By Mike Pomranz
Updated August 03, 2016
espresso, espresso machine, coffee
Credit: © Cultura RM Exclusive/Nils Hendrik Mueller/Getty Images

Here’s the problem with trying to save the environment: You have to do something other than sit on your lazy ass and sip espresso. Or do you?!?

The European Union recently had a novel idea. Since so much of their continent loves espresso, they invested some of that European Union cash (the same stuff Britain was so sick of paying it decided to say later to the EU) into developing a more environmentally-friendly espresso machine.

The decision is even more sensible when you learn that most espresso machines used in Europe aren’t much different from the first machine patented in Italy in 1884. According to Quartz, that means that cups of espresso typically come with a side of wasted heat and even trace amounts of lead from old piping.

To fix these issues, the European Commission is hoping a $1.8 million grant given to Spanish coffee machine company Iberital will result in new espresso machines that will reduce energy consumption in the commercial coffee sector by 3 percent within the next five years. Iberital says they plan to achieve this goal by rebuilding the espresso machine from the ground up “with a completely new design based in the introduction of lead-free materials, energy efficiency and internet connectivity.” I’m not quite sure how that internet connectivity is going to help, but sure, maybe the machine, currently known as the “Ecobrew,” can tweet out how awesome it is after every cup.

Regardless, this is the kind of environment-protecting project anyone can get behind: The kind where you don’t have to do anything. Actually, I should say it’s the kind of thing Europeans can get behind. Americans would probably complain, “Who told the government to waste money saving the environment for me? If I want the environment fixed, I’ll fix it my damn self!”