Now at Starbucks: Grounds, For Free

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

It’s not quite fall yet, but a few leaves are starting to come down. If they’re headed for your compost pile, pick up a few bags of used coffee grounds from your local Starbucks. They’re free… and a great way to keep balance in your compost pile when you add all those brown leaves.

We like the idea of diverting waste from landfills, even the smallest amount, and putting nutrition back into the earth: a way, perhaps, to make Starbucks feel a bit more local.

Here are 3 tips from Starbucks on how to use the grounds:

Applying coffee grounds directly in the garden. Coffee grounds can be applied along with other materials as a side dressing for vegetables, roses, and other plants. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, but are also acidic. Adding brown material such as leaves and dried grass to the mulch will help keep a balanced soil pH.

Mixing coffee grounds in your compost. Coffee grounds act as a green material with a carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1. They make an excellent addition to your compost. Combined with browns such as leaves and straw, coffee grounds generate heat and will speed up the composting process.

Using coffee grounds in a worm bin. Worms fed with coffee grounds combined with other materials will flourish.