How to be green – don’t drink single serve pod coffee
There are many definitions of innovation and the one I like the most is ‘innovation means cutting out the unnecessary‘. The ‘invention’ of single serve coffee is then the antithesis to the definition of innovation.
Smart Planet covered the increasing mountain of used ‘pods’ with 13% of offices and over 10% of households in the US now jumping on the pod wagon “hundreds of millions of pounds of “pod” trash is entering landfills every year.” That’s 15 million coffee pod machines in the US alone – the equivalent of two coffee pod machines per household in Australia.
Even one of the founders of a pod coffee company now thinks it’s wrong. “Keurig founder, John Sylvan, told Rancaño that he felt guilty about the waste that his product has generated and that he ‘wouldn’t do it now’ if he were able to revisit making his creation. Sylvan estimated that a single k-cup machine can create 10 times more waste than a conventional drip brewer.”
10 times more waste!
Imagine if the history books had been the other way round.
Invention and Innovation Weekly reported that “since the advent of coffee drinking in the 15th century we have been drinking coffee from these tiny little capsules that house enough coffee for one single serve, the capsules were then thrown into the local rubbish tip and not used again. But in the late 1980’s all that changed. An inventor looked at this wasteful process and said ‘why do we need single serves?’ and he redesigned the coffee making process by removing the pod and increasing the number of serves. Nestle were the first manufacturer to commercialise this pod-less coffee making craze, their COO said ‘we established that pod-less coffee produced 10 times less waste than the pod variety that we had been using for over 500 years and thought we need to do something’.”
Now that would be heralded as innovation – removing the unnecessary waste of pod coffee.
What other innovations have added the unnecessary rather than cutting it out?
Help me get a top 10 list together – can be anonymous or credited, just let me know which you prefer.