It’s the first Friday of the month, which means it’s time again to talk about Going Green. Last month we discussed green cell phones and cell phone recycling, and today we’re moving on to another way to recycle and reuse.
And we’re talking coffee. Coffee grounds, actually.
As you well know, I drink coffee, and apparently so do many of you; coffee is the most consumed beverage worldwide with 400 million cups downed each year. Now that creates a lot of used coffee grounds!
Did you know there are lots of ways you can reuse coffee grounds instead of just throwing them in the garbage? Here’s a short list:
21 Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds (and Coffee)
In the garden:
1. Organic fertilizer: Sprinkle them in the soil of plants that love acidic soils, especially rosebushes (my roses *love* coffee grounds!), rhododendrons, camellias, evergreens, carrots, and radishes.
2. Organic pest and ant repellent: Sprinkle areas where ants, slugs, and snails hang out and destroy your garden.
3. Organic cat repellent: Yes, I love cats, but if you want to keep them out of your plants and garden, coffee grounds will do the trick.
4. Mushroom growing soil: Inoculated mushroom plugs nestled into moist coffee grounds can mean a great mushroom crop for you. Put grounds in a glass container and press a mushroom plug into them, repeating with more grounds and mushroom plugs until you run out of room. If you see mold, just remove it.
5. Bait worm life support: Add coffee grounds to soil to help keep bait worms alive longer.
In the house:
7. Refrigerator and freezer deodorizer: Place ground in a small cup and in the fridge or freezer much as you would baking soda.
8. Pin cushion filler: If you still use pin cushions (like I do), dried coffee grounds are a great filler for the cushions.
9. Abrasive cleaner: For stubborn grease and stains on pots and pans, coffee grounds really get in there and do the job.
10. Dust deflector: We’re talking about the fireplace here; sprinkle coffee grounds on ashes before you start collecting them to minimize the dust. I *love* this tip and use it often.
11. Furniture scratch toucher upper: Use a Q-tip and coffee grounds to fill in scratches on wooden furniture–remember the coffee will stain the wood a bit, so don’t use it on something that won’t match.
12. Drain cleaner: Be careful with this one as you don’t want to clog your drain with coffee grounds! *But* to counter odors coming from your drain, you can pour about a half a cup of coffee grains down the drain followed by boiling hot water to get the grounds through. No more smells!
13. Meat tenderizer: This is one for leftover coffee as opposed to coffee grounds; soak steaks in coffee to tenderize and for an interesting added flavor.
14. Chocolate cake flavorer: Used grounds and fresh grounds both give a little kick to chocolate baked goods, including brownies.
In your beauty routine:
15. Hand soap: Rub grounds on your hands to get rid of stubborn odors like onion and garlic. In fact, the soap I use in my kitchen is made with used coffee grounds–Caffè Vaniglia soap from Saponissimo.
16. Face mask: An egg white mixed with 1/4 cup grounds makes a great exfoliating face mask.
17. Hair rinse: After washing your hair, rub in coffee grounds for shine, softness, and even a bit of color for those of you who are dark-haired; remember coffee grounds act as a dye, so if you have light hair, unless you want highlights, this one isn’t for you.
18. Cellulite rub: Mix one tablespoon of olive oil with 1/4 cup moist, warm coffee grounds and spread on cellulite hot spots. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, leave on for a few minutes, and then remove wrap and shower as normal. For best results, do a couple times a week. If anyone tries this, you *must* let me know how it turns out.
19. Dye: Use a mix of coffee grounds and water to dye clothing, paper, or even Easter eggs.
20. Tattoo base: Make homemade temporary tattoos using coffee grounds and henna.
And finally, on your doggie:
21. Dog flea dip: I haven’t had the nerve to try this one yet, but next bath time, my dogs are getting some coffee grounds rubbed into them after the shampoo and rinse routine.
By the by, even if you don’t drink coffee, you can ask your local coffee shops and other places that serve coffee for their grounds, and start reusing them. The environment will thank you!
Do you currently reuse coffee grounds? How?
If you don’t reuse coffee grounds, which of these suggestions might you try?
Buon weekend & Happy Birthday Dad!
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