Make the Most of Your Daily Grind

Looking for a great pick-me-up for your plants? Then consider putting your used coffee grounds to work in your garden. To mark Environment Month, which takes place in June, and to promote the reuse of coffee grounds, Bean There Coffee Company, will be recycling their used grinds instead of discarding them. 

Fans of the local roastery can opt to put their green fingers to the test and take their ground beans home with them to use as fertiliser, or alternatively donate the beans back to Bean There, who will then distribute them to local organic farmers - Quirki Organic garlic farm in Magaliesburg and Soil For Life a non profit in Cape Town, that helps people learn to grow healthy, organic food. 

“In order to protect the planet, we need to start thinking sustainably. Putting your grounds to good use in your garden is a practical waste solution and it’s an easy way to give back to the earth too” says Jonathan Robinson, founder of Bean There Coffee Company, South Africa’s first roaster of Certified Fairtrade coffee. 

The power of your breakfast java goes beyond being a morning boost; “Coffee grounds act as a natural fertiliser to improve soil’s drainage, water retention, aeration, and ultimately boost crop health and food security,” says Robinson.  

Launching first in Joburg in 2005 and then Cape Town in 2009, Bean There only source and sell ethically, sustainably produced coffee from small-holder African farmers and cooperatives. “Besides empowering people and fighting exploitation, we want to take care of the environment too - you can’t have human well-being if you ignore the planet,” Robinson adds.

In line with Bean There’s business ethos, the local roaster only uses 100% compostable takeaway coffee cups and all of their green bean coffee sacks are donated to recycling projects. 

How your garden (and the environment) can benefit from a cup of liquid gold:

  • Put coffee grounds in your compost bin - they are a valuable source of nitrogen.
  • Keep the slugs and snails away – by scattering grounds around your garden, the caffeine in the grinds acts as a natural deterrent for pests.
  • Make your own mulch – add thin layers of ground coffee to your flowerbeds to help retain moisture, keep the soil cool and suppress weeds.  
  • Make coffee ground "tea" - add two cups of used coffee grounds to a bucket of water. Let the "tea" steep for a few hours or overnight. You can use this concoction as a liquid fertiliser for garden and container plants, it also makes a great foliar feed.
  • Worms love coffee grounds - add some to your worm bin every week or so. Just don't add too many at once, because the acidity could bother your worms, a cup or so of grounds per week for a small worm bin is perfect.

Your donated beans will be heading to Soil For Life in Cape Town, and Quirki Organic Garlic Farm in Johannesburg.