Keurig was John Sylvan's brainchild, but he doesn't even use the environmentally disastrous coffee pods.
“Kill the K-Cup before it kills our planet.” That was the key message about the nonrecyclable, nonbiodegradable coffee pods of a sci-fi-style clip released in January by Canadian-based video production outfit Egg Studios. The video's infamous K-Cup monster and accompanying hashtag went viral across social media. Now it seems that John Sylvan, the inventor of the tiny containers, is firmly on Team #KillTheKCup too.
“I don't have one. They're kind of expensive to use,” Sylvan told The Atlantic. Sylvan isn’t just worried about the negative impact of K-Cups on his wallet. As with plenty of environmental activists, he’s concerned about all those plastic pods ending up in landfills. With enough K-Cups sold in 2014 to encircle the globe at least 10.5 times, Sylvan seems to be regretting his invention.
“I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it,” he said.
When Sylvan sold his company back in 1997, he never expected that the machines he invented would become so popular that one in three households would have one, or that billions of the plastic #7 coffee pods he created would be chucked into the trash every year. Although Keurig Green Mountain's sustainability report indicates that it's working to make the single-use containers fully recyclable by 2020, Sylvan said that’s not possible with the way the pods are designed.
“No matter what they say about recycling, those things will never be recyclable,” said Sylvan. “The plastic is a specialized plastic made of four different layers."
Most recycling plants aren’t equipped to handle #7 plastic. Along with being tough to recycle, that plastic may contain BPA. The containers are also attached to a foil lid, which has to be separated from the plastic, or it can't be recycled. Most users who are attracted to the convenience of K-Cups aren't going to take the extra time to do that.
Sylvan told The Atlantic that he knows how to make the pods sustainable, but that Keurig Green Mountain refuses to listen to him. Companies will listen to consumers, however, if their bottom line and brand begins to be negatively impacted. People can continue to put pressure on Keurig Green Mountain by spreading the #KillTheKCup hashtag and signing the Change.org petition that asks the company to start making universally recyclable K-Cups now, not five years (and billions more of the containers in landfills) from now. In the meantime, consumers looking for a more environmentally friendly way to get a quick java fix can try brands, such as the San Francisco Coffee Company, that are making recyclable pods or switch to one of the reusable pods out there that sometimes work in Keurig machines.
3 Ways To Spice Up Your Cold Coffees (by Sally Perkins)
The beautiful simplicity of a cup of coffee is not to be diminished, but sometimes your morning (or afternoon) brew needs a bit of a lift. As iced coffee and cold brew are both known to soak up flavors very well, the summertime is just the time to give these ideas a try.
- Essences and Extract
Vanilla flavored creamers and syrups are available everywhere, but try using vanilla extract on its own. It is all flavor and no extra sugar. If you’re trying to capture the flavor of an alcoholic brew without the alcohol, a dash of almond extract gives you that essense of amaretto. A chocolatey coffee might also pair very well with mint extract. Perhaps a trip to the baking section is in order.
- Dip into your spice cabinet!
Cinnamon is a go-to spice for most bakers, but maybe going a bit further afield to Cardamom and Ginger might add a bit of interest and freshness, even a bit of an exotic edge. If you’re more the fiery adventure type, a bit of cayenne or even chipotle will definitely add a bit of excitement to your morning. And, of course, the fad at the moment is pink peppercorns. These pink berries have a sweet but peppery flavor and are an amazing alternative for the person who has tried it all.
- Non-dairy love
While soya milk has been mainstream for a while, there are other non-dairy options. Oat milk has a rich, almost nutty flavor that has a nice body. It can be used just like normal milk and you won’t even miss the dairy alternative. Coconut milk is silky and strong, bringing life and vibrancy in addition to a massive coconut flavor. It whips up well in a latte or just a bit of cream on top.
Top Tip for Cold Brew
Salt - Salt brings out the flavor of foods and beverages and, as cold brewing sometimes mutes the coffee's flavor, it is just the thing to add a bit of punch. Discussions differ as to how much, but some people swear by this method.
Top Tip for Iced Coffee
Coffee Ice cubes - Make a batch the night before and freeze it in ice cube trays (the more fun-shaped the better). Use those to cool down the coffee - it won’t water down the coffee like normal ice. What can be better with coffee than more coffee?
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Excerpt from http://www.usmemorialday.org
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.
Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).
It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.