Free Starbucks Coffee Grounds for Gardens (and Quick Tips for Composting)


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Free Starbucks Coffee Grounds for Gardens (and Quick Tips for Composting)

If you’re dreaming of spring, and planning on planting your garden, why not start a compost now and be ready with some nutrient-rich soil to make your cucumbers sing with delight!?  Or, if you’re not into composting, sprinkle the grounds directly on soil to enrich it.

Stop by your local Starbucks and receive FREE Starbucks Coffee Grounds to use in composting!  Just stop by and ask (you may want to call first to make sure they have some and are participating in this reuse movement).

Starbucks posted about FREE Starbucks Coffee Grounds:

Composting Grounds for Your Garden, introduced in 1995, provides interested customers with complimentary five-pound (2.27-kilogram) bags of soil-enriching coffee grounds. Where commercial composting is available, many stores are able to divert any remaining coffee grounds and food waste from the landfill as well.

The majority of coffee drinkers generally go through at least one pot of coffee a day. The result is a heavy mass of coffee grounds that end up in the garbage can. Composting your grounds helps to reduce garbage mass and boost the nitrogen levels in your compost pile. If you are not a composter, you can still compost your grounds by using them directly as a fertilizer in your garden or houseplants.

coffee-compostQuick Tips for Composting

I started composting about 5 years ago.  Food and paper waste does this magical thing when put together in the right environment – it turns into nutrient-rich soil! It does this naturally, so you don’t have to have a PhD in gardening to compost correctly

Here’s a step-by-step How to Compost:

Determine where you’ll compost.

  • You can compost anywhere!  You may want to use a container, but you can actually compost in a pile with no container.
  • Build Your Own! You can build a bin out of wood, use an old wooden crate, or anything you have lying around. I’ve made composters out of Kitty Litter Buckets!  I drilled holes in the sides and bottom with a very large drill bit, so the contents could drain.  The buckets were easy to pick up and shake up its contents!  Whatever you use, the bin will need drain holes and an access lid, preferably on top and bottom of container.
  • Or, Buy One!  I bought two discounted composters from my local county reuse program.  They’re about 3′ in diameter and 3′ high. And, I also received an electric composter (we affectionately call him Wall-E) on Freecycle. The electric composter works much faster because they keep it a constant warm temperature, and turn the contents regularly.  They can be stored indoors (mine is in my garage).

Determine what you’ll compost.

Compost is made up of:

  • GREEN (nitrogen) to activate the heat process
    • add weeds (without seeds), grass clippings, leaves, manure (not dog or cat), fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, tea leaves & bags, plants, etc.
  • BROWN (carbon) to add fiber
    • add dried leaves, dead plants and weeds, sawdust, cardboard, old flowers, straw, hay, and small animal bedding.
  • OTHER compostable items (use in small quantities):  paper (towels, paper bags, newspaper, or non-glossy magazines, etc.), torn up cotton clothing, egg shells; hair (human, dog, cat etc.)
  • AIR – while you can anaerobically compost without air, it requires specific bacteria and anaerobic compound. Generally speaking, your compost needs air. If it starts to smell bad or look slimy, add some BROWN material to fluff it up and let the air in. Also make sure your composter is properly ventilated
  • WATER – your compost should be watered regularly, and should be as moist as a wrung-out sponge
  • TEMPERATURE the compost should feel warm, if it feels the same temp as surrounding air, add more GREEN (nitrogen) items
  • TUMBLE –some composters are built so that you can tumble them (turn them upside down to mix contents), others will need to be stirred manually, pitchforks work well for this. The compost should be mixed once every week or two.
  • LAYER – when adding materials, try to add some of each so as not to overwhelm the balance which is required to break down the materials back into soil

That’s it!  Happy composting!

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