I received a Keurig this past Christmas. I adore it. Along with my my Kitchen Aide, it’s one of my favorite appliances EVER. Apparently I’m not alone as Keurig experienced record breaking sales this past Christmas. All these new users unfortunately mean a large increase of plastic K Cups in our land fills. To reduce my own K Cup footprint – I’ve been putting a great deal of thought into how I can re-purpose them. This tutorial is the first of what I hope is many ideas I’ll have to share with you on putting K Cups to good use.
K Cup Seedling Starter Containers
We plant a small garden every year but I haven’t tried starting my plants from seed. This is really silly! I could save a great deal of $$ on vegetable and flower bed plants each year if I just take the time to start seedlings. All these K Cups hanging around is another reason to give it a go.
Let’s get started!
Gather up your used K Cups to prep them for planting. Marshmallow – our cat – decided to get in on the action.
I find it’s easiest to remove the aluminum seal by poking my finger into the hole made my the machine and tearing it away.
Once you’ve removed the seal – pour the coffee grounds into a bowl. Don’t throw hem out! We’ll use them later.
Pull out the filter found at the bottom of the cup and discard.
Give the K Cup a quick rinse. See the little hole the Keurig machine poked in the bottom of the cup? PERFECT for drainage! I swear it’s meant to be.
This is where it starts getting messy. Remember the coffee grounds from the k Cups that we saved? Add some good potting soil to the bowl that contains the grounds and mix. Coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen for your plants! Another win-win! I mixed one part grounds to three parts soil. No special formula there – but I am just fairly certain we don’t want TOO much nitrogen in the mix. Add the rest of your saved grounds to your houseplants or throw into the compost pile.
Gather the rinsed K Cups.
Using a spoon – fill the cups with the soil mixture. Getting a little messier.
Still messier! This is a perfect project for kids. They get to play in the dirt when the ground outside is hard and frozen. They will also get to watch the seeds grow in to small plants that they can plant in the garden this spring.
Next – pour your seeds into a small container to make them easier to grab. I’m planting tomatoes today but you can plant anything you’d like to.
Drop 3-4 seeds into each K Cup planter.
Use some type of utensil to poke the seeds down into the soil. Put the plants into an old container of some sort. I’m using an old bread pan. Add a few teaspoons of water to each K Cup – being careful not to over waterh. Cover with plastic wrap to create a greenhouse environment and set in a sunny window or under fluorescent lighting.
It may be a little early to start the seeds now but I am starting early for a few reasons. I have a brown thumb. I will most likely kill a few pans full of plants before I get it right. Secondly, I wanted to bring this tutorial to you right away so that you had plenty of time to save your K Cups.
I hope you’re as excited about this as I am. I will continue to think of ways to re-purpose my K Cups. If you have a found a way to put them to good use -I would love to hear about it!
Until next time…