Photo (cc) by Randy Read
Many Americans ditched their coffeemakers and coffee pots when Keurig entered the java scene. With their ability to make a perfect cup of freshly brewed coffee whenever you want, it’s really no surprise that Keurig coffee machines are so popular.
While you may love to drink a cup of steaming hot Keurig coffee in the morning, it’s probably safe to say that you don’t enjoy throwing away Keurig’s single-use plastic pods, commonly known as K-Cups. The plastic brewing pods aren’t recyclable or biodegradable. (That should change by 2020, the year Keurig says its K-Cup pods will be 100 percent recyclable.)
Fortunately, if you want to enjoy a cup of Keurig-made coffee without being burdened with guilt because you know your K-Cup is going to end up in the landfill, check out these 10 genius ways to reuse those K-Cups:
- Photo (or card) holder: Simply clean out the plastic pod, cut a slit at the bottom of the cup, flip it over and you have an instant photo or card holder. If you have a little extra time, you can dress them up with paint, stickers, buttons, etc. They also work great as a playing card holder for kids. The cup can hold and keep several cards organized and easy for little eyes to see.
- Seed starter: “After I use each K-Cup, I allow it to dry, use a Sharpie to label it, peel the top off and remove as much of the grounds as possible,” Emily Cope, a nutrition counselor in Rochester, New York, told The Penny Hoarder. “I then add organic potting mix and a seed or two.” K-Cups have a little hole punched in the bottom of them from the Keurig machine, which works great for drainage with these seed cups.
- Herb saver: K-Cups come in handy when you have a lot of fresh herbs and you don’t want them to go to waste before you have a chance to use them. Chop up your fresh herbs and put them in a clean K-Cup with either olive oil or water. Remember to plug the hole on the cup bottom with a piece of tape or a bit of glue before you do this. Then put the cups in a muffin tin or set them on a baking pan and put them in the freezer. After they’re frozen, dip them in warm water and pop out the frozen herb cube, then put the cubes in a plastic baggie and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.
- Paint or glue pots: If you plug the hole at the bottom of the K-Cup, you can use the clean cups to hold paint or glue when you’re doing a craft project.
- Organizer: Are you a crafter or do you have a messy office drawer that’s in desperate need of some organization? K-Cup to the rescue! The small plastic pods are great for small items like buttons, safety pins, thumb tacks, paper clips, small scrap-booking items, extra change, staples or rubber bands.
- Teaching and play: You can use the pods for stacking or building activities with kids, to sort money (great idea, Happy Hooligans!) or use them in the bath with kids – they float and my son loves to fill them with water and dump them out (over and over again).
- Kids’ craft projects: Use the K-Cups to create kid-friendly crafts. Off the top of my head, I think the cups would make great snowmen, little top hats, jack lanterns or ornaments. They are also great for using with Play-Doh and paint stamping.
- Bath bombs: The Good Stuff has a fabulous idea for using K-Cups to create DIY bath bombs. It’s a win-win because you’re helping the environment and now you have a reason to relax and take a bath!
- Kiddie pops: K-Cups make great molds for little popsicles. All you need to do is clean the cups and plug the hole on the bottom and you’re ready to fill ’em up!
- Snack holder: I’ve reused K-Cups to hold snacks for my kiddos. They’re the perfect size for a little handful of nuts, pretzels or fruit snacks.
Check out “K-Cup Inventor Says He’s Sorry: Here’s Why.”
Do you have a creative use for K-Cups? Share your ideas below or on our Facebook page.