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:
- Grow Beans
- Ship half way around the world
- Roast at really high temps using natural gas
- Pack and ship to consumer (varies by location)
- 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