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Repurposing K-Cups

A couple of years ago my husband and I made an impulse buy without the wisdom of forethought or researching user reviews. We bought one of those awesome Keurig single-serving coffee makers. Once we got it home and tried it out, we loved it! No wasted coffee, no coffee pot being left on to cook the coffee into tar, very little mess, but then we discovered the downside – what to do with the load of spent K-Cups? We’ve tried a couple of reusable cups without much success. There’s a new one on the market I want to try after we finish the box of K-cups we are currently using, so I’m hoping for better. In the meantime, I’ve finally found a way to repurpose those darned cups.

Top of spent K-Cup
Top of spent K-Cup

I have spent the past year learning the ins and outs of organic gardening. I compost my food waste; I’ve been building raised beds and loading them with leaves, compost, manure, etc. for no-till gardening; and planting and saving heirloom seeds. Since I start almost all my plants from seed, I’m always running out of things to start my seeds in. I’ve been repurposing egg cartons and toilet paper rolls for a while. It may seem like a no-brainer that I should be using my K-Cups for this, but I honestly didn’t think about it until a few weeks ago.

1. To begin, just rip off the foil top.
1. To begin, just rip off the foil top.

2. Shake the coffee into your food compost. The coffee is rich in nitrogen, plus earthworms love it!
2. Shake the coffee into your food compost. The coffee is rich in nitrogen, plus earthworms love it!

3. Rip out the paper filter and add this to your food compost.
3. Rip out the paper filter and add this to your food compost.

4. Fill with seed starting medium and plant your seeds!
4. Fill with seed starting medium and plant your seeds!

You may not be able to tell, but some of these have started sprouting. Just be very careful with watering them. I actually use a mister to spray them down a couple of times each day, depending on whether they are still moist or not. There’s only this one little hole in the bottom, so be careful not to overwater them.
Bottom of spent K-Cup
Bottom of spent K-Cup

I have also repurposed an old, plastic drawer system I bought back in the ’90s into a cold frame. It worked very well inside while starting my seeds back in February for my spring garden. I’ve moved it out to my deck and it is working wonderfully out there now that it’s late October.
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