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K-cup, Hummer and compost

Green Cars, Coffee and Kitchen Scraps

Can Americans get over our love affair with big, gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs? Are you considering environmental impact when you choose your car or coffee maker? One of our goals at GrowthBusters is to make it second nature to consider your footprint in all you do. The newest episode of the GrowthBusters podcast examines EPA plans to rollback auto fuel efficiency standards. What policy prescriptions would be fair AND effective in encouraging us to make lower carbon-footprint decisions?

The Ultimate Guide to Recycling K-Cups, from Consumer Reports, sparks a lively discussion and quest to determine the lowest-impact way to brew your coffee. Did Ben and I hurt Kaitlyn and her parents’ feelings when we characterized the Keurig single-serve coffee craze as “silly”? Not our intention, but what do you think? Do we really need single-serving coffee pods? You might be surprised that these account for a huge percentage of the coffee maker market. The conversation does reveal fascinating facts about the recyclability of various types of pods.

Then: What burns more fuel? Car windows up and air conditioning on? Or windows down and no A/C?

Finally, Kaitlyn shares interesting experience and information about composting. You don’t necessarily have to be gardening to participate!


GrowthBusters movie

EPA Moves to Weaken Fuel Efficiency Rules

Photo Credit: handful of compost: By Alan Levine [CC BY 2.0]

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Comments (3)

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    Geesh, just make or buy a single serving pour-over filter or use a press-pot. It’s better tasting coffee and there is no engaging in the myth of being able to endlessly recycling materials — most materials (including metals) degrade with each recycling and uses not insignificant amounts of energy and resources in the processing.


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    All you need to do is make the vehicles smaller to improve the MPG numbers.


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    Even if it’s electric, my next car will have the instant-MPG reading on it because when I drive my Mom’s car I watch it and it encourages me to drive more economically.
    I am working on breathing deeply and trying not to think about the use of single-serving drinks, which I made a commitment to never accept, even if offered for free – and k-cups, which I never use except when I reuse my Mom’s because I drink weaker coffee than she.
    I just moved to an apartment and didn’t know what to do with my compost, since *not* composting is never an option for me. There is a bin at the library, but so many people “wish-compost” by putting their compost is plastic bags, that it probably isn’t that great. Now I take it up to twice a week to the city’s compost place, which is less than 2 miles away and is either on my way to other errands, or I can bike or walk there. I can also shred paper (when I simply can’t resist using my printer) and compost that, because composting is WAY better than recycling. When I had a house, I used shredded office paper (1) to deodorize my chicken run and (2) as a mulch in my garden.


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