It’s a morning ritual many people can’t live without but did you know you daily coffee contributes to six million tonnes of spent coffee grounds going to landfill every year?
That said, organisations are cottoning on to the many benefits of coffee grounds, including using them in your garden.
In an article published on The Conversation, Tien Huynh, Senior Lecturer in the School of Sciences, RMIT University says “some cafes now offer free spent coffee grounds for customers to take home and use in the garden.”
But is putting coffee straight onto your garden a good idea?
“In theory, this is a great initiative but the reality is that fresh coffee grounds are high in caffeine, chlorogenic acid and tannins that are beneficial to humans but toxic to plants," she says.
But first, the coffee must be detoxified.
“The spent coffee must be detoxified by composting for a minimum of 98 days for plants to benefit from the potassium and nitrogen contained in the roasted beans,” writes Tien.
“Without adequate composting, the benefits are scant. So if you do take some coffee grounds home from your local cafe, make sure you compost them before sprinkling them on the veggie patch.
“The good news is that properly composted coffee grounds offer a cheap alternative to agro-industrial fertilisers, potentially helping urban communities become greener and more sustainable.”