OT? Single use (coffee)

The study adds to a growing body of research that shows assuming packaging does the most harm to the environment can be misguided. Instead, experts say, it’s important to look at a product’s entire life span — from the time it’s made to when it’s discarded — to figure out which changes might have the biggest effect on reducing your carbon footprint.In the case of brewing coffee at home, this latest study shows that it largely boils down to not wasting water or coffee.


From your link: For instance, the latest analysis found the benefits of pods can be lost if their convenience encourages people to drink two cups instead of one.

I for one, do not use a 12 C coffee maker to drink just one cup. One cup consumption is when I use my Keurig…with the generic pod I fill with coffee. The pods, some of which we bought for guests who don’t always appreciate the strength of my coffee, are recyclable, but IMO waste so much water in preparation to recycle that recycling them is environmentally inefficient.


We now have a single cup keurig machine. It’s kind of a pain to add 1 cup of water each time, but our previous keurig with water reservoir broke and this one was on sale at target. We’re down to 3 coffee drinkers in the house anyway.

I think the study was probably looking more at the 65% of coffee that is brewed outside the home (about 35%, don’t know if servings or coffee quantity, but close enough). Many places have timing rules, like if it sits in the pot for more than X minutes, it has to be poured down the drain. Or in office settings, Joe comes in and sees a half pot of coffee and says “hey guys, I’ll brew a new one for us to drink”.

But I still don’t believe it, those little k cups have plastic, foil, a filter, and coffee grounds. Plenty of waste. Also, when I have coffee grounds (when we used to use a big filter pot) or a big bag from the local sbux, I put them into our compost bin. But those little k cups go straight into the trash, not worth digging in to get a tiny amount of grounds and to make a mess in the process.

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I have a single cup drip brewer that doesn’t use pods, just regular ground coffee.
Its just as convenient as the pods but costs a whole lot less.

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I use instant coffee. So nothing to recycle except the large(r) cannister in which the coffee was packaged and sold.

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Cowboy coffee with finely ground beans. The fines sink to the bottom, don’t drink the last half-inch.


not quite sure what “cowboy coffee” is, but the best tasting coffee I’ve ever had has been up in the mountains while on backpacking trips. Get up in the morning and use filtered stream water in a percolator pot, better than anything from any store/cafe. Of course, it could be the surroundings, and the lack of any other luxuries that make it so good.


When we have the time, we use a French press coffee pot.

Cowboy coffee is just boiled water poured into a cup with your grounds. Some boil the water with the grounds. There’s other variations as well (one with eggshells, can’t remember exactly what was involved).

Like French Press (the method I use when I need to make more than one cup) without the press.

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Cowboy Kent Rollins explains: