3 Ways to Recycle Your Coffee Grounds

3 Ways to Recycle Your Coffee Grounds

What are the pros of a good cup of freshly brewed coffee? Aside from keeping you awake and out of trouble all day and having many health benefits, coffee grounds can be reused in ways that help us reduce waste and live in a more sustainable way. One of the ways to recycle them is to use them for our garden or our plant babies!

Some people worry that they aren’t good with plants just because they don’t have a green thumb. But what most people don’t realise is that so many factors come into play when it comes to gardening. Whether you are a plant beginner who’s starting out with a pot or two, or a certified plantito or plantita with a garden or a plant wall, here are three ways that you can reuse your coffee grounds for your plant babies:

1. Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer

Even if you don't believe it, most soil doesn't have the essential nutrients that plants need to grow well. This is why farmers and gardeners use fertilisers. But what if we told you that coffee grounds can help you with your not-so-green thumb? The coffee grounds that we usually discard after brewing that nice cup of coffee can be used to give our plant babies the essential nutrients that they are missing!

Sunlight and water are essential to their growth, but they aren’t enough! As plants grow, they take the nutrients they need from the soil. This eventually depletes the soil and leaves your plant without the food it needs. Coffee grounds can act as the perfect fertiliser because they contain key minerals such as nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and chromium, which are all optimal for plant growth. Heavy metals in the soil can also be taken up by coffee grounds, which makes the soil less toxic.

Whether you have your own garden or you simply want to give your potted plants a nutrient boost, make sure to sprinkle and spread your coffee grounds thinly and evenly onto your soil.

2. Coffee Grounds as Insect and Pest Repellant

Most insects tend to get attracted to plants because of several things, such as their scent. Whether you live in a studio condo in the city or on a large lot in the province, these insects can eventually become pests not only to you but also to your plants. But don’t you worry, because you can also use your coffee grounds as pest repellant! Apparently, these insects don’t like certain compounds found in coffee, like caffeine and diterpenes.

To use these as a pest repellant, simply scatter your coffee grounds around your plants so that they can create a barrier that slugs, snails, beetles, mosquitoes, and other insects and pests will avoid.

You can even use them in certain areas of your home to avoid insects and pests! Simply set bowls filled with coffee grounds out or sprinkle them around outdoor seating areas such as your garden, porch, or condo’s balcony.

3. Coffee Grounds as Compost

If you still have extra coffee grounds but already have enough fertiliser and pest repellant, why don’t you save them for later and compost them?

Adding coffee grounds to your compost pile and then adding them to your garden can help the soil with its water and nutrient retention and improve the overall health of your plants.

When composting, it is also important to keep in mind that coffee grounds are considered green compost material and will need to be balanced with the addition of some brown compost material. You can choose to add grass clippings, leaves, bark, shredded newspaper, brush, herbs, egg shells, stale bread, and fruit and vegetable trimmings. However, you must avoid composting raw materials like meat and fish scraps, dairy products, diseased plants, grease, and oils.

Studies show that the best compost is made with at least 40% coffee grounds, which produce the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

So, are coffee grounds the ultimate good?

Although we really love coffee and plants seem to love coffee for its coffee grounds as well, too much coffee, like for us humans, isn’t good for plants either.

Most people think that coffee grounds raise the acid levels or lower the pH levels of soil, which is good for acid-loving plants. This is true, but only for unwashed, fresh coffee grounds. Fresh coffee grounds are acidic, whereas used coffee grounds are neutral. If you rinse your used coffee grounds, they will have a near-neutral pH level of 6.5 and will not affect the acid levels of the soil.

So, before spreading your coffee grounds, check with your plants to see if they prefer your coffee grounds as fertiliser or later as compost!

How Else Can You Live More Sustainably?

Reusing your coffee grounds is just one of the practices that we can do towards a more sustainable lifestyle (plus, it helps us achieve our plantito and plantita goals). Lyger Coffee has sustainability at its core and tries to practise it in all of our efforts. We encourage you to recycle your Lyger mini-cups every time you make a purchase with us. Save 50 Lyger mini-cups and get a free gift when you send them back to us!

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