We’re always on the lookout for ways to waste less at home. An easy place to start is with your morning cup of coffee. Did you know that, according to the NRDC, coffee grounds are one of the most commonly thrown-out food items in American households? It’s not that surprising given how much coffee we drink as a country.
While drinking coffee isn’t an issue, used coffee grounds, just like any other food or organic waste, break down in the landfill and produce methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. The good news is that coffee grounds have a lot more value to give us even after the last drops of coffee are gone.
Want to decrease your coffee waste and benefit the environment? Here are some of our favorite tips on how to reuse coffee grounds:
Make Mocha Brownies
Your coffee grounds have more to offer than you might think. In this recipe, melting your butter with spent coffee grounds will imbue the butter with a delicious and aromatic coffee flavor. The addition of your grounds also magically brings out more of the chocolatey flavors hidden in your cocoa powder.
Fertilize acid-loving plants
Add a spoonful of spent coffee grounds every 4-6 weeks to fertilize your indoor house plants.
NOTE: Coffee is acidic, rich in nitrogen, and your grounds may still contain a fair amount of caffeine. All of this can irritate/harm certain plants. Add them in moderation and, when in doubt, double-check online if the plants in question benefit from acidic soil.
Great for gardening
Use them as a natural fertilizer in your garden to improve drainage, water retention, and aeration in the soil.
Bye-bye burnt food
Put them to work as an abrasive agent to help scour burnt food off of your pots and pans
Keeps the bugs at bay
Anyone who lives in mosquito country will appreciate this one. Burn your dried grounds outdoors for mosquito repellent.
And if you’ve still got grounds
If you are able to compost through your city compost collection, at your community garden drop-off, or at home, be sure to add your grounds to the mix. They’re rich in nitrogen and can help create fertile soil when they break down. Worms especially love spent coffee grounds.
For even more ideas, check out this fun list of 25 Weird Ways to Use Coffee and Coffee Grounds.
Since over 40% of food waste happens in our homes, we all have the power to make a difference by changing how we shop, store, cook, and dispose of food. Climate action starts at home, and we can all work to take a bite out of food waste. We hope these tips on how to reuse coffee grounds helps you in your effort to waste a little less.