Remember way back in the early part of the decade when Keurig became a household name and everyone was lauding the ease with which you could make delicious single serving of coffee at home? Out of nowhere, those little K-Cups started popping up in every store and every kitchen cabinet across the country (world?) – according to Slice Intelligence, over half of all online coffee sales are generated by these convenient little cups. The problem was (and still is) that those K-Cups, and all coffee pods for that matter, are notorious for being non-recyclable, and with something so abundant that only gets a single use, this poses a pretty big waste problem.
Well, seeing as today is National Coffee Day (because everything has its own national day, apparently), I thought I’d do my part and give you some tips on what to do with those used coffee pods, instead of adding them to the landfill pile.
REDUCE (CLUTTER AND ORGANIZE)
The great thing about coffee pods is that they stay dry (#plastic) AND they’re the perfect size to store small things. For example, have you ever tried to find a suitable container for beads, or nails, or even glitter? It’s incredibly difficult as most cups, mason jars, and bags are simply too big, or getting the goods requires a subtle tilt of the jar, inevitably leading to a flood of glitter on your carpet floor.
Enter the coffee pod. With this little, indestructible cup of plastic, you can store all your tiny goodies, and keep the footprint of that storage to a minimum.
The same can be done for spices. Chop up some fresh spices, plop them into your clean little pod, freeze them, and voila, you’ve got yourself a two ounce store of “fresh” spices.
Hell, you can even use them for hair accessories. Don’t ask me why, but I know how difficult it can be to keep tabs on your clips, bobby pins, and hair ties. With your newly repurposed coffee pod, that no longer has to be the case. Put these tiny cups by your mirror and drop your hair goodies in. You’ll never misplace that tiny butterfly clip again.
REUSE (FOR CRAFTS)
I mean, come on, who doesn’t love to do some crafts every now and again? It allows us to channel our inner child - or spend time with our actual children - and it keeps our minds sharp and in a creative space. Take some of those non-recyclable coffee pods, put on your thinking caps, and get to crafting one hell of a DIY project.
For something that has such a specific use, these little things are insanely versatile when it comes to the world of crafts. You can light up your room, create little planters, and even update your wardrobe with them.
ONCE A FOOD STUFF, ALWAYS A FOOD STUFF
Yea, as you can plainly see, there is no shortage of things you can do with a used coffee pod, but what about using them for what they were originally intended for?
That’s right, turns out these notoriously inefficient pods are indeed recyclable. No, not in the conventional sense (plastic #7 is still horrendously hard to recycle), but these little buggers can be reused for their original purpose, or for the purposes of a slightly younger generation. Maybe you’re just a fan of oversized/novelty ice cubes. Fear not my intriguing friend, these guys have you covered on that, too.
(AND ACTUALLY) RECYCLE
All is not lost in the world of the coffee pod. Turns out, some companies are listening to the masses and working on a recycling program for these little plastic cups. Keurig, for one, has instituted a recycling program for their K-Cups. It may not be an all-encompassing solution to this environmental issue, but hey, it’s a start.
Until next time – can I get a medium drip coffee?