3 Ways to Stop Your Keurig From Destroying the Planet

Kim Conte

keurigYou love your Keurig single cup coffee brewer but not all the waste it generates. And, you're not alone: Millions of one-use, non-biodegradable, non-recyclable plastic and tinfoil pods (called K-Cups) are used each day. It's definitely not the most environmentally friendly way to get your caffeine fix.

The companies that make the pods (namely, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters) assure us that they're searching for ways to make the packaging more green. In the meantime, here are three things you can do to cut down on the waste without getting rid of your Keurig.

-Invest in a K-Cup reusable filter. Sure, it's annoying to constantly have to clean it out and refill it for each cup of coffee you make -- forgoing the whole convenience factor of the Keurig itself. But it's a small price to pay for keeping so many K-Cups out of our landfills.

-Use the My Kap system, which actually reuses Keurig K-Cups several times before throwing them out. Here's how it works: First, you will need to invest in some clear plastic lids. Then, the next time you use a K-Cup, instead of throwing it out, peel off the lid, wash out the old coffee, and let it dry. Fill with your favorite coffee or tea, then snap on a plastic lid and the reusable cup will store for several weeks before brewing. Again, a little extra work but isn't the planet worth it?

-Buy biodegradable coffee pods. There are a few companies selling them these days including: La Piccola, which has single serve pods of seven Italian roasts; New Hampshire Coffee Roasting Co., which sells compostable pods in several brews including Hazelnut and French Roast; and Reunion Island, which advertises that its biodegradable, compostable pods produce 96 percent less waste than the plastic cup systems and are packaged using 100 percent green electricity.

Perhaps the arrival of these greener alternatives in the single serve coffee market will light a fire under Green Mountain to come up with a more eco-friendly K-Cup.

Are you worried that your Keurig is destroying the planet?


Image via pjinomaha/Flickr

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