I drink a fair bit of coffee, but my preference is for freshly ground. However, I don’t always remember to grind beans and even then, sometimes the pot is empty by the afternoon, and I still have craving for another cup or two. That’s where the Keurig coffee maker comes in. It’s easy to pop in a pod for a quick cup of passable coffee. The teenagers in the house actually prefer this to fresh-brewed for some reason, so that Keurig actually sees a lot of action.
I have to admit, I was starting to feel guilty about the sheer number of used K Cups we were sending to the landfill every week. A short-lived effort to recycle by opening the used K Cups up and cleaning them out was stymied when we discovered the city doesn’t accept the empty pods in recycling. They still go to the landfill… Keurig alone reportedly sold 10.5 billion K Cups in 2015 (the last year the company published the data)—that’s a huge amount of single-use plastic being thrown out. And we were adding to that pile.
My wife wanted to try out reusable K Cups as a solution. I had my doubts, since the design is different than that used by Keurig (water flows through mesh sides instead of through a hole punched in the bottom), but the ones we picked up on Amazon have worked surprisingly well. There have been no issues with compatibility with our Keurig coffee maker, and so long as you are reasonably careful about filling them, there are no issues with coffee grounds in the coffee or weak brews. After use, tap the coffee grounds out into the compost, give them a quick rinse, and they’re ready to refill. We’ve been using these since early July and after three months there have been no failures or broken pods.
I figure we’ve avoided sending at least a few hundred K Cups to the landfill in that time. As an added bonus, refilling your own reusable K Cups means having a wider range of coffee available—and it should save money as well, compared to buying K Cups.
The universal fit reusable K Cups we bought were $16.95 for a pack of eight and the seller lists dozens of Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 coffee makers they are compatible with. They are FDA approved, made from 100% BPA-free plastic (don’t want to trade one problem for another) with stainless steel mesh, and they are dishwasher safe.
If you’re looking for a way to make your Keurig coffee maker greener or more cost-effective, reusable K Cups are worth trying out.