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A Project For Gardeners Who Love K-Cups

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Keurig K-Cups have revolutionized the consumer coffee industry, but until recently, the K-Cups weren't recyclable. Fortunately, Keurig has recently announced that it's developed new coffee pods that you can recycle. The Keurig pods that have been on the market for the past decade were made from plastic #7; the new ones will be made from polypropylene.

Keurig expects to have their recyclable K-Cups on the market by the end of 2016. Until then, here's an idea for reusing K-Cups that can't be recycled.

K-Cup Seed Starters

K-Cups make adorable and useful little pots for your seedlings. After brewing a cup of coffee, set the pod aside on a paper towel to let it cool off.

Step One: Once the K-Cup is cool enough to handle, peel off the top and dump out the coffee grounds, using a spoon if necessary. Coffee grounds make the excellent composting material so consider re-using them in your garden. There should be a biodegradable filter lining inside the cup that can be removed and also added to the compost heap.

Step Two: Refill the pod with potting mix and the seed of your choice. It's handy to use a permanent marker to label the seed pods if you're growing a variety of seeds.

Step Three: Water the seeds as needed. You can help the little pots retain needed moisture by putting plastic wrap over the top with a small piercing in the plastic made with a toothpick. That will allow for some airflow. You can also turn an empty K-Cup upside down and set that over the pot to help keep in moisture. Of course, once the seedlings sprout and start to grow, remove the plastic or the K-Cup on the top.

Step Four: The K-Cups will already have little holes punched at the bottom during the brewing process, so you've got built-in drainage for your seedlings. Place the K-Cup seedling pots onto a potting tray or a dish to collect any drainage water.

And that's it!

The old coffee grounds you dumped in step one also have numerous uses, including:

  • Natural garden pest repellent.
  • Excellent odor absorbent. They work a lot like baking soda to absorb odors in the refrigerator.
  • Carrot food. Put coffee grounds in the earth where you plant carrots for a bigger, more robust carrot crop.
  • Under-eye depuffer. Mix coffee grounds with a little coconut oil and dab the mixture under your eyes. Rinse it off after a few minutes and enjoy a less puffy appearance.

You'll be able to recycle K-Cups along with other plastic recyclables in the near future, but until then, a little imagination can give them new life that keeps them out of landfills. Contact a coffee business, such as the 11th Street Coffee, for more information about K-Cups.