Keurig drink makers are inventions that allow you to prepare a singe serving of your favorite coffee, hot cocoa or tea. Many consumers, however, wonder what to do with all those empty K-cups and how they can enjoy their individual cup of coffee, cocoa or tea with as little environmental impact as possible.

Invest in a Reusable Filter

Purchase a plastic reusable filter to fit into your Keurig machine, and you won’t have to toss out so many of the small plastic cups. Fill the filter with your favorite coffee grounds or tea leaves to make your single serving of hot beverage just as you would with the prepackaged K-cup. Then, simply rinse the filter out and use it again next time you want a warm drink.

Compost the Coffee Grounds or Tea Leaves

Coffee grounds and tea leaves can be composted, so instead of throwing the remains in the trash can, toss them onto your compost heap instead. If you don’t have a compost heap, dig a small hole in your garden area, and bury the grounds. In addition to keeping them out of the landfill, the grounds or tea leaves will enrich your soil.

Grounds to Grow On Program

Set up by the Keurig company, the Grounds to Grow On program encourages consumers to return their used K-cups to them. Once the company receives the used cups, they are given a second life doing things such as becoming a useful source of energy. The used grounds inside the cups are given to various agricultural entities to be used as valuable compost. Each of these actions helps keep the cups and packaging out of the landfill.

Repurpose the Cups

Those little empty cups can be used for a variety of creative things around your home and garden. Increase drainage in potted plants by filling the pots about one-third of the way with empty K-cups and then topping with dirt and planting flowers or houseplants. Give the empty cups to your children as art projects. Use the cups as paint cups to keep the mess to a minimum or use them to separate beads, buttons or other supplies by color, shape or size. Show your kids how to stack clean, dry cups to make towers, castles or other structures. Line up ten K-cups and give your child a small bounce ball to play a miniature version of bowling.

For more information, speak to a provider of coffee products, like Mountain Valley Water.