Conscious Coffee: 5 Ways to Reuse Sandhill Coffee Grounds
We love it when the Sandhill Coffee community drinks our coffee. But even more, we love it when our coffee drinkers think and act consciously when it comes to environmental conservation and sustainability.
Did you know the average American household consumes about 3 cups of coffee daily?
That’s about 1-6 tablespoons of coffee each day. Times that by 365 days in a year, and that means every coffee consumer produces upwards of 2,190 tablespoons of used grounds, or over 135 cups of coffee grounds, per year.
While there are certainly worse things to throw away in your trash can, used coffee grounds that make it to landfills can lead to a negative impact on the surrounding landscape. Coffee grounds, which are rich in oils and other compounds, produce an acidic liquid that can damage the surrounding soil as well as contribute to more greenhouse gas emissions.
Now, we’re not saying you should totally stop drinking coffee. But we do want to help encourage our coffee community to think and act more consciously when it comes to what we do with our spent grounds.
In this week’s blog, we’re rounding up five different ways you can reuse coffee grounds. Read on to learn more about how to give your grounds a new life, use them to improve the environment, and upcycle them into something new to you.
Coffee has just the right amount of grit to help get unwanted dirt and grime off of surfaces – face, tables, hands – you name it. Adding some used grounds to homemade cleaning products, face or hand washes is a great addition if you’re looking for an extra-clean feel after use.
Kaffe Bueno’s DIY Body Scrub recipe is just one of many of our favorites. To make this coffee scrub, you’ll need:
- ~4 tablespoons used coffee grounds
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil (or any scent that’s your favorite)
- 3-4 drops of tangerine essential oil (or another combination of your choice)
- Jar to store scrub
Simply mix all of these ingredients together to create your coffee scrub.
It’s recommended you add the essential oils to your grounds before adding in the coconut oil to make sure the scent soaks into the grounds. And use a hand mixer if helpful to remove unwanted clumps.
Compost your coffee into a plant fertilizer
Plants might love coffee just as much as humans. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, and more that add much-needed nutrients back into the soil as plants continue to grow.
To fertilize your plants (in the garden or in your home) simply sprinkle used coffee grounds onto your soil. You’ll want to research the few plants that may react negatively to spent grounds, like tomatoes and alfalfa.
Bonus: You can also dilute leftover coffee from your pot and pour it into your plants as a liquid fertilizer.
Make your own mosquito repellant
Similar to the plant fertilizer process, scattering coffee grounds around your yard and garden can help drive away unwanted pests.
This is especially true in stagnant water or areas that tend to stay damp after rainfall, as the coffee grounds help kill off mosquito larvae and help prevent mosquitos from laying eggs.
You can also try burning dry used coffee grounds. The potent smell and smoldering effect help keep insects at bay.
Recycle grounds as a fridge deodorizer
Nothing smells better than a fresh pot of coffee brewing in the morning. (Okay, maybe bacon smells better but we’ll let you decide.) A great way to repurpose your coffee ground is using them as a deodorizer.
Place a full bowl of used coffee grounds in your freezer, fridge, or pantry to cut down on odors.
You can also fill a breathable material (like a pantyhose or cheesecloth) and hang the ground-filled bags around smell-filled areas in your home to help neutralize unwanted smells.
Add your grounds to a homemade candle
Fill an old coffee mug with soy candle wax and used coffee grounds to make a coffee-scented candle.
Follow any of your favorite DIY candle-making recipes, like one of these from The Whole Carrot and POPSUGAR. It’s as simple as adding a few tablespoons of grounds as you pour in the melted wax layers. We recommend using soy wax flakes and a natural candle wick for the best and longest-lasting results.