How to Make Coffee Consumption Sustainable at Home
Coffee is part of our modern-day culture. If you consume it, then you know that sipping coffee is synonymous with starting the day off right and, for many, an essential morning ritual.
However, with the new creation of coffee machines and the new creation of K-Cups, we should all ask ourselves exactly what the impact of K-Cups have on our environment. We’ve found a great article outlining their impact and what you can do to help!
Are K-Cups Sustainable?
The Wall Street Journal reports an estimated 20 million homes own a coffee pod machine, accounting for consumption of more than 30 billion packs of Keurig Green Mountain pods sold to date; that’s enough to circle the Earth more than a dozen times.
While this homebrew permutation is fiscally responsible, it’s completely unsustainable. Don’t be fooled by the Kelly-green Keurig mountain logo; these K-Cups aren’t just bad for Mother Earth, they’re unhealthy for you. Coffee is a crop that is sprayed with dangerous pesticides and is wreaking havoc the planet and our well-being.
With over 200 varieties of Keurig flavors offered, after searching the company’s website, I was only able to find only one brand, Newman’s Own Organics. that offers USDA-certified organic and Fair Trade options; in a mere three flavors.
So, while, saving gas by not driving to the coffee shop is a good thing, these cute little pods add up to a lot of not-so-cute waste.
Invented by John Sylvan (who, by the way, doesn’t use a Keurig or K-Cups and says he regrets inventing them) in 1997, K-Cups are comprised of four different types of plastic topped with an aluminum cover — making them completely un-recyclable.
While Keurig Green Mountain has plans to make their consumer cups fully recyclable by the year 2020, we’re holding our foam on that one. Keurig does, however, now offers a K-Cup take-back program, Grounds to Grow On, that provides shipping for used K-Cups to be recycled. But it’s only available for businesses.
In the meantime, millions of pods are making their way to landfills where they won’t biodegrade.
While we await a plethora of pods to pollute our planet, there are some sustainable actions that you can take, starting today:
- Kick the caffeine habit.
- Sign the change.org petition initiated by KillTheCup.org and hashtag #killthecup.
- Use a recyclable pod for your espresso.
Use a handy tool to make your K-Cup pod fully recyclable.
Confused about options three and four above? Here are two environmentally friendly ways to sip your drip from the comfort of your home — guilt-free.
A Recyclable & Compostable Coffee Pod
If you’re the type who prefers shots of espresso and own a Nespresso OriginalLine machine model, then you have the power my dear, and Glenda, the good witch, has waved her magic wand.
Woken is spearheading the coffee-pod movement by offering eco-friendly and recyclable pods made from bioplastic. Woken’s single-serve espresso pods are 100 percent compostable. According to the company, “In 90 days, your used pods will biodegrade back into plant and soil. And you’ve managed your own waste.“
In addition to their eco-friendly bio-capsules, the company is taking a stand for the planet through their energy use. Woken utilizes green energy to produce their product. Each stand-alone capsule is produced exclusively with energy from wind, sun, hydropower, and biogas.
Woken’s boxes are fully recyclable and they offer a monthly subscription program straight to your doorstep.
Now, if Woken could please add an organic option.
How to Recycle Your K-Cup
According to Keurig Green Mountain’s Chief Sustainability Officer Monique Oxende, K-Cups can be recycled if the pods are disassembled; disassembly being the operative word here, as most consumers don’t have the time or a tiny toolbox.
See what you can do to help reduce waste! Click here to view original web page at earth911.com