June 17, 2024

Office Sustainability Tip of the Week

As a new member of the President’s Council on Sustainability (PCS), I can’t help but think there are a ton of little things we as UMW employees could do to create more sustainable offices.  The PCS is heavily involved throughout the year with recycling events, dumpster dives, the D.O.T campaign (http://sustainability.umw.edu/dot/), and many other programs and initiatives that assist our goal as an institution to create a culture of awareness when it comes to sustainability.  But what about the little things—the small everyday choices and changes in behavior we could make that would lend themselves to creating a more sustainable office?  Therefore, the “Office Sustainability Tip of the Week” will be a weekly article highlighting different ideas that hopefully people will put into practice in order to create more sustainable office environments.  The Action Group involved with this series consists of myself, Robert Louzek, and Elizabeth Sanders.    So let’s get this series started with one of my favorite topics…Coffee.

Do you use a Keurig machine in your office?  Did you know that K-Cups are not recyclable?  I get excited purchasing my box of Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice K-Cups as much as the next person, but there are alternatives to using K-Cups in your Keurig machine.  For about $15, you can purchase your own re-usable My K-Cup.  Using the ground coffee of your choice, you can brew a cup of coffee with the My K-Cup reusable filter.  Not only is this better for the environment, but more cost-efficient as well.  If you’re a savvy shopper and you have a Keurig machine, you’ve hopefully gotten to the point where you’re paying no more than about 60 cents per K-Cup (maybe a little bit more if you’re a Starbucks fan).  But when using a My K-Cup, you’ll soon realize that an inexpensive normal can of Folgers or Chock Full of Nuts can last a really long time–and it brews a pretty decent cup of coffee.  Even if opting for a higher end package of ground coffee such as Starbucks, Peet’s or Gevalia, you will see that you’re spending less per cup of coffee than when opting for purchasing a 12, 16, or 24-pack of K-Cups.  And we thankfully live in a world where it’s relatively easy to find flavored ground coffee or creamers at your local grocery store so that you can turn your regular cup of coffee into something more exciting.  Another option is the My-Kap Kap (http://www.my-kap.com/MYK/), which allows you to reuse your K-Cups by refilling them with coffee or tea.  For more information on the issues of sustainability when it comes to coffee, check out Coffee & Conservation (http://www.coffeehabitat.com/).

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this article and it’s given you something to think about – whether it’s how you consume coffee in the workplace or at home.  If you have any suggestions for things we can all do differently each day to create more sustainable office environments, please feel free to leave a comment or email me the suggestion to be featured in a future Tip of the Week.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.


  1. …And then you can use your coffee grounds in your compost pile! Way to go Kevin, and the rest of the PCS! This is a great new feature in Eagle Eye!