I use a pod every morning to make my hot chocolate. Are these used pods recyclable? ~Chocaholic

Dear Chocaholic,

There are two types of pods on the market today. One is the single-use pod and the other one is the reusable pod. The reusable pod requires users to fill the pod with their own beverage mix. The single use pods are designed for convenience. They are ready for immediate use. The majority of these single use pods are not recyclable, biodegradable or compostable. Some manufacturers are advertising recyclable pods, made from #5 plastic. Unfortunately, to recycle them you must first peel off the lid and clean out the contents. For more information on recycling these pods check out Coffee Drinkers Can Recycle Reduce Waste. Nespresso has just started a pod recycling program to make it easy for customers to send the pods back for recycling. They turn the grounds into compost and recycle every part of the capsule. See ExpressoPerfector.com for more details. Because so many of these pods go to landfills, Hamburg, Germany has gone so far as to ban the use of coffee pods in public buildings

I just read an article about using banana peels as a fertilizer for plants. I know used coffee grounds can be recycled into an excellent fertilizer, so why not banana peels. I think I will give them a try. How do I prepare them? ~Gardner

Dear Gardner,

Good question and a great way to recycle banana peels. Banana peels are 25% phosphorous and 42% potassium, so they are not only good for us, they are also good for plants. I found some instructions online that are pretty simple. If your peels are dark, cut them into small pieces and place them in a glass container. Add enough water to cover the peels and let sit for three or four days in a shaded area. You can put the peels in whole, but cutting them up shortens the soaking time and allows more peels to be put in one container. Then, pour the mixture through a sieve into another glass container and you have a liquid that can be poured on your plants. If your peels are still yellow, it will take closer to a week to make good fertilizer, particularly if you place the peels in the jar whole. I would love to hear from anyone who tries this. What were the results? Do you have any helpful hints for other readers?