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Going Green on Office Coffee Waste

Updated on January 13, 2010

Going green in the office has just gotten tastier. Coffee time is a big source of waste for offices. A more efficient coffee machine, like the Keurig brewer, is a great way for combat waste and do your part for the environment.

In 2008, Oprah analyzed her company's waste to discover that they spent over $800 a week on coffee cups alone. Some employees were double cupping their extra hot drinks. Other employees wasted their unfinishable extra large drinks, whose sizes were dictated by the enormous paper cups. And those who were super thirsty visited the coffee machine a countless number of times and racked up an immeasurable amount of cups. Lesson learned: While it's important to supply your employees with what they need (the ever-desired stimulant: coffee), it needs to be supplied in an environmentally and economically efficient way.

But it's hard to stay on top of all the environmental changes happening around our globe. So here are some major environmental changes: More than 3 billion trees are cut down each year. Since 1970, Brazilian rainforests, arguably the lungs of our earth, have decreased by 27%. Since 1950, the amount of carbon produced by the world's population has increased by 8 gigatons per year. Beautiful low-lying island nations like Maldives, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and are threatened by encroaching water levels. As white tigers are on the decline in warming Siberia, coral reefs and fish populations are threatened by dropping water temperatures.

Globe's biodiversity threatened by excessive consumption and waste
Globe's biodiversity threatened by excessive consumption and waste

While everything seems to be running amok, the environment isn't a lost cause. There have been drastic improvements as we've become more climate conscious. Many individuals, organizations and corporations now do their part to reverse the negative effects of our consumption.

Results of environmentally conscious recycling efforts
Results of environmentally conscious recycling efforts

More schools have integrated environmental lessons into curricula. Most major cities have integrated recycling into their tax-supported waste management systems. Many commercial designers are integrating green, carbon-neutral infrastructures into their future plans. Groups against packaging waste have sprouted up around the world. Grocery stores are beginning to cut out large footprint consumables (i.e. things that travel to far) and they are promoting local products.

Offices around America can also do their part to contribute to the growing green movement.

Moving forward with designs for Dongtan, China an island powered by wind and solar power.
Moving forward with designs for Dongtan, China an island powered by wind and solar power.
Plans for Masdar City, Abu Dhabi promises that carbon-neutral cities will crop up in the desert.
Plans for Masdar City, Abu Dhabi promises that carbon-neutral cities will crop up in the desert.

One-cup brewers are a great way to stop the trend of office waste. A one-cup brewer is an environmental alternative to the typical coffee machine. These elegantly designed machines produce coffee by pushing pressurized water through a tamped pellet of fresh coffee grinds, much like an espresso machine. But the difference between a one-cup brewer and an espresso machine is that Keurig one-cup brewers need less technical know-how. The art of coffee making is left up to the machine, and a perfect cup of coffee is created each time.

Keurig office brewers are created for high traffic use. The machines are calibrated to withstand the bulk usage for which other coffee machine aren't prepared. Keurig office brewers are also created with the individual in mind. Each cup of coffee is created in the unique way that an individual desires: brew strength, size, and type of coffee (from roast to blend, from grind to distributer, and across the range of coffees, cocoas, and teas) present an endless array of options. And most importantly Keurig office brewers are created for efficient, economical use so that each office can do their part to contribute to the health of our environment.

Keurig office brewers allow personal mugs to be used, so that cups aren't wasted. If your office supplies cups, this could be a major source of budget salvaging. Keurig office brewers allow the creation of one cup at a time, so that you don't produce multiple coffee pots. Due to the diversity of individuals' coffee preferences, many pots of coffee will go unused by the end of the day. Keurig office brewers require little cleanup since each little Keurig K-Cup (a coffee pod) is designed for easy use and easy cleanup. At the end of the day employing extra help to manage the waste and coffee cleanup is absolutely unnecessary.

Less coffee waste, less cup waste, and overall less harm to the environment. How will your office do its part to aid the environment?

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Comments on Coffee Cup Waste

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    • profile image

      MC 6 years ago

      Are you crazy? A K-Cup is good for the environment. Are you smoking something?

    • globalcoffeegrind profile image

      globalcoffeegrind 7 years ago

      Hi Karrie, Great point! I discuss that a few times in my other posts. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Karrie 7 years ago

      An office may be saving disposable coffee cups from the trash by switching to a Keurig machine, but those little cups are not recyclable either... some food for thought!!