Reduce, reuse, recycle—ever since the 1970s, this slogan has been used to encourage people to minimize the number of things they buy and how much they toss in the trash every day. One way to reduce the amount of waste that you send to a landfill is to learn how to compost food products for use in your garden.
If you’re a coffee drinker, composting coffee grounds can help reduce your impact on the environment while providing great nourishment for your plants. Recycling coffee grounds into nutrient-rich compost will also make you feel good about your daily cup of Joe!
Benefits of Coffee Grounds in the Garden
Adding coffee grounds to your compost is a great way to improve the health of your soil and plants. When broken down in a compost pile, coffee grounds are an excellent source of nitrogen that your plants can use to grow tall and healthy. Even though coffee as a beverage is acidic, coffee grounds themselves are pH neutral, meaning they won’t affect the acidity of your soil. This is because all of the acidic compounds in coffee are water-soluble, so they end up in the brew you drink rather than in the leftover grounds.
Coffee grounds also improve the structure of your soil, making it fluffier and more absorbent. Plus, the grounds repel pests like slugs and snails, making them an excellent natural insect repellent!
Methods of Composting Coffee Grounds
If you’re interested in using coffee grounds in compost, there are many ways to do it. Consider one of these popular methods for composting coffee grounds at home:
Add Coffee Grounds to the Soil
One way to use coffee in the garden is to mix it into the dirt. First, sprinkle the grounds directly on top. Then, dig them into the soil with a shovel or trowel to incorporate them. If you leave them on the top of the soil, they’ll create a crust that repels water. However, if you don’t want to dig, you can cover the coffee grounds with leaves or other kinds of compostable materials. Eventually, they will break down and add nutrients to the dirt.
Add Coffee Grounds to Your Compost Pile
You can add coffee grounds directly to your compost pile. Use equal parts grounds, grass clippings, and dried leaves or another source of carbon (like shredded paper or coffee filters). Then, mix this into your compost and rotate it frequently until it breaks down.
Add Coffee Grounds to Your Worm Bin
If you have a worm bin, you can also add coffee grounds to it. Although slugs and snails aren’t fans of coffee grounds, worms love them. Add the grounds a little at a time so that the worms will slowly get used to them. They’ll eat and digest the coffee and transform it into worm castings that you can use in your garden or on your houseplants.
Composting Coffee Filters and Coffee Pods
You might be wondering, “Are coffee filters compostable?” The answer is yes! Paper coffee filters can also be used in your compost pile. However, you should tear them into small pieces before you add them so that they will break down more easily. Not only is this a great way to dispose of your used filters, but it also adds carbon to your compost.
Wondering how to compost coffee pods, meanwhile? Pod-style coffee makers generate tons of waste each year. Until someone invents 100 percent compostable coffee pods, you will need a tool like the Recycle a Cup® cutter that separates the plastic and foil waste from the compostable filter and grounds. This allows you to recycle the plastic cup and the foil top while composting the paper filter and the coffee grounds.