K-Cups make life easier in a lot of ways. They're fast, convenient, and a surefire way to satisfy a caffeine addiction.
There's just one (big) problem with these little coffee dispensers: K-Cups are a bane for the environment. As of right now, the number of K-Cups deposited in landfills every year could wrap around planet Earth more than 10 times. Once plastic ends up in landfills, it remains there for hundreds, maybe even thousands, of years. These landfills pollute air, land, and water; destroy wildlife habitat; and are major sources of greenhouse gases, which speed up climate change.
Luckily, K-Cups don't have to end up in landfills. There are several ways to reduce K-Cups' environmental impact (outside of not using them in the first place). For starters, there are more and more opportunities to recycle K-Cups around the country. If that's not an option where you live, then don't give up hope: It's also possible to keep K-Cups out of the waste stream by creatively reusing them.
What good is a used K-Cup, you might wonder? Turns out, it can be used in a multitude of ways. Here are just 10 of the many creative ways to reuse K-Cups.
Store fresh herbs
Whether you purchase or grow them yourself, you can store herbs and extend their shelf life with just a few K-Cups. If you have leftover herbs or garlic from a recipe, simply chop them up, load into K-Cups, and stash the K-Cups in the freezer. (If the herbs are chopped very finely, cover the hole in the bottom with some foil or plastic wrap beforehand.) The herbs should keep until you're ready to remove them from the freezer and add them to your next culinary project.
Organize small craft, office, and other supplies
It's a classic conundrum: How do you ensure tiny supplies such as thumbtacks, bobby pins, staples, buttons, and so on don't wander off? The solution is simple: Corral them in K-Cups for better organization and accessibility. (Stash the K-Cups on a cooking tray to prevent spillage.)
Bonus tip: If you're looking to store sewing needles, consider turning a K-Cup into a pincushion by filling it with cotton and securing fabric over the top.
Create themed decorative lights
Tucking a K-Cup around each light on a stretch of string lights is an easy way to add a warm glow to a room or outdoor space. Up the ante by decorating the K-Cups before attaching them to the lights.
To get started, check out these Halloween-themed string lights, or create a pretty garland for outdoor summer gatherings. (Just replace the Dixie cups in these instructions with K-Cups.) Or ditch the string lights and use K-Cups to freshen up a pendant light or put together some funky marquee lights.
Start seeds for your garden
Planting a garden? Consider starting seeds in used, clean K-Cups. If you want to get extra crafty, hang these miniature planters in a window to show off your growing starts.
Display cards and photos
Don't have room for any more picture frames on your shelves? You can show off cards and photos (while taking up much less space) by using K-Cups as card holders. Carefully cut a slit across the bottom of a K-Cup and slide in cards or photos for a lightweight display that takes up less real estate than frames.
Take the smell out of your fridge
Most of us are aware that baking soda can help deodorize the fridge, but fewer people realize coffee can have the same effect. That's why K-Cups serve as the perfect fridge deodorizer. Here's how to put them to good use:
Freeze some popsicles
Who doesn't like a cool popsicle on a hot summer day? Keep popsicles handy by using K-Cups as popsicle molds.
Create cheery wall art
This fun project will cheer up any room, thanks to the bright yellow daffodil “flowers.” While K-Cups may not sound like a high-art medium, the end result is surprisingly pretty and professional.
Make learning fun (and keep kids entertained)
If you're a parent, teacher, or caretaker of young kids, then K-Cups can make for an ideal learning accessory. Here are just some of the many ways you can use K-Cups to make learning fun:
Get crafty for the holidays
The holidays are the perfect time to get crafty, and K-Cups provide a great foundation for all kinds of fun holiday crafts. Here are some ideas to get you started.