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Sustainable Solutions for Making the Most of Recycled Coffee Grounds

By: Christina Giordano, Java Love Intern

If your trash bin is full of used grounds after your morning coffee, you’re missing out on opportunities to maximize your favorite blends, brews and beans. Give your grounds another life and take note of these simple solutions to consume your coffee more sustainably. 

1. Fertilize your garden

Replenish the earth with your used coffee grounds to make your garden thrive this season. Coffee serves up the perfect kick, and its benefits will also energize your veggies, herbs and flowers. Used coffee grounds add organic material to your soil to improve drainage, water retention and aeration. As an added bonus, your grounds will attract earthworms to help your plants thrive! 

2. Create a meat rub

Did you know the best part of breakfast can double as the perfect kick to your dinner meal prep? Set aside your used grounds to create a coffee rub for meat dishes. The acidity of used coffee replicates tannins in wine, amping up the flavor and acting as a tenderizer to enhance moisture in meat. 

3. Exfoliate your skin

Can our coffee make you look as good as it makes you feel? We think so! Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in coffee make for an excellent body or face scrub to fight sun damage and gently remove dead skin. The best part - no harsh chemicals are needed to create this blissful aromatic experience. Coffee’s naturally savory scent will level up your self care routine without the dryness and irritation of heavily scented bath products.

4. Refresh your refrigerator  

Baking soda be gone! Put your old grounds to good use in the fridge as a natural deodorizer. Recycled coffee is excellent for eliminating pesky food odors to keep your refrigerator smelling fresh. You can also keep a small bowl of your used coffee near the sink to double as a deodorizer when chopping foods with strong scents like onions, garlic and fish. Used grounds are perfect for neutralizing lingering scents quickly. 

5. DIY a bar of soap 

Craft lovers this one's for you - coffee’s grainy texture and signature scent are perfect for homemade soap molds. Melt a bar of glycerin soap and add ⅓ cup of coffee grounds. Mix well, pour into a silicone mold and let your creation sit until it has hardened. Within 12-24 hours, you’ve got a coffee scented bar of soap for all of your scrubbing needs. 


If you don’t want to get crafty with your coffee, we’ve got you covered. Java Love is proud to partner with Java’s Compost, a pickup service that makes it easy to compost your old coffee. Java’s Compost is not just for coffee - all excess food including meat and dairy can get composted through their services for compost that will help restore the ecosystem, sequester carbon by harnessing it in the soil, prevent erosion and reduce methane production by keeping waste out of landfills! Java’s Compost also offers a drop off program for a convenient method to discard your compostable waste on the go. If you don't live in their service area, you can search for similar businesses in your neighborhood. It's a win-win.


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