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Best Eco-Friendly Coffee Pods in 2023

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Brew the Perfect Cup of Joe With the Best Eco-Friendly Coffee Pods

Coffee pods make it quick and easy to brew a delicious cup right at home. While the bad news is that all those single serve pods create a ton of waste, the good news is that there’s a better option: eco-friendly coffee pods!

From reusable coffee pods to compostable pods, there are a variety of options available. So how do you know which one will help you brew the perfect cup of coffee? We’re here to help you find out!

Don’t forget — we can also help you avoid plastic in tea bags and brew the perfect zero waste cup of tea. So we have you covered no matter what type of beverage you love!

Take a look at this list of the best eco-friendly coffee pods and decide which one will best suit your needs.

The Problem With Disposable Plastic Pods

Espresso coffee in disposable cup with pods on wooden table

Single-serve plastic pods have been extremely popular for many years because they’re convenient and make brewing a delicious cup of coffee fast and simple. However, their environmental impact is also very concerning.

Since most coffee pods are a tightly bonded blend of plastic and metal, the used pods are almost impossible to recycle. This means that the estimated 60 billion coffee pods produced every year end up in the landfill where they sit for hundreds of years because plastic and metal are not biodegradable.

Unfortunately, ending up in the landfill is often the “best-case” scenario. More commonly, they end up in our forests, rivers, and oceans.

When they do eventually start to breakdown, they become smaller and smaller pieces known as microplastics. Microplastics have been found almost everywhere — from the deepest ocean trenches to ice in the Arctic.

They’ve even been discovered in human blood, and researchers have no idea how this can impact our health.

Now that you know why it’s so important to switch to eco-friendly pods, here are some of the top choices that you’ll love.

1. Reusable Coffee Pod

Obviously, the best eco-friendly coffee pod is the one that doesn’t create any waste. That’s why reusable coffee pods are such a good choice. Fortunately, they’re just as easy to use as traditional single-serve coffee pods.

Simply add your ground coffee to the pod, pop it in your machine, and operate it like normal. In just a few minutes, you’ll be enjoying great coffee with very little waste.

When you’re done, simply empty the coffee grounds into your food waste bin so you can compost them. Keep in mind, there are also plenty of ways you can reuse old coffee grounds, like making this homemade coffee scrub that actually helps reduce the appearance of cellulite!

These reusable coffee pods are easy to clean and safe to go in the dishwasher. They’re made with a stainless steel mesh that’s tough, durable, and keeps your coffee tasting good.

It’s important to note that Keurig machines, Nespresso machines, and other manufacturers all have different size requirements. So you want to make sure you’re choosing one that will fit the type of machine you use.

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2. San Francisco Bay Coffee

San Francisco Bay Coffee was one of the first companies to develop reusable pods, and they’ve only been improving on that design with their compostable coffee pods designed to be used in Keurig machines.

These coffee pods are made with a paper lid, plant-based ring, compostable coffee filter, and freshly ground coffee. Every part of the pod is compostable in a industrial composting facility.

Not only does San Francisco Bay Coffee make eco-conscious coffee capsules, but they also support the farmers who grow their coffee. This includes paying their farmers above their cost of production, improving their standard of living, and increasing their access to health services.

You’ll find an outstanding selection of compostable capsules to suit every taste, such as the dark roast variety pack, flavored medley variety pack, and medium roast variety pack.

Related: Your Complete Guide to Zero Waste Grocery Shopping (Even Without a Bulk Store!)

3. Cameron’s

Cameron’s uses premium arabica beans and a real coffee filter in their EcoPods to create a rich, smooth coffee that has a superior taste. The pods are made using plant-based materials for less waste and are designed for use in your K-Cup brewer.

In addition to making pods that don’t contain any plastic, Cameron’s also aims to care for the environment by reducing their water consumption, using recycled paperboard in their packaging, and sending their coffee by-product to a local composting facility.

You can find Cameron’s in a variety of delightful flavors, such as Jamaican blend, cinnamon sugar cookie, decaf breakfast blend, Kona blend, and chocolate caramel brownie, which has notes of chocolate that make it an excellent choice for a dessert drink.

Related: Why You Should Treat Yourself to the Best Fair Trade and Eco-Friendly Chocolate

4. Glorybrew

One of the reasons Glorybrew made this list of the best eco-friendly coffee pods is because they offer both compostable Nespresso pods and Keurig pods. Their pods are 100% compostable and made from bio-based materials.

This means you can enjoy an easy and delicious cup of coffee, and in about eight weeks in an industrial compost facility, the entire pod will break down into clean, usable soil that can go back into the ecosystem.

Even better, their Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee guarantees they use sustainably grown and sourced beans that don’t contain any additives or preservatives.

In addition to flavored coffee, like Lady Vanilla and Sir Hazelnut, Glorybrew also offers The Duke medium roast, The Knight dark roast, and The Noble extra dark roast.

Related: The Best Eco-Friendly Lunch Boxes and Lunch Bags

5. Tayst

Tayst is on a mission to stop the waste and make every cup of coffee more sustainable. That’s why their bio-based pods that are compatible with Keurig machines are completely compostable.

It all starts with the pod’s lid, which uses a combination of paper and other compostable materials. Next, there’s the ring, which has absolutely no plastic. Instead, it’s made from a blend of bioresins from renewable sources.

The coffee used in the pods is Rainforest Alliance Certified and isn’t grown with any agrochemicals. Lastly, the innovative bio-based mesh filter lets the water flow evenly across the grinds for a rich, smooth taste.

With varieties that include everything from Medium & Heroic and Bold & Brilliant to Happy Hazelnut and Vanilla Cream, you’ll have no problems finding something that suits your tastes.

Related: How to Start a Zero Waste Meal Prep Routine in 4 Easy Steps

6. Organic Coffee Co.

Organic Coffee Co. makes biodegradable pods with coffee that’s good for you, good for the farmers, and good for the environment. They have worked with farmers to come up with a long-term plan to improve the quality of the coffee crop every year.

They use premium arabica coffee beans grown at 3,000 feet or higher. All of the coffee is also 100% shade-grown under native trees. High-altitude, shade-grown coffee delivers a more complex flavor.

Lastly, the coffee is picked by hand so that only the ripest beans are harvested. But Organic Coffee Co. doesn’t stop at sustainable agriculture and trade.

They package their USDA organic coffee in The OneCup, which is a fully commercially compostable pod that’s K Cup compatible. The pods are made from plant-based materials and designed to give you a delicious cup of coffee.

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7. Beaniac

Beaniac makes an outstanding variety of organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees designed to give you the pick-me-up you need to take on your day. Even better, since they use plant-based pods instead of plastic capsules, you taste only quality coffee instead of plastic.

The company’s BPI Certified biodegradable coffee pods are designed to completely break down. After you brew a fresh cup of coffee, the ring, lid, filter, and used coffee grounds will turn into nutrients for the soil.

You can choose between Keurig brewer compatible pods or Nespresso compatible capsules.

If you prefer a light roast, consider the Daily Dose Donut Shop variety, which has a mellow, well-rounded flavor. Prefer medium roast? Bean Me Up Coffeehouse has a rich aroma with a smooth, clean finish.

If you love dark roasts, you’ll enjoy the deep, rich flavor of Full On French Roast. You can also get the Down Time Decaf when you don’t want caffeine.

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8. Caffe Vergnano

Thanks to Caffe Vergnano, even espresso lovers can enjoy single-use pods that are better for the environment. The company makes Nespresso coffee pods that help you brew the perfect cup of espresso.

Unlike the traditional aluminum Nespresso pods, these pods are compostable. The coffee is made from the best arabica beans from Central America, South America, and Africa.

The rich flavor of the coffee is topped off with a delicate, balanced cream. The flavors range from an intense Napoli to a smooth Cremoso. You can even pick up a decaf variety for times when you want to savor a delicious cup of coffee without the caffeine.

I do have to point out that the pods are individually wrapped in plastic to preserve their freshness. If you’re attempting to reduce your plastic waste as much as possible, you might be better off choosing another option on this list.

Related: How to Easily Reduce Your Food Waste at Home

Choosing the Best Coffee Pods for an Eco-Friendly Cup of Joe

You don’t have to give up the convenience of your single-use coffee pod machine in order to live a more sustainable life. Instead, you can still enjoy amazing coffee without the plastic waste by making the switch to the best eco-friendly coffee pods.

More Helpful Eco-Friendly Tips

Did you enjoy learning more about the best eco-friendly coffee pods? Are you interested in discovering even more tips that can help you lower your carbon footprint and help you live a sustainable life? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:

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