Sustainable Sippin’ - The Perfect DIY Coffee Station

When August rolled around, I realized that it was time to start making some decisions about packing. I was convinced that a coffee machine would not be necessary, as I was going to have a dining hall right next door. Little did I know, not only did the dining hall not open early enough for me to get my morning coffee, but the coffee was just not up to my standards. 

All throughout high school, I relied on my dad’s freshly brewed coffee each morning. I was concerned about not having this luxury at school, especially because I had become a deeper sleeper and had some early classes in my schedule. 

It can be tough to adjust to a new lifestyle. Being away from home, especially as a freshman, can be difficult. I never imagined that something as small as a cup of coffee would mean so much to me. I needed that taste of home. 

In a desperate attempt to find a quality iced coffee like I had at home, I ran to my trusty Starbucks. But after a couple of weeks, the Dining Dollars began to disappear. I knew something had to be done. 

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash 

I sat down and did some math. 

A grande iced coffee from Starbucks is $2.65

Let’s say you drink one cup of coffee a day. 

There are approximately eight months in the school year. Multiply that by approximately 30 days each month, and you get 240 days or 240 grande iced coffees. 

Not only is that 240 plastic cups and straws contributing to the landfills, but that is $636.00 out of your pocket.

To solve this issue, I decided to make my own sustainable DIY coffee station that would help me save some money. My DIY coffee station is not only much more affordable but will help save the turtles…  Go Terps! There are tons of single-serve coffee makers on the market that are both affordable and small enough for campus dorms. 

A coffee maker is approximately $65.00. 

A box of 48 coffee pods is $29.99. 

If we divide those 240 days by 48, we get five boxes of coffee pods necessary to last the school year. 

Five boxes of coffee pods would be $149.95, and when added to the coffee maker, the sum is only $214.95. 

Now I know that $200 is still a large sum of money, however, altogether, you’ll be saving $421.05.

That’s huge.  

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash 

In order to make this project even more sustainable, I added some adorable (and reusable) glass mason jar mugs and metal straws. 

This project all together cost me:

$59.99 - coffee maker

$29.99 - K-cups

$7.99 - mason jar mugs (set of 4)

$6.39 - metal straws (set of 4)

Total: $224.32

A full school year of delicious and sustainable coffee only cost me a little over $200 instead of over $600!

Here is how I made my own DIY affordable and sustainable coffee station:

Photo by Jordanna Palmer

1. Pick a location

Find a clear surface where you can set up your DIY coffee station. This can be anywhere - on top of your mini fridge, the window sill, your desk, or even your bureau. Just make sure you have access to an outlet

2. Find your coffee maker

3. Find your favorite K-cups

4. Make your sippin’ sustainable!