Not just Keep Cups – Expanding our horizons

Keep Cups are just one way in which we can help the environment in the coffee industry. Used coffee grounds are another!

No more waste!

Owning two espresso bars, I have found over the years that after using thousands of kilos of ground coffee in the preparation of our cups of coffee, we were left with a waste of used coffee grounds. It was about time to find out alternative uses for these used grounds that could either help the environment or become a secondary use around home without having to end up in landfill.

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Your garden will love your coffee grounds.

Unused coffee grounds can be highly acidic and truthfully I have never thought of wasting my coffee for the sake of my garden, so my target is more towards used coffee grounds. Used coffee grounds are neutral so using them will not raise the acid level of the soil. Used coffee grounds as a fertilizer are beneficial to the soil as it helps the aeration of the soil, improves drainage and aids in water retention. Interestingly, earth worms love soil that has been turned with coffee grounds.

Scattering your coffee grounds around your vegetable garden will aid in the process of keeping slugs away without the use of chemicals, which can be harmful to pets and small children. As an all round use, your compost will love the addition of used coffee grounds, however ensure you have a good deal of other mulch and food waste product to work it through.

Coffee grounds – a natural insecticide.

In the advent of summer comes BBQ’s and outdoor entertainment. Unfortunately these activities also bring unwanted guests like mosquitoes and wasps. Burning coffee grounds as an incense, is a great way to naturally keep these little pests away. Simply dry your used coffee grounds in the sun light on a foil tray. Once they are completely dry, add some to a smaller tray and light. The incense from the coffee will aid in keeping these pests at bay.

Another form of peat!

Over the last few years, coffee grounds have been used to create coffee ground fire logs for use in winter. These are peat style logs which have a good burning time and medium heat. They can be purchased commercially, however for those that would like to create their own, there are many recipes on the internet and it is just a matter of adjusting the ingredients to achieve the perfect result. An example of home made coffee ground fire logs can be found here –

The use of coffee grounds are endless!

As you can see, there are many uses for used coffee grounds for use domestically. From a commercial poit of view, there has been a lot of research to use coffee grounds as form of bio-fuel. Companies are starting to see the benefits of used coffee grounds in a commercial application. In the bustling Melbourne food precinct in Australia, cafes are now having their used coffee grounds collected daily, which are then sent to a company for the production of mulch, which is on sold to local councils for use in their gardens and park lands.





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