If you’re anything like us, then a good cup of coffee in the morning is what makes getting out of bed worth it. We wake up and instinctively brew a warming cup in a La Cafetière Espresso Maker as part of our daily routine.
However, after enjoying the coffee, these grounds cannot be reused to make another batch, as the flavour has already been extracted, so they are best discarded. But did you know that washing these used coffee grounds down the sink is actually having a negative impact on the environment?
This month's Unblocktober campaign is creating awareness to improve the health of our drains, sewers and waterways, as improper disposal can contribute to sewer blockages, fatberg formation and overall pollution of our waters.
In this blog post, we’ve compiled some handy tips so that the next time you brew yourself a cup of coffee, you can repurpose the grounds for other jobs around the home.
1) Compost for your garden soil
Every time you brew a coffee, you are left with a fantastic source of organic matter that can be put to better use. Don’t throw it away!
Composting is an environmentally-friendly way of dealing with organic waste, which produces valuable fertiliser to make your plants grow healthier. This doesn’t only help reduce waste, but it’s great for your pocket too, as you don’t have to splash out on expensive fertilisers.
Just add your spent coffee grounds to the compost pile, together with other kitchen scraps, grass clippings, tree leaves and cardboard, in order to achieve the perfect balance of organic materials.
The resulting nutrient-rich humus will improve your garden soil and make your flower beds thrive.
2) Neutralise bad smells
Collect those coffee grounds left behind after brewing your espresso, as they can also help absorb and eliminate odours.
First, you need to dry the grounds in a baking tray before using them. Once dried, just place in a flat open container wherever you need to keep smelling fresh.
Leave next to the kitchen bin, under a seat in your car or in the fridge — and don’t forget to replace the grounds from time to time, whenever you notice a bad smell!
3) Keep cats away
Neighbouring cats can often be a problem in your garden, as they can mess up your flower beds — or even worse, your vegetable patch!
Fortunately, coffee drinkers can also take advantage of using spent coffee grounds as a deterrent for cats. Most (but not all!) find it repulsive and can’t stand that smell.
Just sprinkle a layer of coffee grounds over the soil and keep doing it consistently after you drink your morning cup of coffee for a period of time. Hopefully, they’ll find a better place to go, away from your much-loved agapanthus!
4) Make an excellent substrate to grow mushrooms
Mushrooms are notoriously tricky to grow because they need specific conditions, which include a substrate that has been sterilised prior to use.
Fresh coffee grounds make an ideal growing medium because they have been pasteurised during the brewing process. As a result, this makes it much easier to get started, as you won’t need to fork out expensive equipment.
If you are an avid coffee drinker, you may get enough coffee grounds to use.
Once you’ve figured out how it works and are able to create the perfect environmental conditions, mix in the mushroom spawn, bag it up, and watch them grow!
5) Use as a natural dye
We all know that coffee spills can leave stains behind. Harness that strength and use the spent grounds to dye fabrics naturally.
This natural dye is perfect for transforming white textiles into soft beige and light brown shades, a sustainable way to achieve that on-trend vintage aesthetic for free!
To make, simply boil the coffee grounds in water, strain the solids and let the fabric soak. The longer you leave it, the deeper the colour will get. Then, soak in a hot water and vinegar solution to let the dye set.
This hack will work best with natural fabrics such as cotton and linen — and the result is amazing!
Hopefully, you have found some of these little hacks useful! As a company, we are committed to doing our bit for the environment and encourage you to do the same, for more on our pledge to help the planet, read here about our partnership with Earthly.