In recent years, coffee pods have become a popular way for people to quickly and conveniently make their morning coffee. However, the rise in popularity of coffee pods has also led to concerns about their environmental impact. These small, single-use plastic or aluminium pods are often not easily recycled, which means they end up in landfills, taking up space and potentially harming the environment.
The announcement of Nespresso’s new paper based/home compostable pods are a great step forward but a worldwide roll out, after the initial trial in France, might be a long way off.
Nespresso does offer a recycling program but requires you to take your pods back to the store, which might not be the most convenient option.
The aluminium pods are infinitely recyclable but the issue with them is their size. If they are put through a material recovery machine they are too small and will therefore be filtered out
and sent to landfill. A solution is to compact the pods tightly together and wrap inside aluminium (like a pie tray) or put them inside of any empty aluminium can for easy recycling via Ree.
However, this method will only work when the coffee grounds have been removed, either by hand with a knife/spoon or with a new product such as rePodder (perhaps a safer option for little fingers) used to open, empty, crush and fold the pods. While this is a manual process, it gives the consumer full control over ensuring their aluminium is recycled – ultimately reducing the carbon footprint on their morning brew, making it no longer a “guilty pleasure“ of convenience.
Whichever method you use to remove the coffee grounds, there are thankfully many great uses for them:
Compost & adding to soil
When used in the garden, coffee grounds can help to enrich the soil, improve drainage, and
provide valuable nutrients to plants. Additionally, coffee grounds are a great addition to compost, as they help to increase the nitrogen content of the mix, which is essential for plant
To use coffee grounds in the garden, simply sprinkle them on top of the soil around plants, wait for a couple of weeks or when you see little mushrooms appearing, then mix them in to the garden soil.
Coffee grounds can also be added to compost, either in a backyard bin or in a community
composting program. When using coffee grounds in compost, it's important to balance them with other types of organic matter, such as leaves and grass clippings, to ensure that the mix is well-rounded and nutrient-rich.
Coffee grounds can also be used as a natural and effective odour eliminator. The high nitrogen content in coffee grounds makes them effective at absorbing and neutralizing a range of unpleasant odours, such as those from food, pets, and musty rooms.
To use coffee grounds as an odour eliminator, simply place a small bowl or container filled with fresh or used coffee grounds in the area that needs to be deodorized. The coffee grounds will absorb the odours and leave a fresh, neutral scent in their place. This method is particularly effective in enclosed spaces, such as closets, refrigerators, and cars.
In addition to using coffee grounds to eliminate odours in rooms they can also be put down drains in the evening to help get rid of smells coming from the plug holes. Be sure to put the grounds down the sink at night so that they can be in place for a while without being washed
Using coffee grounds as an odour eliminator is a natural and eco-friendly alternative to chemical air fresheners and deodorizers. Whether you're dealing with a stubborn smell or just looking for a natural way to freshen up your home or car, using coffee grounds as an odour eliminator is a simple and effective option.
Coffee grounds can also be used as a natural insect repellent. The strong, bitter scent of coffee is effective at deterring a range of insects, including ants, slugs, and even mosquitoes.
To use coffee grounds as an insect repellent, simply sprinkle fresh or used coffee grounds
around the perimeter of your home or in the areas where insects are a problem. This will create a barrier that insects are unlikely to cross. Alternatively, you can mix coffee grounds with water to create a spray that can be applied directly to plants to repel insects.
Using coffee grounds as an insect repellent is a natural and non-toxic alternative to chemical
pesticides, which can be harmful to both insects and the environment.
Coffee grounds can also be used as an all-natural body scrub that exfoliates and rejuvenates the skin. The fine, abrasive texture of coffee grounds helps to remove dead skin cells and stimulate circulation, leaving the skin feeling soft, smooth, and refreshed.
To use coffee grounds as a body scrub, mix them with a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, and any additional ingredients, such as sugar or sea salt, to create a paste. Apply the paste to damp skin, massaging it in circular motions for a few minutes before rinsing off with warm water. The caffeine in the coffee can also have a tightening effect on the skin, making it appear firmer and more toned.
Using coffee grounds as a body scrub is a natural and eco-friendly alternative to commercial
scrubs, which often contain synthetic ingredients that can be harsh on the skin. Whether you're looking for a luxurious at-home spa treatment or simply want to give your skin a little extra TLC, using coffee grounds as a body scrub is a simple and effective option that can help reveal softer, smoother, and more radiant skin.