27 March 2012

Two out of three isn't bad, right?

So... I am humbly writing a follow-up to my previous post about stripping a k-cup for recycling. I am still endorsing the stripping procedure, but I am simply here to tell you that I found out the plastic portion of the cup is actually NOT recyclable.

Whew! There, I said it.

That's been weighing on me ever since I found out. No, it isn't my fault or anything, but it sure does sting. A LOT. I've been tossing those little cups into the recycling bin for almost a year now and the recycling company keeps taking them (I'm not casting blame on them either). I'm sure they end up sorting them out into the landfill or burn pile (I haven't found that part out yet).

At any rate, the foil can still be recycled, and the coffee + paper filter will still be composted. We've planted some potatoes and basil seed, using some of our compost from the winter months.

The purple potatoes are breaking through!

I am still grateful for most of the product getting reused somehow, and for now I will wait for Keurig to update their plastics to a recycle grade. There are some programs out there to collect cups but I'm happy to get some use of the guts for our own plants. Check out Keurig's site if you want to read more about their social responsibility efforts.

Here are our current coffee habits that still feed coffee grounds into the compost....

1) Stovetop Espresso. Because more often than not, I have the time. It's SO good with a bit of sweetened condensed milk in the bottom when you want a treat.

2) French Press. Sometimes we want to sip on our coffee and spend some time chatting at the breakfast table. Light and frothy, yet still more robust than the regular drip.

3) The single cup coffee maker we've been discussing. The best option for reducing waste if you want a Keurig is to get a refillable k-cup. There are a couple of popular options out there (just google "solofill vs. ekobrew" and you'll see videos, blogs, etc). I've had the Solofill version for a year and I would use it only when I could stand there and watch it to make sure it didn't drip everywhere! The other day (yes, a year later) I figured out that the best way to use the Solofill -- avoid overfilling it, draw a short cup, and make sure the grind is not too fine. It makes more of an espresso sized serving so I use stronger coffee with it.

Enjoy your coffee, however you make it!