07/15/2015 12:37 EDT | Updated 07/15/2016 05:59 EDT

Here's What You Can Do With Your Coffee Waste


Home pod brewers have taken over the universe and the landfills. Green Mountain company, the K-cup makers, are bringing back the "My K-cup" option which allows brewing of any ground coffee in their machines. This may or may not have anything to do with customers having "passion for" brewing their preferred bagged coffee as their press release explains. The move toward the market cornering bar coded pods did receive some backlash, but it may indeed have to do with the cost of the prescribed and coded pucks as well as the waste created.

We all feel badly about tossing these disks in the trash but is there anything new you can do with the detritus of your addiction to easy caffeine?

  • Any brand of coffee pods can be opened by cutting and peeling back the foil wrapper once used and grounds can dumped into your green bin or compost
  • Raw grounds alone can be sprinkled in your garden but only around acid loving plants like azaleas and blueberry bushes. Knowing that the average Canadian drinks about four cups per day, most of it brewed at home means that you are probably making more grounds that your property line has.
  • There are compostable K cup type varieties available and some are even superior Fair Trade, Shade Grown Organic.
  • Keurig commits to making all pods recyclable by 2020
  • Tassimo brand now has a recycling program that offers pick up programs or drop off spots across the country
  • If all else fails, K cup pods have their own little following on pinterest of craft/recycle projects

I find myself switching back to a French Press method that has been my go to since the 80s . It doesn't really take all that much longer than the machines, just more early morning alert ability to boil water. If that isn't too much for you to even consider, this method does deliver more bang for your financial and nutritional buck. The longer the beans stay whole, the more flavour and phytonutrients they retain. The longer the beans stay in contact with the water, the more flavour and nutrients they transfer.

Best French Press Method:

  1. Grind beans to a coarse grind as you boil water
  2. Place 2 Tbsp per 6 ounce cup of boiling water of grounds into press
  3. Pour boiling water into the press and stir for at least 30 seconds (critical!)
  4. Wrap in a towel and allow to stand for four to seven minutes
  5. Gently and slowly press until all of the grinds are compressed at the bottom
  6. Pour off all of the coffee immediately. If you need to keep it warm, use a travel mug rather than letting it sit in the grinds at risk of becoming bitter. (The coffee, not you)

We are living in a time when a cup of coffee is so much more than a cup of coffee. The taste of it is only the tip of the iceberg. Was it ethically and ecologically grown? Were the farmers fairly paid? How was it shipped and packaged? And what do you do with the waste?


What kind of coffee drinker are you