After years of telling myself I would not succumb to the coffee cup, as a college student I have found myself frequenting the addictive morning brew. Even so, I refuse to settle for a light flavor and do my best to indulge in the most sustainable manner. This has lead me to firmly deny any product that comes from a Keurig coffee maker.
Keurig’s mission statement claims that, “We believe our products can be sourced, designed and manufactured in ways that are good for people and good for the environment. We strive for balance in the way we engineer our operations and our finished products, while working to create.” From what I discovered about Keurig, I find such a mission statement laughable.
The convenience of the K-Cup is undeniable, but some things are still unnatural about how Keurig gets coffee from its’ containers to your cup. To me, it’s unsettling that the Keurig machine pokes a hole through a plastic cup to get to your roast. I’d much rather spend a whole ten seconds grinding my beans and putting fresh grounds into the coffee machine for a more natural cup.
Another issue is that K-cups are difficult to recycle because of the differing materials used to manufacture them. One can easily imagine how many cups are wasted in an office building using Keurig machines.
I purchased my first thermos at the beginning of the school year in an effort to be more sustainable. I’m perturbed by the hundreds of Starbucks cups I see a day, but the easily-recyclable Starbucks cup pales in comparison to the waste created by the Keurig. To that end, you need a special machine to make Keurig coffee, which is a waste in and of itself. And what’s more? You are sucked into an almost inescapable Keurig-fueled system.
In my eyes, the Keurig coffee maker sings a sad song to the coffee-drinking community. It is wasteful and worringly unsustainable. I think it’s time we all think more critically about the process of getting that coffee from the bean to your cup.