Are you one of the two billion human beings who day after day loves to brew and consume their coffee in the morning? Do not let the coffee grounds go to waste after you prepare it! They might be given a new purpose, if you know the proper ways. What to do with used coffee grounds ? They can be of help in many different ways, as you will notice by reading this article including several suggestions on how to put them to good use.
Like every morning, right after waking up, you brew a cup of coffee which allows you to taste its overwhelming 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 pretty 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 to be considered as a really good source of nutrients for the soil. First of all, one should note it is incorrect to use them directly on your 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 which you need to allow for decomposition: plant roots could be damaged by the heat produced during the decomposition process, therefore it is important not to use coffee grounds right away.
The Hong Kong Organic Waste Recycling Centre regularly receives coffee grounds and melts them with other kinds of food waste, in order to obtain a mixture that runs through a composting tunnel facilitating the degradation process. After this pile is correctly stirred and made regular, it is properly aerated and gets finally gets prepared to be mixed with the soil.
Some insects – such as ants, slugs and snails – tend to be annoyed 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 would throw off the balance, becoming harmful to some plant species.
Still in terms of cultivation, coffee grounds improves soil tilth and structure. Because of this, instead of growing plants in unnatural environments, it is way better to create plant pots made from 100% natural materials. The shape of these plant pots are 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 their resistances by figuring out their proportion in the best way, heating temperature and putting pressure after multiple trials. Thanks to this process, the final products looks just like textured stones with a fine, pleasant 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 scrub your sink, counter, cookware and grill. However, be careful not to use them on any sort of porous material, since it could cause brown stains on them. Coffee grounds are abrasive even more so than baking soda and perfect to polish pots and pans.
Another useful way to recycle coffee grounds is using them as an exceptional and natural odour remover, in order to get rid of odours in your home. It is advisable to place them in the refrigerator or in the freezer to combat and neutralize nasty odors. On the other hand, you can also use them to get garlic and onion smell off your hands.
To make use of them that way, you need to dry the coffee grounds in advance, placing them inside used capsules near a window or proper ventilation. Once they are 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 while recycling your used capsules giving them a second life.
Since nature can be an inspiring muse, letting us discover its wonders, several local workshops have been held for those interested in the benefits of being sustainable while making use of coffee grounds and other food waste. Their remarkable potentials are well-known and has been explored to obtain a natural handmade soap that can be turned to a body scrub, since its sand-like texture makes a great exfoliant and its grounds work perfectly in gently removing dead skin cells and also boosting circulation. That is just another handy way to make coffee grounds useful, in accordance with sustainable habits which may influence our daily lives.