However, here are a few more ideas for green, economical ways the collective we can reuse coffee grounds. As the World Resources Institute recently estimated that over 7 million TONS of coffee is consumed worldwide each year, that’s a lot of coffee grounds we can reuse for some great applications we use daily.
Coffee Grounds and Gardening
We’ve discussed this one a few times, but it’s worth mentioning again and again. Coffee grounds serve as a natural fertilizer for your garden due to the high nitrogen content. Just chuck some into your landscaping.
You can also mix coffee grounds in with horticultural sand and spread it onto your lawn. Either let the rain soak it in or soak it in yourself, and the grounds will coax new grass growth in trouble spots or where there wasn’t any before.
Coffee Grounds as Biofuel
Did you know you can extract the oil from coffee grounds to make biofuel? Back in 2008, the University of Nevada experimented extracting such oil from Starbucks coffee grounds, and they were able to create a sustainable biodiesel. It’s still a long ways away from making a biofuel for our vehicles, although a coffee car has been built in the UK, but imagine the possibilities!
For instance, if all 7 million tons of coffee consumed over a year donated the coffee grounds toward biofuel production, we could produce 340 million gallons of biodiesel in just one year.
Coffee Grounds as Building Materials
A company called Re-Work has developed a way to use coffee grounds in building furniture. They created a composite material from coffee grounds and recycled plastic, and the material is similar to wood in how it can be used. It can be sawed and sanded. However, it is waterproof, so it doesn’t need additional treatment. It’s most ideal uses are as tabletops or worktops, especially for outdoor patio settings.