Composting Keurig Coffee Pods

K-cup ready for composting
Opened Keurig K-cup
Keurig K-cups are made up of plastic, foil, paper and coffee grounds. Many coffee drinkers out there find it convenient to pull out the punctured cups and toss them in the garbage before moving on with their morning and enjoying their single serve coffee. For those out there who still want to have somewhat of an environmental conscience while still going the single cup coffee route, it’s important to recognize two parts of that 4 ingredient cup that can be easily composted.

Of course we’re talking about the coffee grounds and the paper filter hidden inside the aluminum foil and plastic cup. Now you do need to do a bit of work before you can get the filter and the coffee out of the cup, but I’m sure you can figure it out. Peel back the foil, shake the coffee grounds into your compost bin, use your fingers or a pairing knife (with adult supervision, if you are a child coffee drinker) and get that paper filter out of there!

The coffee and paper filter will be great for your compost. It should go without saying that the plastic cup and aluminum foil cover can’t be composted. The foil cover should be recyclable if tossed into your municipal recycling stream. The mysterious plastic that the cup is made out of  is another story. It will depend on what types of plastics can be handled by your local recycle centres.

Long before getting to recycling though we should be looking at re-using and some of those k-cups can come in handy for the avid composter/gardener. They are a good little cup for starting out seedlings in before having to transplant them to larger containers. After being used they’ll have a puncture hole already built in for drainage so they carry on their convenience factor in their second life.

If you aren’t a regular reader of this site, you may have come through google by searching for what to do with your keurig cups and may not be too familiar with composting. If that’s the case, don’t be daunted by the task of composting. Although, there is a science to it it certainly doesn’t have to be followed to a T. It can also be scaled to suit your space and purposes. If you aren’t working with an actual compost bin, but have a small garden, simply sprinkling the coffee grounds around your garden can give your plants a boost and keep that much extra Keurig waste out of the landfills.

Beer And Wine In The Compost

Beer and Wine in the Compost
Yes, beer and wine can be composted!

Is beer good for the compost?

Actually yes, both beer and wine can be poured onto your compost heap and bring beneficial results.

Of course you don’t want to dump the beer that has been sitting in the fridge for a while on the compost as there are better uses for those beers (like drinking or cooking.. beer doesn’t really go bad, but the taste may change).  It’s the already opened cans of beer and bottles of wine that you should be adding to the compost.

Alcoholic drinks that were only half finished from the party the night before shouldn’t be drank the next day but your compost pile will benefit from the addition of those beverages. They provide a good source of nitrogen and the beneficial bacteria will love the yeast from the beer.

You do need to remember to manage the moisture content of your compost when adding beer and wine. If your compost is already dry, great! You are also saving water by adding the beer and wine. A compost that doesn’t need any additional moisture will need to be compensated with dry products like paper, cardboard and dried leaves to compensate for the extra liquid.

Remember next time you have have drank beers or wine that just doesn’t taste great anymore that your compost will thank you for the addition. If you really don’t want the extra liquid in your compost give your plants or lawn a drink! Environmental wise the worst option is to pour them down the drain, especially in areas that make use of sewage treatment plants. There is no need to treat excess beer and wine with chemicals, so, compost it!

 

Composting Sawdust

What should I do with the sawdust from my woodshop?

If you use your woodshop at home fairly often, you know that a lot of sawdust is created. Traditionally, this sawdust has been thrown in the garbage.

Sawdust can actually be quite beneficial to your compost, so don’t waste it by throwing it in the garbage.

Sawdust acts as a ‘brown’ compost material, similar to dry leaves. Sawdust does a great job of adding carbon to your compost. To have an ideal compost you’ll want a fairly even ratio of brown and green materials, or carbon rich and nitrogen rich materials.

Sawdust and wood chips come from trees so they are a natural product that will benefit soil made from compost, however, some types of wood contain poison.

That poisonous wood that you’ll want to avoid is pressure treated wood. If you are working with pressure treated wood, dispose of the sawdust in the garbage and be done with it. Preasure treated woods contain metals that can be harmful to your compost, likewise painted wood is best to be avoided when it comes to composting

Sawdust that is created from cutting natural wood is safe for your compost no matter what kind of tree the wood comes from. Just make sure the wood has not been treated with any chemicals.

Another option with sawdust is to try mixing it in with potting soil. It should help retain water at the start and will eventually decompose.

Compost Bin – Home

Composting has benefits that run very deep, both in your garden and for the environment as a whole. By composting you keep tonnes of food scraps and yard trimmings out of the landfill and create nutrient rich soil that can be used to feed and grow your plants and vegetables.

The soil created from compost is of top quality and will save you money when you don’t need to go to the store as often to pick bagged soil to add to your gardens.

As long as plants have grown, composting has occured. Composting is a natural occurence as organisms decompose, so composting doesn’t have to be complicated. Avid gardeners may prefer to take a more scientific approach to composting and there are methods that can be used to speed up the process and achieve more nutrient rich soil, but for others simple is best.

The articles on this site will help you understand some different aspects of composting and assist you in getting the most out of your composting experience. Check back often and feel free to submit any tips, suggestions, questions or whatever may be on your mind using the contact page.

Compost bins can be buily at home fairly easily, but, if you don’t have the materials laying around the house or if you simply don’t have the time to take on another project you might find it easier to buy a ready made compost bin. Premade compost bins go through trial and error to make sure they work to their optimable ability and in many cases don’t cost anymore than paying for the materials to build one by hand. A pre-fabricated compost bin isn’t for everybody, but, if you are interested in purchasing one, check out some options here.