Problem Seen, Problem Solved? April 15, 2015
Last November, while Jimmy and I were in Tallahassee, FL, every store in the nation, including Bell's, was already glitter, glow, and jingle-bell-rocking. You know, come hither, buy, buy, buy. Well, we purchased a new Keurig K45 Elite Brewing Single-Serve coffee maker. Yup, we are, for sure, real coffee drinkers! We have an excellent Cuisinart 12-cup drip coffee maker that's good to the very last drop every morning, but for that afternoon pick-me-up when one of us wants a single fresh cuppa, we thought the Keurig would be nice. Maybe it's overkill, but we bought it anyway (used coupons, too), along with two 16-cup packs of different coffee. OK, so what's the problem?
Neither of us gave a thought to the K-cup plastic waste! Don't ask me why, as I've been a recycler practically since recycling was invented, and dislike adding plastic or aluminum or other recyclable items to an already bursting planet. For me and Jimmy, pitching plastic coffee pods in the trash daily was a sort of heresy. Oh sure, one or two a day? What's the big deal? Get this: Each year an estimated 9.1 BILLION single-serve coffee and drink pods are thrown away in the United States. I'm not wired that way. Heck, neither is John Sylvan!
"Millions of people will pop a tiny plastic coffee pod into their single-serve coffee maker this morning, punching through its foil lid to create a personalized cup of java. John Sylvan is not one of these people, which wouldn't seem so unusual except he's the inventor of the Keurig K-Cup.
In an article for The Atlantic, he says, "I don't have one. They're kind of expensive to use. Plus it's not like drip coffee is tough to make." What's more, given the increasing number of K-Cups that are being dropped into garbage cans because they are not recyclable, Sylvan told the news outlet, at times he regrets inventing them."
Without picking any particular brand, none of these K-cups is recyclable.
At Costco, we've been buying a brand of organic coffee bean for the past few years to use in the drip machine. It's called San Francisco Bay Rain Forest Blend. With all the flap about the new Keurig model (not ours) not being compatible with any K-cups other than their own Green Mountain brand, coupled with the K-cup plastic waste, we began hearing that the Rogers Family Company, who sells San Francisco Bay coffee, is offering their own 97% bio-degradable one cups. Not only that, we discovered they're a local company!
Yesterday, in conjunction with other shopping chores, we drove down the hill to their large operation in Lincoln, CA (40 miles?) to talk to one of their reps and sample their brand of single-serve cartridges.
Even the bag is bio-degradable.
Fog Chaser brand, 97% bio-degradable "K-cup."
We were impressed ... we are impressed with the Rogers Family Company, a family operation that began over 35 years ago. A Mom and Pop success story, they're dedicated to "improving the business of coffee." There's lots more to their interesting story. They offer many kinds of coffee, and Jimmy and I plan to exclusively buy their bio-degradable, recyclable coffee pods, in addition to our usual bag of Rain Forest beans. Besides, it's all good!! Problem solved! Nobody paid me for this recommendation (haha, I'm not a politician); it just makes sense to be part of the solution rather than stay in the problem. I wanted to share this valuable information, in case you're also a Keurig user looking for a way to alleviate the landfill.