Guest post by Kate Harveston*
When you wake up in the morning, getting that first cup of coffee is often the only thing that keeps you out of prison. Throwing a coffee pod in your machine is a fast, easy way to get your morning beverage stat. But, no good deed goes unpunished and single-serving coffee machines hurt the environment by sending billions of disposable cups to the landfill.
In 2014, we used so many coffee pods that, if you lined them up end-to-end, they could circle the earth 10.5 times. The resources used to manufacture, transport and dispose of all those coffee pods is having a very negative effect on the planet. Here are a few alternatives that will still get you a hassle-free morning cup of java without harming Mother Nature.
Try a Different Maker
The greatest appeal of the coffee pod is that you’re able make a single serving beverage at the touch of a button. Do a little research to find the best single-serve coffee maker that uses biodegradable packaging or pods that you can reuse. Opt for an energy-efficient model too.
Create Your Own Coffee Pod
Because people are brilliant, you can make your own reusable coffee pods with a bit of aluminum foil. This will minimize your impact on the environment. Be careful about which kind of machine you’re using, though. Some require a clip-on top, which might need to be purchased.
Prepare Ahead of Time
The words “coffee concentrate” might not sound appealing, but they can save you money and time. By following this simple recipe, you can make coffee concentrate ahead of time. Just add hot water in the morning, and you’re good to go!
Place 12 ounces of coarsely-ground coffee (340 grams) in a large bowl. Cover with 6 glasses of water at room temperature. Leave to steep overnight. Strain through a coffee filter. Store your concentrate in the fridge and mix one part concentrate with two parts boiling water for a great cup of coffee.
Use a French press coffee pot as it requires no filters and no pods for a waste-free cup of morning java.
Use organic, fair trade coffee and be sure to compost your used coffee grinds—they are great at keeping pests away from your garden and perfect for plants that like acidic soil.
*Kate Harveston is a freelance writer and blogger from Williamsport, PA. Her writing tends to focus on politics and social justice. To follow her writing, you can visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.