are today.
That’s why we’ve supported Access Fund and joined the Climate Collaborate and the Conversation Alliance. It’s why in 2019 (before the pandemic) we hosted our first company giveback day by teaming up with the Conservation Alliance to head to Rocky Mountain National Park so we could help with trail maintenance.
It’s also why, for Earth Month, we’ve added a donation section to our website cart so shoppers can add an optional donation to Protect Our Winters (POW) with their orders. We chose POW because we believe that in order to effect real change, we must change our policies and laws. POW, and their community of athletes, scientists, creatives and business leaders, work to advance non-partisan policies that protect our world from the dangers of climate change today and for future generations.
ONE STEP AT A TIME: LOOKING BACK SO WE CAN LOOK AHEAD
Now that we’re nearly four years old as a company and have rolled out more than one sustainability initiative over the years, we compiled a timeline of what we’ve accomplished to help inspire us to strive for even more in the future.
LOOKING FORWARD TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE
We hope to clear even more hurdles in the years to come. One of our long-term goals includes installing solar panels on our Boulder warehouse and headquarters so we can end our reliance on non-renewable energy to power our business.
We also look for even more ways to make our packaging and logistics more efficient. We’re working to replace more of our recycled paper box packaging with compostable pouch packaging - this allows us to ship even more orders with smaller and lightweight post-consumer recycled polybag mailers instead of bulkier and heavier cardboard shipping cartons.