Coffee Grounds: Are You Throwing Liquid Gold in the Bin?
In today’s world, it’s important to take pleasure in the simple things. Like a cup of hot, fresh coffee in the morning!
Forget instant granules, any true coffee lover prefers the real deal: freshly ground and roasted coffee, filtered through paper to make the perfect cup of Joe - even at home!
But once the last sip has been savoured, you’re left with operation clean-up. A soggy filter paper, and a pile of wet grounds, drained of their flavour. And where do these grounds end up? Likely the bin, and ultimately landfill; used coffee grounds generate ‘more than half a million tonnes’ of waste across the UK, leaving us wondering: surely there’s a better and less wasteful way?
And there is! You can put your grounds to work at home and in the garden, saving you money as well as giving you something to talk about in your next Zoom coffee meeting...
Here are 6 simple and practical ways that you can make the most of your leftover grounds. Some might even surprise you. Did someone say exfoliating coffee mask?
Gardening - Get Up And Grow
Perk up your roses and rhododendrons with some coffee ground fertiliser - mix the grounds with grass cuttings and brown leaves, and watch your garden spring to life!
Coffee grounds can also help to create a rich compost, since they are bursting with minerals like phosphorous, potassium and nitrogen. Simply chuck the grounds (plus the filter paper) into your compost heap.
Bugs Away! Repel Insects and Pests
Grounds can help to keep common garden pests like slugs and ants away; simply sprinkle them around the edges of your garden.
You can even help to keep fleas at bay - after shampooing your pooch, rub a couple of cups of grounds into their fur before rinsing. Not only will this help to kill any lurking fleas, but it will also leave your pup feeling soft and glossy!
What’s That Smell? Neutralize Nasty Odors!
There is nothing worse than a stinky fridge. Keep smells at bay by filling an open jar with grounds and leaving it in the back of your fridge.
You can also rub grounds on your hands after chopping onions or garlic to help keep your fingers fresh!
Put Your Best Face Forward
The gritty texture of coffee grounds makes them fantastic exfoliators, and a perfect natural alternative to expensive skincare products.
Why not make up your own body scrub? Simply mix the grounds with a bit of brown sugar and your choice of natural oil (we love coconut, jojoba, or vitamin E oil), and you have a great eco-exfoliant! The grounds’ anti-oxidant properties can help with acne problems, while the caffeine helps your skin feel tight and healthy.
De-Ice Ice Baby…
No, we’re not talking about an Iced Latte here. When ice and snow hits come wintertime, the natural grit of coffee grounds can make for a fantastic (and eco-friendly) de-icer. Rich in ice-busting nitrogen, they can help thaw away the frost, as well as provide a bit of anti-slip friction. Plus, they’re less environmentally damaging than a typical salt-based de-icer!
Experiment with using your grounds as a marinade for veggies, or give a classic chocolate treat a caffeine twist by adding grounds to brownies; check out a deliciously gooey recipe here!
So there you have it! There are plenty of ways to put your used grounds to work, getting the most out of them even after you’ve drained your mug. If you want to try these ideas but don’t make coffee at home, ask your local café/coffee chain – many will be happy to give grounds away for free!
PS If you love coffee, check out our elegant gold coffee scoop - it even doubles as a handy pantry clip!