Tag Archives: going green

Sustainable Tip: Back to School

It’s that time of the year again but this time be sustainable, let’s think GREEN!

If you’re a parent then you know the struggle of buying school supplies and maybe a little extra for those who may have forgotten or can’t afford it. Pencils are still a requirement on the school supplies list. More pencils mean more trees that need to be cut. According to Tree Hugger, over 82,000 trees are cut down per year to make pencils. That’s a lot of trees and resources. Pencils made from recycled materials such as newspapers, would decrease the amount of new resources used by reusing what we already have.


On average, there are 21 students per classroom. Students are then asked to bring one pack of 24 pencils each as their school supplies. If each student brings 24 pencils, that is 504 pencils per classroom. The average elementary school holds 26 classroom (excluding the art and music rooms) which could possibly be 13,104 pencils per school. That is a lot of trees and a lot of resources for one school. Also according to tree hugger, one tree makes 170,000 pencils. If one school in every state switched to recycled newspaper pencils, that would save almost four trees.

Other Think GREEN Tips!

Decomposition of newspapers in landfills could take 2-6 weeks vs wood could take 100-200 years to decompose in a landfill. Other ways to save space in landfills would be to never throw away your pencil shavings. Pencil shavings are excellent compost material and can be used as mulch in your plants. Instead of throwing your pencil shavings in the trash, throw them in your plants instead!

We hope you enjoyed our Back to School sustainable tip, think GREEN! To find these amazing recycled newspaper pencils, check out Amazon or The Ultimate Green Store.

The Solution to K-Cups Pollution

According to Market Watch, There are around 121 million households in the U.S., and Keurig has a machine in about 20 million, or 16%, of them. Not only is that a lot of coffee, but it is a lot of single use K-Cups as well. According to The Atlantic, there are enough Keurig K-Cups in landfills to circle the Earth more than 12 times and the number continues to grow.

We’ve all dreaded being the designated coffee maker in the mornings at the office, which is probably why Keurig single serve coffee brewer aka K-Cups have been extremely popular. Everyone loves the smell of fresh brewed coffee in the morning but nobody loves to make it unless it’s convenient.

Why do we love K-Cups?

We live in a fast pace time. Everything is made to be convenient and quick; it only takes 30 seconds to pop in a K-Cup and get Starbucks coffee instantly! How could we ever say no to that?

Coffee gets us up in the morning and even on time to work. You may even need extra coffee in the middle of the day to motivate you to keep hanging on, using a possible 3 K-Cups a day. That is 1,095 K-Cups a day for 1 person. If you’re still holding on to your Keurig for dear life and just can’t let go, we may have the solution to your K-Cup pollution that will keep you and the earth happy. If your office (or even your home) is stocked with an abundance of K-Cups, you may want to invest in one or more of these items for your office. 

1. Grounds to Grow On Program

Keurig Green Mountain’s “Grounds to Grow On” recycling program. They will ship recyclable containers to you with return shipping labels attached, for your office to throw used K-Cups in. You would then ship the K-Cups back to them to be taken apart and recycled (for a fee of course). Technically, K-Cups are considered recyclable once they’ve been taken apart but not while still all together. K-Cups are made of plastic, aluminum and paper that can be separated and recycled individually but in reality, who has time or wants to make time to pull apart their used K-Cup every morning to recycle all of it’s contents?

This would be a fantastic office solution for your K-Cup pollution if your employees/co-workers use over 20 K-Cups a day.

Don’t use that many K-Cups a day? No problem!

2. Recycle-A-Cup!

Solution #2 would be the company “Recycle A Cup“, who has a nifty contraption that separates the aluminum, filter and plastic in one twist. This would be great for at home or small businesses who don’t use as many K-Cups a day but still want to be Green! After pulling apart the cup, you can recycle your plastic and aluminum then compost your coffee. Voila! No more K-Cup waste. If you don’t know where to recycle your plastic but still want to recycle at work, Business Recycling Solutions offers a great B2B recycling program to pick up recyclables in the office, all in one bin!

3. Reusable K-Cups

The most common way to reduce K-Cup pollution is to purchase a reusable K-Cup. All you have to do is empty it and refill it with your favorite coffee. This option would divert plastic and K-Cup waste in the landfills completely.

Recycling doesn’t have to always take a lot of work. With the right resources, everyone could recycle in their home and workplace easily while still maintaining convenience! Let us know in the comments below, if this blog was helpful to you.