Thursday, December 2, 2010

Caffeine and Trade

In an earlier post, I talked about finding sources of caffeine.  I must say I'm tempted by the single-serving coffee makers.  There are some varieties of coffee that taste adequate, and you can't beat the convenience.  I also like the fact that you can whip up different varieties of coffee to satisfy different tastes or moods.

However, I'm really put off by the waste.  The predominant single-serving maker around here seems to be Keurig.  For every 8 oz. cup of coffee, that machine uses up a small plastic cup, a foil lid, a filter bag, plus the actual coffee grounds.  Just look in any office that uses these, and you'll see trash cans and bags full of these little suckers.

But they're so convenient!

What to do?  I was wondering if there's a way to offset the environmental damage of all this waste.  Perhaps by publicly railing against these coffee makers, I can dissuade enough people who might otherwise use them to offset my own use.  Surely getting 5 or 10 others to stop using a Keurig machine would more than make up for my use of one, right?

Can I extend this idea?  Before I started telecommuting, I used to bike to work fairly regularly.  Can I sell offsets for the gas I didn't use, and the emissions I didn't spew into the atmosphere?  Since I have no commute, can I just go for a recreational bike ride and sell the offsets?

It all reminds me of the old joke about the guy who boasted to his friend that he saved $2 every day by running to work behind the bus.  His friend, unimpressed, suggested he could save $15 a day by running behind a taxi.

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