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6 Practical, Eco-friendly Uses for Coffee Grounds



6 Practical, Eco-friendly Uses for Coffee Grounds

I truly enjoy my daily cups of coffee. Always have for years, and always will. If you're like me and brewing coffee at home daily, you have a lot of leftover coffee grounds. Did you know that there are environmentally friendly ways to recycle and use these grounds again? Consider trying some of these life-enhancing tips!

  1. Eco-friendly Garden fertilizer- Coffee grounds are loaded with phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, chromium, and copper. They're also high in nitrogen which makes them especially good to add to the soil around your blooming flower plants. They help attract beneficial earthworms which naturally compost the soil, and help absorb toxic heavy metals present. Simple sprinkle used grounds around the base of plants, mix into soil when planting a new seedling, or add to a compost pile for later fertilization needs. 
  2. Non-toxic Insect Repellant- The diterpenes in coffee are toxic to many types of insects and pests such as snails and slugs, making grounds a good choice for non-toxic pest control. Simply leave old grounds in small bowls around seating areas outside, sprinkle around garden areas you wish to be left alone or even use directly on dog's fur for natural flea/tick deterrent. 
  3. Natural Household Cleanser- You can enjoy drinking coffee, but did you know you can clean with it? Gently abrasive coffee grounds can be used effectively as a chemical-free scrub in the sink, on pots and pans, or for barbeque grills. A powerful deodorizer, coffee grounds can be placed in a small bowl to naturally absorb odors from the refrigerator, or on your hands to easily remove onion or garlic smells. Coffee grounds can even be used to facilitate the task of cleaning ashes out of your wood burning fireplace and absorb smoke odors to boot. 
  4. Organic Beauty Aid- As long as you are starting with toxin-free, organic high quality coffee such as Cardiology Coffee, you can safely use coffee grounds to enhance your beauty routine in many ways such as for exfoliation of skin, decreasing cellulite, reducing puffy eyes and more. For more creative ways to incorporate coffee into your natural self care routine, see our article (on Coffee and skin benefits link needed).
  5. Hair Treatment- Not only is coffee beneficial for the skin, it can be used as a wonderful natural hair product. Used coffee grounds are a great alternative to toxic hair dye, which has been linked to many health issues as a known carcinogen. To use grounds in this way, first moisten them and apply to hair to enrich and add shine to brunette hair safely without harsh chemicals. Coffee grounds can also be applied to the scalp as a mild exfoliant to reduce shampoo build up and stimulate healthy hair growth. 
  6. Food Enhancer- Surprisingly, coffee grounds can help us get more out of our food. They help create a beneficial soil environment for growing mushrooms at home. Coffee grounds can add a richer, more complex flavor when added to foods such as chili or hot chocolate. Coffee grounds, which contain natural enzymes and acids can even be applied to raw beef as a natural meat tenderizer. Seen in many store-bought rubs, coffee will enhance the flavor of a great grass-fed steak tremendously. Try this recipe today!

Coffee Steak Rub:

  • 2 Tbsp coffee grounds
  • 2 Tbsp natural sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (omit for less heat)

Mix all ingredients and store in a glass jar. To use, apply to raw steak on both sides and press in. Saute or grill as desired.

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