The season for pumpkin spice lattes is here, and there’s nothing more “fall” than grabbing a hot cup of coffee (or an iced PSL!) and walking through the streets of Boston as the leaves change. If you know anything about Good Filling, you’ll know that we’re big supporters of the refill revolution – but what does coffee have to do with plastic waste? 

Unfortunately, a lot. According to the International Coffee Organization, roughly 600 billion paper and plastic cups are used worldwide – which means that once these are used, the cups (and lids) are likely disposed of in the trash. If you live in the United States, the statistics are even more staggering: it’s estimated that we throw away more than 50 billion paper coffee cups with lids every year, and one of the biggest culprits is the PSL creators themselves, Starbucks (they are responsible for roughly 7 billion cups per year). 

But there’s still a way that you can enjoy your favorite fall coffee drinks in a way that’s more sustainable while supporting our local community! 

Sustainable Coffee Shops and Cafes We Love

A photo of a woman barista pouring frothed milk and creating a pattern in a latte cup.

Grabbing a coffee-to-go is a great way to get out of the house and support local businesses – but did you know that there are coffee shops right here in Boston that want to support our environment, too? The next time you want to explore Boston and support local, delicious coffee and treats – grab your reusable coffee cup and head to one of these Boston coffee shops and cafes we love.  

Cafe Iterum

Located in East Boston on the ground floor retail space at Clippership Wharf, Cafe Iterum is redefining the new American cafe. Stop by “Eastie’s new zero waste cafe” and you’ll not only find great coffee and delicious food, but you’ll see an unwavering commitment to sustainability, too! Housemade coffee syrups like vanilla, mocha, and honey lavender are a tasty addition to any oat milk latte, and all of their prices “reflect the use of ingredients that are ethically sourced, local, and made with sustainable practices.” Plus, this cafe is Tip Free as they are equally as committed to providing their team with a fair and livable wage. 

Things to try, according to reviews: Ube toast, Dirty Chai, Breakfast Egg Sandwich

Nearest Good Filling Station: Hood Park in the Tenant Cafe/Lounge 

Live Alive Organic Cafe

As soon as you walk into this bright and cozy cafe, you’ll feel at home. With nine different locations here in Massachusetts, Live Alive Organic Cafe is “here to renew your energy and connection to life” which is something they live by each day. Delicious plant-forward meals are created by visionary chef Leah Dubois, who focuses on sustainable purchasing, efficiency, reduced waste, recycling, and composting practices. Even though they’ve been able to expand to more locations throughout town, we love that this cafe always keeps the environment in mind while they provide nutritional, healthy food for Bostonians on the go. 

Things to try, according to reviews: Celery Lemon Sparkler, The Adventurer Bowl (add avocado!), Matcha Latte, Blue Magic Drink 

Nearest Good Filling Station: It depends on which cafe location you’re at! View all of the Good Filling locations here.

Recreo Boston

We could go on and on about why we love Recreo Coffee – but their website does it pretty perfectly: “We strive to not only bring you the best coffee, but also be socially & environmentally responsible.” This is a family-owned cafe in Boston that not only cares about creating an ethical and enjoyable coffee experience, but they’re bringing that to life. Every single cup of coffee is sourced from beans on the family’s farm in Nicaragua, while they donate portions of their profits to fund educational opportunities for their workers and family members. If you’re searching for a true farm-to-cup experience, you have to stop by Recreo and see their values in action (while taking in the cozy fall weather on their outdoor patio. 

Things to try, according to reviews: Iced Latte With Oat Milk & Caramel, Sticky Buns, Iced Horchata Latte 

The Farmacy Cafe

What do you get when you combine a shipping container, Boston’s Seaport, and local fare? The Farmacy Cafe. Located in a black shipping container (how reusable of them!), The Farmacy Cafe offers hearty and healthy organic meals, drinks, and superfood smoothies to Boston locals that need a quick bite to eat. While they’re only open Tuesday - Thursday, it’s a great (and inexpensive) option for people in Seaport who want to stop by for a quick meal that will keep them full throughout the day. 

Things to try, according to reviews: The Cluckster Salad, Smoothies, Omega Salad

Nearest Good Filling Station: One Greenway (Private station for residents) 

Thinking Cup

Thinking Cup has been a staple for twelve years and is just a few steps away from the Boston Common (plus two more locations on Newbury St. and Hanover St.). Here you’ll find high-quality coffee from Stumpton and Third Wave, in addition to herbal teas and freshly-baked pastries and breakfast (don’t mind us, we’re just daydreaming about all of the delicious smells this cafe has…). What really sets Thinking Cup apart from your regular Starbucks or Dunkin’ is its philosophy that includes only using the highest quality beans, delivering fantastic customer service, and giving back to the local community. Plus, if you are plant-based or gluten-free there are still many menu options to choose from. 

Things to try, according to reviews: Snickerdoodle Cookie (Vegan & Gluten Free!), Hazelnut Latte, Mint Tea 

Nearest Good Filling Station: The Kensington (Private station for residents) 

About Good Filling 


Good Filling offers all-natural products for home and body—plus an easy way to help the planet. Enjoy high-quality, name-brand soaps, lotions, detergents, surface sprays, and more. When the bottle is empty, continue using it and get a discounted refill.

Our Good Filling Stations allow consumers to reuse their containers to prevent plastics from entering the waste stream. With Stations across the North East, and many more on their way, we’re bringing convenience to the zero-waste movement. To learn more about Good Filling Stations and to find one near you, click here.

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