Clever Ways to Recycle Your Old Coffee Grounds

Used-Coffee-Grounds

Not only does coffee help wake us up in the morning; it also has a long list of health and nutrition benefits. But let’s take those benefits a step further, shall we?  Coffee can do a lot for the environment around us as well! Here are some interesting new tips on what you can do with your leftover coffee grounds!

How to Use Coffee Grounds in the Garden:

Pest Repellent
Take your coffee grounds and sprinkle them around your plants to protect them against destructive garden pests like ants, snails and slugs. People have also claimed that mixing dried orange peels into your coffee grounds will keep away certain small animals like cats. But if orange peels don’t work, try rosemary oil instead.

Fertilize Your Garden
If you grow hydrangeas, rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, roses, or other acid loving plants, then used coffee is the fertilizer for you! Mix together your old grounds with dead grass clippings, brown leaves, or dry straw to neutralize some of the acidity, and then spread them around your plants.

Fun fact: Used coffee grounds add nitrogen, potassium and a boost of magnesium to the soil, which all plants need to stay healthy.

But don’t forget to keep in mind that Coffee fertilizer lacks phosphorus and calcium so it isn’t ideal for encouraging blooms and fruiting. You will need to add lime or wood ash to the mix if you want to create a complete fertilizer using old coffee grounds.

Compost
Coffee grounds are also great for compost! They make excellent “green” matter because they are rich in nitrogen. Beneficial worms might also be attracted to your compost with the addition of old coffee. Just make sure that you limit the amount of grounds that you add to your pile so that you don’t throw off the ratio of “green” to “brown” matter.

Coffee Grounds and…  Carrots?
If you are a carrot lover and a coffee lover, then you’ll enjoy this. Your carrots will thank you if you use your old coffee grounds while planting your carrots in the garden. Before you sow carrot seeds, mix them with some old dried coffee grounds to give them an energy boost right from the start! You’ll get bigger and better produce with the added bonus of keeping pests away that want to eat your growing carrots.

How to Use Coffee Grounds around the House:

Absorb Food Odors
Much like baking soda, coffee grounds can be used for absorbing food odors in the refrigerator and freezer. Just fill a small container with your old grounds, place it in the back of the fridge, and leave it there for a few weeks while you save up more grounds in the meantime.  As an added bonus, after you remove the smelly old grounds from the fridge or freezer, you can still toss them on the compost pile or use them for fertilizer.

Natural Abrasive

Try sprinkling old coffee grounds onto an old cleaning cloth and use them to scrub away at food that is stuck on counters or dishes. Although used grounds are abrasive, they are not harsh enough to damage the surfaces in your kitchen. (Just be sure not to accidentally scrub the ground into cracks where they might leave behind stains!)

Beautiful Golden Dye

Have you ever spilled coffee onto a white shirt? If the answer is yes then you know about the “beautiful golden” colour that I’m referring to. Turn that ugly coffee stain around and use it to your advantage. Re-wet old coffee grounds and use it to dye every from feathers and cloth to Easter eggs. Used coffee grounds soaked in a bit of water can also be used to turn boring white paper into “antique” parchment, which can then be used for all kinds of arts and crafts projects.

Homemade Candles
If the smell of coffee makes you perk up, why not turn your old grounds in all-natural homemade candles? All you will need is a small paper coffee cup, a paper towl, about a cup of wax candle ends, a wick, scissors, a small sauce pan for melting the wax, a small glass mixing bowl, and of course some used coffee grounds.

Check out this link to find out the next steps to making your homemade coffee candle: http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Upcycled-Paper-Coffee-Cup-Candle-31102984

Clean Out the Fire Place
Although using old coffee grounds won’t do all the work for you, they will make the process of cleaning out your fire place much easier and less messy. Carefully scatter the old used grounds over the ashes to weigh them down and stop that huge smoke cloud to appear while doing this strenuous chore. Not only will shoveling the ashes be way easier than before, you also won’t have the duty of wiping down every inch of the room once you are done.

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