Collecting Coffee Grounds for Plants and the Garden
I’ve been doing the coffee grounds thing for a while now, and have become good at spotting any opportunity to get my hands on some. So here are my 5 top ways to get it.
1. At the cafe
This is literally a gold mine for used coffee grounds. They seem to keep making it! Every time they open the door and customers walk in, they will end up with used coffee grounds. Most of the cafe owners you speak with will be happy to hand some over, such as in a previous post of mine where I highlighted the good work of Bent Espresso.
2. At the home
This is an easy one and you don’t even need to ask. If you have an espresso machine there is no good reason not to get those coffee grounds into the garden or compost. You may have noticed that the header picture of this blog is from a lovely red coffee machine, which has pride of place in a residential house. You can find out more in the post Ground to Ground in the home post.
3. At the office
You get a heap of people, put them in a building with coffee machines and guess what is going to happen – coffee grounds!!
The great part about the office machines is that you will generate almost cafe like quantities and have control over how they are collected, or who collects them.
I’ve written a few times about my experiences on this one with my post Ground to Ground in the Office.
It is a great way to get a conversation started in the workplace, and what might start off as those weird kind of stares (image walking around in a suit with bags in coffee grounds in your hands!), is soon made up for by admiration for taking action.
4. In the dumpster
You might need to be careful about how you go about this, but sometimes you need to right a wrong. Seeing a bag full of coffee grounds and food scraps coming out of a cafe and into the bin is a hard thing to watch. I wouldn’t have thought that would be the case even 6 months ago, that I would care about it. Something to do with spending time in the garden I guess.
Things to watch out for are those heavy green bags, sometimes you get that coffee smell from them from a few meters away.
5. From a Friend
We don’t all need to be collecting to enjoy the many benefits of coffee grounds. I happily pass along a heap of the stuff to neighbours and friends, and plan to keep doing it.
If you have any friends into organic gardening, ask them if they collect grounds or know someone that does. You will come across someone with the gold sooner or later – and meet some nice people along the way.
So that is it for now folks, and please follow the 5 steps for all your coffee ground needs :)
What Others Are Reading
- The Ground to Ground Primer – Coffee Grounds for the Garden (groundtoground.org)
- Coffee Grounds for Compost and Fertilizer (groundtoground.org)
- Collecting Coffee Grounds in the Office (groundtoground.org)