If you’re anything like us, you have lots of used grounds lying around. With over 6 million tons of coffee grounds ending up in landfills each year, the question becomes, “How can I reuse these grounds responsibly?” Just because the grounds can’t make another cup doesn’t mean they are useless. By spreading the grounds out on a baking sheet, you can allow them to dry before trying any of these tips.
Here are 5 ideas of how you can reuse coffee grounds and help reduce your impact on our planet.
Fertilize Your Garden with Coffee Grounds
This is probably the most well-known use for used grounds. Even after brewing, the grounds are filled with essential nutrients required for plant growth. Soil doesn’t naturally have all the nutrients needed for optimal plant growth and can be depleted over time. Used grounds contain minerals that support plant growth like nitrogen, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and chromium. Coffee grounds can help absorb heavy metals that contaminate the soil. They can also attract worms to promote healthier soil. Simply sprinkle used grounds on your soil to unlock these benefits.
Coffee grounds are packed with nitrogen which can help absorb and eliminate odors. Place them in a bowl in your refrigerator or freezer to neutralize any food odors. Small pucks of frozen grounds can be used in a sink’s garbage disposal to neutralize any odors. Dried grounds are also great for removing odors like garlic or onion from your hands. Simply rub the grounds over your hands like you’re washing them, rinse, and wash with soap. Be amazed as the odors are gone.
Cleaning Pots & Pans
Coffee grounds are incredibly coarse and abrasive no matter how fine of a grind. By sprinkling the grounds directly on pots and pans even the toughest mess can be removed with a normal wash. As a bonus, it should also remove any smells that may be on the cookware. Be sure to rinse thoroughly or your next meal could taste like coffee.
Exfoliating Skin & Hair with Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are an ideal exfoliating agent that can be easily made into something for skin or hair care. Mixing the grounds with water or coconut oil can make an easy scrub for removing dirt, dead skin, and can even help with acne. You could also massage a handful of grounds into your scalp for a few minutes before shampooing. The antioxidants and caffeine in the grounds can increase blood flow, accelerate hair growth, and promote the overall health of your hair and skin.
Composting with Coffee Grounds
Lastly, coffee grounds are amazing for compost. Composting is a natural process that can turn organic waste into a nutrient-packed soil enhancer. Adding grounds to your compost not only improves the quality of the compost, but it also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions made by the compost. To learn more about the process of composting, check out our friends at Food 2 Soil’s website. They promote composting by having drop-off locations throughout the city, including all three of our locations.
There are five simple ways that you can reuse your coffee grounds and help make a smaller impact on the planet. There are dozens of other options out there and people are finding new, innovative ways to reuse their grounds every day. It a small step towards coffee saving the world.