5 Ways to Reuse K-Cups if You Already Own a Keurig

By this point everyone already knows K-Cups are horrible for the environment. Itís been documented time and time again†

As of late every major media outlet from The Atlantic to NPR has written a story about it. Even the founder of Keurig has expressed regrets about creating the K-Cup.

However, despite the fact that this is now common knowledge, you still see a Keurig everywhere you go. Itís possible that you even have a Keurig in your own home. According to the National Coffee Association, 1 in 8 homes has a Keurig machine, making them the industry leader as of 2013. As of this year that amount has risen to 1 in 3 homes.

Rather than shaming you or telling you how plastic ends up in landfills (because itís not like you donít already know this), Iíd much rather share some ways you can reuse those K-Cups so you donít feel so guilty about owning a Keurig.


K-Cups can easily be used to organize some storage. For example, if youíre a crafting enthusiast, you probably have a bunch of small materials lying around, like buttons or scrapbooking stuff.

Rather than buying one of those plastic boxes that are sectioned off in different spaces, just align some K-Cups in a tray.

Make a Mini Garden

You can use K-Cups as either seed starters or as little mini pots for small plants to have around your home. You may even want to consider using them for a window sill herb garden if you have limited space.

Create Card and Picture Holders

Why go out and buy a card holder when youíve got perfectly good K-Cups lying around? Just cut a slit at the bottom of the cup, flip it over and voila!

You can even get a little crafty with them depending on what time of year it is. For example, paint them holiday colors when you know youíll be receiving a lot of holiday cards in the mail.

Organize a Desk Drawer

If youíre anything like me, then perhaps you have some challenges in the organization department, especially when it comes to things you donít see like desk drawers.

K-Cups are a perfect way to store paper clips, rubber bands, staples and any other small office materials you may have. You can even use them to make the kitchen junk drawer a little more organized.

Entertain Small Children

†There are a slew of mommy blogs on the internet that have entire posts on how to use K-Cups to entertain small children. Some ideas include:

The list goes on and on.


Letís be real here, K-Cups arenít going anywhere anytime soon so we might as well find eco-friendly ways to reuse them. Is it the ideal situation? Probably not. But at the very least you can do your part in making their negative impact a little less harmful.


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Janis K.
Janis K3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Martha S.
Martha Shaw3 years ago

There is nothing wrong with the machine. It is simply a coffee machine. The problem is with the k-cups. If you read the article you would see that even the developer regrets the development of the k-cups. But, as I have said twice now, you do not have to use k-cups and you should not use k-cups. The k-cups are the problem, not the machine.

Debbie S.
Past Member 3 years ago

I refuse to buy one of these over priced wasteful things. I also boycott using this machine at my cardiologists office. Such a shame greed of money is more important than common sense or the Earth.

Bryon S.
Bryon S3 years ago

I feel even more guilt about this issue after reading the article. I was hoping for a useful suggestion for what to do with these tiny plastic cups. We have a verismo and I'm sure I can't live without it. I think a better idea is to lobby for compostable cups.

donnaa d.
donnaa D3 years ago


Martha S.
Martha Shaw3 years ago

Composting and recycling are better than nothing, but there is currently no market for plastic recycling, so those k-cups do go to the landfill along with all the other plastics we put in the bin. Please also consider the amount of water it takes to make pastic - includng k-cups. I love my Keurig because I can make one cup - my limit and the most healthy amount - quickly and convenently. But PLEASE stop using the k-cups. Use the reusable filter with organic and fair trade coffee. This will also save you a lot of money as those k-cps are expensive. Reclaiming the earth is even more expensive.

Klaus Peters
Klaus Peters3 years ago

Yeah, it is a problem but I love coffee. What I do is; after the cartridge is spent, I cut the film off, empty the coffee into the compost or straight into the garden, rip the filter out, wash the cups in rain water and we have #7 plastic. Putting it into the recycling bin one by one is useless. I accumulate a quantity of clean used cups in a bag and I hope my council will recycle them.
However, I saw a suggestion on care2 about cold brew coffee, I am surely going to try that, It may change my recycling habits and enjoy coffee without polluting.
Coffee is good for composting, so is tea, but not the cup or bag.

Fi T.
Past Member 3 years ago

Treasure our resources