You know what I'm talking about. It's the "K-Cup phenomenon."

We're having a gigantic love affair with single-serving coffee machines. So convenient! So many flavors!


Coffee consumption has increased more than 10% since 2008, and that's totally driven by single-serving coffee drinkin'. Between 2009 and 2013, traditional roast and ground coffee consumption declined at a 1% rate while K-Cup consumption grew at 80%.

Yay — coffee! More coffee!

There's just one thing (or, rather, lots of little things).

In 2013, Green Mountain (owner of Keurig, the biggest K-Cup maker) produced 8.3 billion K-Cups — enough to wrap around the equator...

Only 5% of K-Cups are recyclable.

Ouch. We know we are drowning our oceans in plastic. This really can't be a good idea. The company says it's set itself a "bold target" of being 100% recyclable by 2020. Good grief! We'll be buried in K-Cups by then. Or worse, like this:

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If you already own a single-serving coffee maker, buy a reusable filter. You'll save $ and save the planet!

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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