Posted by: David McKay | February 13, 2012

The Keurig: Another Modern (In)convenience to Life as We Know It.

I am appalled by this machine.  In this day and age, as the world we live on becomes one giant garbage dump, the money that companies (like Vermont’s Green Mountain Coffee Roasters) are making off of this is absurd.  The waste that is generated makes me sick.  The lack of thought in regards to the environment is a disgrace.

And for what?  Convenience?  Really?

Is it individual choice to dictate how we live our lives?  Is it a responsibility of a government to create order and tell us how to live?  Is it a belief system inherent in our culture that tells us how to live?  Should the companies that create waste be responsible for it?

The plastic K-cups do not get recycled.  The coffee grounds do not get composted.

The coffee itself can cost upwards of $51 a pound when all is said and done.  Wow.  Read about it in the New York Times piece from February 7, 2012:

With Coffee, the Price of Individualism Can Be High

A New York Times piece from August, 2010 about the waste of K-cup packaging:

A Coffee Conundrum

The life cycle of K-cups and their hidden costs from Carbon Diet, a website that helps people figure out how to go green:

K-Cup Coffee Maker Garbage An Environmental Issue

So, what?  So, single-use plastics are ruining our planet.

Think for a change, and change will happen.  The Dalai Lama says it starts with yourself.  Or was that Buddha?

I have a hemp coffee filter, a single cup coffee brewer to put on top of my mug, a bean grinder that runs on solar, and a tea kettle to heat the water.  All of that may not seem convenient, but it sure does make me cherish that cup of coffee.

I am interested in Green Mountain Coffee’s opinion regarding this, so I sent them a message asking them how they were addressing the waste produced by their K-cups.  They have not responded yet.  They pride themselves on “protecting the environment” and you can see their achievements here: Brewing a Better World.  It is quite a list, and I applaud them.  But the list stops in 2009.  Hmm…

According to CNNMoney, they are #2 on Fortune’s list of fastest growing companies in 2011.

So, screw the environment for profit?  Am I getting that right?  If I am wrong, by all means set me straight.

Thanks for reading.

Responsibility in not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink.  Refuse.  Reduce.  Reuse.  Reimagine.




  1. Just read another article about this yesterday: .
    Unfortunately, as with many disposable items, the ‘solution’ is now going to be to recycle the K-cups, which we know is a non-solution. Reading through the comments of this article is very interesting…some people really ‘get it’ and some do not. Let us know if you hear any developments from your outreach to Green Mountain.
    Thanks for the research and thought on this! 🙂 Kate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: