Every time you make coffee with one of these things, there is that K-Cup to dispose of. And don’t tell me you recycle them because you don’t. And even if you take the extra thirty seconds to remove the foil lid and dump the used coffee and put that little white cup into the blue bin instead of the big green barrel, it will get sorted back out. There is no code on the bottom, no indication that it is a recyclable plastic of any sort. So unless you live in a area enlightened enough to burn trash for energy, your Kuerig cups are being landfilled. This which means they are sitting around for an estimated trillion years. Not biodegrading, and indeed preventing the otherwise biodegradable coffee that is inside them from biodegrading and just generally taking up space. Possibly degrading just enough to contribute to the wonderful soup that is landfill leachate.
The founder of Keurig estimates that the landfill fodder from their single-cup brewing machines is ten times more solid waste than would be produced by a drip machine. TEN TIMES MORE WASTE! Said founder also told the author of a very in-depth article on this topic that he's proud he created something that's so well loved, but because of the waste issue, "I wouldn't do it now." The author of the very in-depth article also estimates that the amount of annual waste from single-cup brewers is the equivalent of throwing away about 150,000 Hummer. One-hundred and fifty THOUSAND HUMMERS. Each year!
This isn’t even delving into the potential health hazards of drinking, you know, melted plastic. I mean have you given this much thought? After that BPA scare and all…? Same goes for many of those flavored coffees, btw. The artificial flavoring agents (Google "chemicals in flavored coffee" I dare you) that make your coffee taste like something else are forced to stick to the coffee beans by using solvents. These solvents come with prominent warnings about dangers to eyes and mucous membranes. Consumed in large amounts, they’ll kill you. Also, generally: solvents + earth = :(
The obvious solution is to go back to the old style drip coffee makers. But if that will lead to bloodshed in the office, Kuerig makes a reusable cup. Akin to a reusable filter. Only smaller. Tiny, even. It’s cute, you’ll like it, it’s cuteness will make you happy every time you use it. Unless you have a charred and blackened heart.
At first blush, this tiny, adorable filter seems like it would defeat the purpose. Won’t your Pristine Unadulterated be contaminated with Huckelberry Cheesecake? No, not if you rinse the tiny cup out first. (Rinse it really well to get rid of all the propylene glycol.)
Doesn’t rinsing the cup detract from the convenience?
Uh, you have to fill your cup with water to pour in the Kuerig anyway, so you’ll be around water, so most likely rinsing the reusable cup will probably not be much of an inconvenience, no. Probably waaaay less inconvenient than if the once-beautiful lush green-and-blue planet finally collapses and turns into a deforested, parasite ridden, disease infested nightmare akin to Hell on Earth. Then you’ll wish you had one of those 150,000 Hummers. Instead of your single-serve coffees.
Yours in Theory,