• The leftovers from your morning brew (Pexels)Source: Pexels
The world consumes a lot of coffee - over 2.5 billion cups each day - and it's not just paper cups that head for the landfill. Here's how to get clever with your coffee grinds.
Rebecca Sullivan

8 May 2017 - 12:09 PM  UPDATED 23 Apr 2019 - 11:58 AM

Apparently over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are drunk around the world every day. That is a lot of coffee – and a lot of waste. Obviously the good stuff is extracted in the making of your morning brew but the remaining granules are often thrown away without a second thought. It’s time to rethink what would normally go in the rubbish, as there are many things coffee grinds can be used for, in the garden and beyond. Here are just a few of them.

1. Add coffee grinds to your compost heap. Coffee is high in nitrogen, which your compost needs. Just don’t overdo it – compost needs to be balanced and coffee contains acid.

2. Use as bug repellents around the bottom of your plants. The ants and snails don’t like the grit, because they hate to crawl over it. I can only presume it scratches their little bellies.

3. It is said feral cats and strays hate coffee and that if you put coffee grinds in areas of your garden, the cats will not come back.

4. Put a small container in the back of your fridge to absorb odours. Much like bicarbonate of soda, it does a great job of absorbing smells.

5. Place in a small vase or cup in your communal rooms as a great odour repeller.

6. Make candles with them so your house smells like delicious coffee. 

7. Use in a coffee scrub for your face and body. The coffee boosts circulation and helps to fight cellulite too. 

8. Use them to scent your homemade soap  so you smell like coffee all day. 

9. Use the grounds in your hair before shampooing to get rid of any buildup – it is like an incredible exfoliant for your hair.

10. Put a little in your vase with flowers to extend their shelf life.


Edited extract from The Art of the Natural Home by Rebecca Sullivan (Kyle Books, $39.99).

Lead image via Pexels. Spent grounds image by Steven Depolo via Flickr

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