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You may have noticed a flier hanging near the Keurig coffee brewing machines in the SCE break room that illustrates the cost savings of using a refillable K-Cup filter and ground coffee. What the flier does not show is that using refillable filters is also a great way to reduce your impact on the global environment.

K-Cup Coffee FlierStarting Wednesday, July 5, the SCE Sustainability Committee will provide the resources to test out this money and waste saving system. Courtesy of Sam Veraldi, there will be two refillable K-cup filters available at the coffee station. There will also be packages of Starbucks ground coffee courtesy of Laura Corin.

An instruction sheet for how to use the system will be posted in the break room near the coffee machines or you can view the video below. A table top compost bin will be placed nearby for compostable coffee waste. Coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers alike are invited to check out the compost bin and to offer suggestions to the SCE Sustainability Committee for expanded office-wide composting.

According to a March 2015 article in The Atlantic Monthly, “In 2014, enough K-Cups were sold that if placed end-to-end, they would circle the globe 10.5 times. Almost all of them ended up in landfills. They are not recyclable.” However, the refillable filter cups can last up to 5 years or 3,000 cups of coffee and using them helps greatly reduce the number of non-recyclable K-cups going to the landfill.

As for the cost savings mentioned on the Committee’s flier, a Business Insider article (also from March 2015) states that “K-Cup coffee costs roughly $50 per pound. …a bag of Starbucks house blend ground coffee costs $11.95 per pound, and a pound of Dunkin’ Donuts original blend is $8.99. Even most of the high-end bags of beans made by artisanal roasters go for under $20 per pound.” The per-cup savings can be as much as 700% with pre-filled K-cups costing $0.79 per-cup on average, while ground Dunkin Donuts regular blend coffee costs just over $0.11 per cup.

SCE staff are encouraged to try out the filters and coffee while supplies last. Members of the SCE Sustainability Committee will be happy to answer any questions.

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