Sunday, August 19, 2012

Keurig Takes Over the World... and All the Landfills

There is one recent American consumer-based fad in particular that sufficiently demonstrates just how lazy we have all become. Let me introduce you to the Keurig, although I highly doubt you need introduction. Have our personal and professional lives really become that urgent that taking an extra five minutes to brew a pot of regular, old-fashioned coffee is out of the question? To me, coffee is more than just a means of kicking my body in gear for the day. It's a ritual. I cherish taking those first thirty-or-so minutes of my day to sip on a mug of freshly brewed coffee and savor a hearty breakfast. It's the one part of the day that I happily allow to transpire in slow motion. Do we honestly need our lives to happen at fast-forward like speeds for every waking second?

North American consumers go through roughly 2.5 million Keurig singles daily... daily! And almost 2 billion cups have been brewed since the company first started doing business in 1998. You can listen to them boast and brag about these statistics right here in their corporate profile. Also adding to the carbon footprint left by Keurig are the production and shipping processes that are required to deliver the machines and single coffee cups to households around the nation. 

In comparison, old-fashioned ground coffee can be composted, along with those paper coffee filters. Coffee beans make an excellent addition to compost for acid-loving plants like hydrangeas, blueberries, and azaleas. By reverting back to old fashion brewed coffee, you're not only saving on grocery bills but preventing thousands of those plastic-squandering Keurig cups from making homes out of landfills.

1 comment:

  1. Many of my friends have these things, and it boggles my mind (I use an espresso machine whose only waste is wet coffee grounds that go straight onto my compost pile).
    I came across this post when I tried to find data on the "carbon footprint" of these things. Keurig (aka Green Mountain Coffee) has done studies, but they are carefully worded so that it's only the life cycle of producing the pods and coffeemakers thereby completely avoiding the impact the little cups have on landfills. Which is a techincality: it's not really _their_ problem, it's the consumers that are tossing the little plastic cups.
    Personally, as well as needlessly to adding to landfills, I'd be concerned about forcing extremely hot water through any kind of plastic and then drinking it, but that's just me.


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