The Keurig's Dirty Secret

Ring, ring, ring!!!!!  The sound of my 6 a.m alarm startles me from a deep sleep. As I roll my way out of bed I have one thing on my mind: coffee!  

Like many other people on this planet, this is my daily routine. About two years ago I received a Keurig machine that made brewing coffee a breeze. Pop in a K cup, press a button, and a perfect cup of coffee is waiting for me before I head out the door. On the weekends I may even load a second cup to ease into the day.

 This weekend I went to load that second cup and was about to toss the old one in the trash when I stopped to take a look at what I was actually doing. This little plastic cup filled with spent coffee grounds gets thrown into the trash each time a single cup of coffee is brewed.  These K cups may be small, and they may not seem like much, but when you add up the amount of plastic cups I alone toss away each year, its amazing!  Not only am I creating plastic waste, but the coffee grinds could also easily be composted and provide rich nutrients for growing plants and vegetables. My realization inspired me to do some research on single serve coffee pods and their contribution to the destruction of our planet.  

According to an article on, “a row of all the K-Cups produced in 2011 would circle the globe more than six times. To update that analogy: In 2013, Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups, enough to wrap around the equator 10.5 times.  Green Mountain only makes 5 percent of its current cups out of recyclable plastic. The rest of them are made up of a #7 composite plastic, which is nonrecyclable in most places. And for the small few that are recyclable, the aluminum lid must be separated from the cup, which also must be emptied of its wet grounds, for the materials to make it through the recycling process.”

These statistics are absolutely astonishing and make it clear that these K cups we’ve come to love are not a sustainable practice for the earth we inhabit. I set out to look for a better option and found the eco-fill 2.0!  This is a reusable single serve coffee filter that you put your own ground coffee in, and it works with any Keurig machine.  Its easy to use, dishwasher safe, BPA free, and can save up to 80% of the cost of pre-filled capsules!  This is a no brainer. Just go to your local market and purchase your favorite coffee. It provides the convenience of the Keurig machine without the expense to our planet!  #smallactscount

Feature written by Small Acts Ambassador, Paul Johnson