Letter to the Editor: The Keurig Problem

Dartmouth should abandon Keurig's environmentally dangerous "K-cups."

by Estephanie Aquino | 5/5/17 12:15am

“A Keurig brewer on every counter and a beverage for every occasion” is a motto that rings more like a prophecy. Over the past year, the Keurig company has sold over nine billion K-cups that are not biodegradable nor easily recyclable. Nearly a quarter of homes in the United States own one and every Dartmouth department office, snack bar and house center has one as well.

The College and student body must understand that the advertised allure of the personal and individualized K-cup comes at a high environmental and financial cost. The average cost of coffee per pound for your gourmet Starbucks variety is under $20 dollars while your K-cup variety costs $50 dollars per pound.

If the administration aims to make Dartmouth an institution recognized for its sustainable efforts, ending irresponsible relationships with food suppliers that don’t place an emphasis on sustainability is the place to start.

With the many options that already exist on campus, from King Arthur Flour to Novack Café, students don’t have an excuse to continue their usage of these “not O.K-cups.” If you’re an average Joe seeking to save money, a coffee fanatic or self-identifying environmentalist, many of these locations even offer a discount on your cup of coffee if you bring your own mug.

This past year, the administration switched to using recyclable cups at dining locations across campus because of sustainability concerns raised by students. Students then have the obligation to raise awareness of the K-cup issue across campus to effect change on this issue, too.

– Estephanie Aquino

Aquino is a member of the Class of 2018. She is a former member of The Dartmouth staff and a former intern at the College’s Office of Sustainability.

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