By: Melissa Colleary, Sustainability Coordinator, LIU Post
Everyone has a different morning routine. Mine, for example, is wake up, make a cup of coffee, sit on the couch and take some time to actually wake up before going to the gym. My routine is very similar to a lot of other people’s routines.
About a year ago, I splurged and bought a Keurig coffee machine. It ended a lot of arguments about what to brew a pot of and less coffee went to waste – they even sold fair trade organic K-cups! How eco-friendly of me, right?
Every night when I would return home though, I would straighten up the kitchen, typically throwing away used K-cups. You can’t recycle the plastic, and unlike regular coffee grinds, it’s extremely difficult to compost. With a bunch of dirty plastic filling up my garbage can, I realized that no matter how organic these cups “claimed” to be, they were decaying in landfills and contributing to a pollution problem that we’ve all become rather familiar with.
This raised the issue of what to do with my beloved Keurig machine. I didn’t want to get rid of the convenience of one-cup brewing; however, I also didn’t want to accumulate any more garbage than I needed to.
The solution happened to be – a little, red plastic cup. It looks exactly like what goes inside of a regular coffee pot, but smaller to fit inside of the Keurig. You just spoon in one tablespoon of grinds every time you want a new cup, and the device is completely reusable. No more K-cup plastic clogging up my garbage can!
I could also compost the leftover grinds!
My issue with the Keurig led me to think about the rest of my morning routine. How green was it really?
I drove to the gym, often drove home to shower, got back in the car, and made my way to school.
This wastes a lot of gas and causes pollution along the way. Unwilling to abandon any part of that routine, I simply changed it up a little bit. I chose a new gym, one on my way to school where I could take my shower before continuing on my way to class. This small change cut back on a lot of travel time and saved me money in the long run.
Every morning we see people in the middle of their own morning routines, holding paper or even styrofoam coffee cups, driving short distances out of convenience, and littering out of their car windows.
All of these practices could be altered in ways that benefit the environment with little impact on one’s day.
Next time you wake up, take a look at your own routine and see where you can make a change because small steps add up; you just have to take them.