April 22, 2010

Earth Day: Start Composting Now, With Coffee Grounds

Sure, drinking coffee isn't exactly a sustainable and earth friendly habit. Plenty of sunk energy in each little cup of coffee. Let's see at a high level:

  1. Grow Beans

  2. Ship half way around the world

  3. Roast at really high temps using natural gas

  4. Pack and ship to consumer (varies by location)

  5. Brew using hot water and pressure extraction for espressos

I count myself as mildly green, and I am not about to give up my coffee and espressos; love them too much. I did decide to start composting my coffee grounds more regularly lately. They are a good source of Nitrogen, and I keep them in a reasonable mix with all of the leaves and grass clippings I gather around the yard.

When I brew drip, espresso from ground or ESE pods, or french press I collect the grounds and dump them on a huge leave and grass clipping pile we have near our house. Easy, and even the paper ESE pods disappear after a while. The one thing I need to "process" a bit are my spent Nespresso capsules. I take a paring knife and slit the underside of the capsule, dump the grounds and recycle the aluminum shells. Easy and quick thing to do about once a week. You can also use this device the Outpresso - make the job of getting the spent Nespresso capsules separated from the coffee a little bit easier.

If you really want to supercharge your collection and get more coffee grounds - stop by a local Starbucks store. I usually see a pile of bags sitting in the corner full of spent grounds - free to customers.

Try your hand at composting too; here's an easy guide: Composting: An Easy Household Guide (The Chelsea Green Guides)

If you aren't into the leave pile thing, you could always splurge on one of these automatic in-house composting robots: NaureMill Indoor Composter

Either way, I raise my refillable mug to you and with you a Happy Earth Day.

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Posted by Scott Martin at April 22, 2010 8:05 AM
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