100 Day Challenge #9: Team up with a coffee shop owner and compost their discarded coffee grounds
The thought of a delicious, steaming cup of coffee is what helps us bounce out of
bed each morning, and it's a rare day that we get going without one.
According to The World Economic Forum 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day around the world, which creates approximately 6,000,000 tons of coffee grounds that end up in the landfill each year.
Yikes! Think about all that space taken up in landfills producing methane gas just from our daily cup of coffee. Good news for us, coffee grounds are actually great additions to gardens and compost because they're high in nitrogen and potassium, which are both essential for healthy plant growth.
Many of us talk about buying coffee from sustainable and ethical farmers and local coffee shops, but little attention is paid to all of the organic waste that is produced in the coffee industry and its environmental impact. In all honesty, we've found that local coffee shops would love to give their used grounds away since they're a waste product that they're paying to dispose of. We talked to Elijah at Peaberry Coffee in Oak Cliff and he said he has a couple of people who take grounds from them on a regular basis, but he'd love to give more away! We gave him the name of a community garden who might be interested and promised we would post about it to try to create more of an awareness.
So, go buddy up with your local coffee shop and take some of their coffee grounds (a valuable resource for your garden or compost) FOR FREE!
Here are a few tips on how to close the coffee loop and use those grounds in your compost:
If you're composting your coffee grounds (like we do)
Throw your coffee grounds in the pile and compost away! It's really that simple.
Coffee grounds add the much needed nitrogen to your compost pile. Keep in mind that because they're a source of nitrogen, you should think of them as a "green" item. I know this is a bit deceiving but the takeaway is to balance them out with some brown compost material (or sources of carbon) to keep a healthy compost pile.
A source of carbon you say? Lucky for us, coffee filters can also be thrown straight into the compost and since they're made out of paper, they're a balancing source of carbon and will decompose along with everything else. Love it when nature pulls some fun tricks like that!
We don't personally add coffee grounds straight to our gardens because we've read that they can be too acidic and actually harm plants. However, the jury is still out on that one and research shows arguments both in favor and against. Let us know if you've done this and what the results were! In the meantime, below are some links to other great blogs and articles if you want to learn more about adding coffee grounds to your compost or garden.
*Photo of coffee grounds is by flockine from Pixabay. Photo of compost and coffee containers is by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash.