Are you one of the two billion human beings who day after day love to brew and consume their coffee in the morning? Do not let your coffee grounds go to waste after you prepare it! They can be given a new purpose if you know what to do with them. What to do with used coffee grounds? They can help in many ways, as you will discover by reading this article, which includes suggestions on how to put them to good use.
Every morning, right after waking up, you brew a cup of coffee which allows you to taste its irresistible aroma. However, once you have enjoyed this everyday pleasure, one thought immediately crosses your mind: what should I do with the coffee grounds? You will find out soon that throwing them into the bin is not the only solution!
How to dispose of coffee grounds? As they are rich in nitrogen, used coffee grounds – when used wisely – are considered a great source of nutrients for the soil. First, one should note it is incorrect to use them directly on plants. You should let them decompose before sprinkling them in your garden, since their composition needs to be degraded before plants can absorb the required nutrients they hold. There is another reason for doing it this way: plant roots could be damaged by the heat produced during the decomposition process; therefore it is important not to use coffee grounds straight away.
The Hong Kong Organic Waste Recycling Centre receives coffee grounds and melts them with other kinds of food waste, to obtain a mixture that runs through a composting tunnel facilitating the degradation process. After this pile is correctly stirred, it is properly aerated and is ready to be mixed with the soil.
Some insects – such as ants, slugs and snails – are deterred by the smell of coffee and will stay away from your plants. This generates several benefits for the compost heap as well. It is better not to overdose with the coffee grounds; too much nitrogen will disrupt the balance, becoming harmful to some plant species.
In terms of cultivation, coffee grounds improve soil tilth and structure. Instead of growing plants in unnatural environments, it is better to create plant pots made from 100% natural materials. The shape of these plant pots is obtained by pressing the ingredients in a mould with heat. These materials are naturally granular and quite difficult to shape, though it is possible to overcome this by figuring out their proportion in the best way, heating temperature and putting pressure after multiple trials. Thanks to this process, the final products resemble textured stones with a fine appearance.
When mixing natural ingredients such as a little bit of salt and ordinary soap to your used coffee grounds, you can use the liquid solution obtained to scour your sinks, counters, cookwares and grills. However, be careful not to use them on any sort of porous material, since it could cause them to stain.. Even more than baking soda, coffee grounds are abrasive and perfect to polishing pots and pans.
Another useful way to recycle coffee grounds is using them as a natural odour remover... It is advisable to place the coffee grounds in the refrigerator or in the freezer to combat and neutralise persistent odours. You can also use them to remove garlic and onion smell from your hands.
Dry the coffee grounds in advance, placing them inside used capsules near a window or a ventilated area. Once dry, place them anywhere in the fridge or inside cupboards, closets and shoe cabinets. Following these simple instructions, your home or office will smell fresh whilst recycling your used capsules giving them a second life.
Since we consider nature as an inspiring muse letting us discover its wonders, several local workshops have been held to educate people in the benefits of being sustainable while making use of coffee grounds and other food waste. Their remarkable potentials are well-known and have been used to make natural handmade soaps that can be turned to a body scrub, since its sand-like texture makes a great exfoliant and its grounds work perfectly to gently remove dead skin cells and boost circulation. This is another handy way to make coffee grounds useful, in accordance with sustainable habits which may influence our daily lives.