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April Tip of the Month

Repurposed K-Cups

K-Cups have taken over the home-coffee market because of their convenience and ease of use. Just pop in a plastic cup, press a button and you have a mug of fresh-brewed java. But that cup isn’t recyclable and unless you use refillable off-brand cups (which don’t jive with the Keurig 2.0 brewers), you’re probably filling landfills with hundreds of nasty, single-serve cups every year. In fact, some estimates show that enough K-Cups were sold in 2014 to circle the earth 13 times!

tip-of-month-Tented-cupsBut these eco-unfriendly cups can help you green your garden by serving as seed starters. Just save your cups after enjoying your morning Joe. Peel off the foil lids and use a spoon to scoop out the grounds and the filter (you can compost both the filter and grounds).

Give empty cups a quick rinse, as the acidic coffee grounds can harm seeds. Spoon dampened seed-starter soil into the cups and plant a few seeds into each cup. Follow the instructions on the seed packet for planting depths. After planting, add more soil and mist lightly with water.

Create humidity for the seeds to sprout by putting all the cups in a foil pan and covering it with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the wrap to let the seedlings breathe. You can also use toothpicks to tent the plastic wrap around each cup. Your seeds won’t need light until they sprout.

—Eli Wallace

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