If you want a sustainable future for your children, we need to stop being a part of the K-Cup problem. These tiny instant coffee pods aren’t doing our environment any favors. Even the creator John Sylvan regrets building the machine.
Don’t worry; I’m not going to ask you to give up your favorite hot beverage. Instead, I want to try and sway you to a more eco-friendly version.
But, before I do that, I first want to guilt you with the knowledge of what K-cups are doing to the environment. I hope you’re ready for this guilt trip.
The Shocking Reality With K-Cups
There’s plenty of reasons to be shocked when it comes to K-cups, you just don’t know it yet. To make it easy, I’m going to show you the three main reasons why K-cups are so bad:
- They damage your health
- They use aluminum
- They can’t biodegrade
Let explain a little further:
The materials that get used in K-cups are non-biodegradable; this means once discarded the pods will be around for a very, very long time. And when you combine this with the quantity of K-cups that get used each year, you’ll start to see the real problem.
The thing is, the plastic and metal used in the pods will start to build up due to them not being biodegradable. It’s thought that at the end of 2015 there were enough k-cups sold to wrap around the earth ten times.
And with the consumption of K-cups growing faster than ever before, I do not doubt that number would be significantly higher in 2020.
If we carry on at this rate, we’re going to be in big trouble.
Then we have to think about the damage they’re doing to our bodies.
Here’s the thing:
The plastic packaging contains harmful chemicals inside. Most manufacturers will tell you they have no ill effects. But that’s before it has been heated.
You see only when the plastic is heated does it become dangerous to humans. When the boiling water and acidity from the coffee gets added to the plastic coffee pods, chemicals start to leach into your drink.
These chemicals have been proven to cause congenital disabilities, hormonal problems such as infertility, and much more.
Lastly, I want to talk about the aluminum which is used with the coffee pods. Aluminum is a natural resource that uses a lot of energy to mine.
Because of the extensive energy process, it leads to a lot of pollution. This pollution is pushed into water sources, the air, and the soil, which is not good for humans and animals alike.
But Recyclable K-Cups Are Better… Right?
I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that most K-cups are recyclable, which is good news, right? At least we get to reuse the resources, the problem is:
They’re tough to recycle!
Let me explain:
I mentioned earlier that K-cups are made using three key components:
The coffee part is compostable, great news. And both plastic and aluminum are recyclable. So I’m sure you’re wondering what the problem is?
The problem is splitting down all the components can be pretty tricky. It usually involves you having to buy an extra tool.
The next tricky part is finding a place to recycle the plastic part. You might get lucky and have a local recycling center that takes the plastic. Just be warned this isn’t always the case, so it’s best to check beforehand.
If you don’t, it might end up in the landfill. Recycling your K-cups is a far better option than sending them to the dump. But you could go one step further:
The Holy Grails Of K-Cups
If you’re really looking for the most eco-friendly K-cups, there can only be two winners, reusable and biodegradable K-cups.
Today we’re going to focus on biodegradable K-cups, I’m going to show you what to look out for, and my favorite brands to get you started:
What To Look For
Before I show you my favorite brands of biodegradable K-cups, I want to show you some things to look out for, so you don’t come out disappointed:
# of Pods
The number of pods you’ll receive in the pack depends on the brand. So it’s a good idea to check if the package meets your coffee drinking habits. When you compare the number of pods with the price of the pack you’ll get a good idea if you’re getting a good deal.
Everybody has their favorite brand of coffee, but not many people know what their favorite flavor is.
With so many varieties out there, it can hard to choose. This is why I usually try a variety pack beforehand. It will give you an exceptional understanding of the brand and which flavor suits you better.
It’s worth checking out the brand is 100% biodegradable, some manufactures are sneaky and looking to make a quick buck from people with carefully worded advertising.
You can usually find the information you need on the company’s websites, but if you’re unsure, you can check on forums and in comment sections.
Switching to biodegradable K-cups isn’t just about being better for the environment; it’s about being better for your health too. At least with organic coffee, you know it hasn’t been pumped with any harmful chemicals.
The Best Biodegradable K-Cup
One of my favorite brands is Organic Coffee Co. Each pack comes with 12 to 36 coffee pods inside. You also get a great selection of coffee flavors for you to enjoy. The best bit is they’re very reasonably priced.
The pod is made using 100% biodegradable materials, which means you’ll have no problems composting them.
The coffee is made using the finest Arabica beans, so you get rich exotic notes coming through. My personal favorites are the Breakfast Blend and Gorilla Decaf.
I hope this has given you some insight into what k-cups are doing to the planet. Remember it’s not just the planet that suffers, it’s you too.
The chemicals inside a plastic K-cup can cause serious harm to your body over an extended period. Some of these problems include infertility, congenital disabilities, and carcinogens.
Also before you buy yourself a pack of biodegradable K-cups, make sure it is 100% degradable. You’ll be surprised how sneaky some companies are.
Even the creator has regretted playing his role in the K-cup crisis, but how about you? Are you going to push towards a better future?
If you don’t do it for the environment, at least do it for your health.