Don't Throw Out Used Coffee Pods. Here Are 6 Ways To Reuse Them Around The House

Even if you're the only coffee drinker in the house who uses a Keurig, one daily coffee adds up to 365 disposed pods every year. Add in more coffee drinkers or multiple cups per day, and the numbers multiply. Keurigs are so convenient for those on the go who want a quick and delicious caffeine boost in the morning; it's hard not to love them. However, it's also hard not to consider the number of disposed pods. Luckily, there are several creative ways to repurpose old items used in your coffee routine, including some genius ways to reuse creamer containers.

Not only do you get to take something you already use daily and recreate something new with it, you'll also be helping the environment. Although K-cups are touted as recyclable, there's some debate on if they actually are. "K-Cups are an environmental nightmare for many reasons," Eco-Cycle's community education and engagement manager Rosie Briggs shared with Brightly. "Even if it's a #5 plastic, which is more recyclable than a #7, it will still have other materials incorporated into the product, not to mention the coffee grounds — a huge contaminant for plastics markets." So, even though they made a switch to more recyclable plastic, other factors still make it a challenge.

But don't worry; you don't have to stop using your beloved coffee maker. Let's dive into several smart ways to reuse coffee pods around the house and some other ways to lessen the environmental impact when using them.

Add coffee grounds to garden

Using coffee grounds is an effective tip for keeping slugs and snails out of your garden. Because these slimy creatures like moisture, it's best to let the grounds fully dry out before applying. While some people say their plants love coffee grounds tossed into the soil, other experts state that applying grounds directly to the soil can damage some species. So, it's best to either apply a light layer or add the grounds to the perimeter of your plants or garden. The grounds will deter the snails and slugs, forcing them to find food elsewhere.

Add the grounds to your compost bin

Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients plants require to grow and thrive, which is why proper fertilization is crucial. Coffee grounds are rich in this vital nutrient, so they can be beneficial when added to your compost. However, there is too much of a good thing, and you don't want to overdo it. Oregan State University recommends only using a volume of 20% coffee grounds in your compost to give it a small nutrient boost while keeping it within a safe range for plants.

Use the cups as seed starters

There are several benefits of starting seeds instead of buying plants. It's more cost-effective, and the options are nearly endless when it comes to varieties to choose from. To get even more bang for your buck, consider using coffee pods as seed starters. Not only are they the perfect size, but used pods also already have a drainage hole at the bottom from the Keurig. Because they're usually white, you can use a Sharpie on the cups to label them and make it easy to identify your seedlings.

Create string lights

Who doesn't love a good DIY to upgrade your home and garden on a budget? With enough coffee pods saved up, you can make adorable string lights with some leftover Christmas tree lights and paint. You can choose one or more colors, or paint small designs for even more pizazz. Use your new illuminated strands to add ambiance to your patio or liven up holiday decor, or as a fun new decoration to a kid's room. As a bonus, the little ones will love helping you with this craft.

Organize your office

Finding items to organize your desk can be tricky, especially if it gets a lot of use. With so many small items like tacks, staples, paper clips, and more, you'll need a lot of containers to keep them separated. K-Cups are the perfect size to house these tiny items while keeping them readily available. They fit nicely in a drawer, or you can use a coffee pod holder to keep everything arranged nicely and out of the way on your desk.

Reuse to make coffee

We've talked about the environmental impact of throwing out coffee pods, but did you know you can use them more than once? It'll take a few extra steps, but it comes in handy whether you're trying to reduce plastic use or if you're in a pinch and run out of new pods. However, if you already plan on saving the grounds to compost, you're halfway there. Scoop the grounds out of seven or so used K-Cups, refill them with fresh coffee, and you'll be prepared for the week ahead.