Hi! I’m Deborah Rothenberg and I live in Stroud Green in North London.
I have travelled the world, climbed mountains and lived in 3 different countries, but always return to the melting pot that is London.
As a society we are driven by our addictions, mine, as an outdoor swimmer, runner, cyclist and Yogi, is COFFEE. I run through Finsbury and Clissold Parks, admiring the flora and fauna and then enjoy a rich flat white. What a treat. If I shut my eyes, I can see the lush hillsides where the young green coffee beans once grew.
But I hear banging – I am drawn back from the tropics to watch Danus, the owner of Vagabonds N4, bang the used grounds into ‘that drawer’ below the high tech coffee-making machine.
But where does all that rich coffee go? In a black bin bag, to be taken away by Haringey Council, unsorted and dumped in landfill. That’s where it goes…
In fact most independent coffee shops in London send their waste there – every week tonnes of used coffee grounds get sent to the dump.
What a waste – we’re so lucky to have all that fertile coffee flowing through this city, and we’re throwing it away.
But what if we didn’t? What if we, as individuals collected it from coffee shops and used it in our gardens? Imagine all those rich nutrients taken from tropical landscapes, being fed back into London’s clay soil.
Which is why I have decided to do something about it. With the incredible support of Shane Genziuk, Ground to Ground crusader in Australia, we are going to make London bloom on used coffee.
Here are just a few things to do with your coffee:
- Mix in with your soil to fertilise your plants, from beds to window boxes
- Use as a deterrent for slugs, snails and cats
- Throw on your lawn as a fertiliser
- Use as filler in your raised beds
- Add to your compost bin – for Shane’s recipe click here
- Grow your own Oyster Mushrooms
- Add to your worm farm – those wriggly creatures thrive on it
We’re making postcards, and posters and we want coffee shops that are separating their used coffee from their general waste on the map, just email email@example.com and Shane will put you on the map!
In the next few weeks and months I will be visiting schools, allotments and communities – so keep in touch…
- London Ground to Ground (groundtoground.org)
- Coffee Shop Posters 2012 (groundtoground.org)
- Sustainability activist gets the vote from Boris (thejc.com)