Alternatives to k-cups
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With an estimated 100 million cups going into landfills within a single year! We don’t need more plastic that takes a kabillion years to decay so that we can have the convenience of a fast hit of caffeine.
There are simple alternatives to k-cups – because after all, we are talking about brewing a pot of coffee not sending an astronaut into space.
In 2015 roughly 9.8 billion k-cups were sold. K-cups weigh an average of 0.35 ounces per pod (shipping weight of a 24-count box is 13.6 ounces. 13.6/24 = 0.56 ounces per pod and I took a little off the top for the box therefore my estimate is likely too low).
The Costs of K-Cups
Now for some scary math
9.8 billion pods sold x 0.35 ounces per pod = 3,430,000,000 pounds of coffee pod waste.
(wait for it….)
172.5 Eiffel Towers!*
That is just ONE year in coffee pod trash! That number is likely higher as the sales numbers were the earliest I could find and from 2015.
*(Assuming the tower weighs 10100 metric tons as noted here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/paris/articles/Eiffel-Tower-facts/. I converted metric to imperial tons.)
Not only are the environmental cost high as we are trading a moment of convenience for the health of our world, there is also the actual cost to your household budget.
Brewing our own is a savings of 50 cents per cup of coffee. If we consume a total of about 4 cups of coffee a day that adds up fast in a year to a total a savings of $178.85 and 255.5 pounds of trash just from our household!
Alternatives to K-Cups
Let’s start with the simplest alternative to k-cups: If you own a coffeemaker, just brew a smaller pot of coffee. It might take a little work to figure out the perfect ratio of coffee to water for your taste buds (start with 1 to 2 tablespoons per three-quarters cup of filtered water), but we are talking about eliminating more than 172 Eiffel Towers worth of waste.
What to do with the coffee grounds? Simple, take them outside and sprinkle around your flower beds. My grandmother did this for decades and had the most stunning roses.
And, as a side note if you get coffee when you are out – use your cup! Stainless steel or glass being the best choices.
Here is a good video to watch: https://www.facebook.com/KCRA3/videos/10155865650571514/