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Earth Day Project: Coffee Recycling

Earth Day is April 22. Each year, this day reminds us to consider the environment and think about how we can help build a healthy, sustainable Earth for future generations. Since recycling is an easy way to do your part, we wanted to give you some fun ideas for putting your leftover coffee (as if that would ever happen) and used coffee grounds to good use!

Feed Your Garden - According to the Coffee Research Institute, coffee grounds are a good source of many minerals. This makes a rich, natural fertilizer for most plants and crops. Sprinkling coffee grounds in your garden can also help keep away animals and insects that could harm the plants, such as ants and caterpillars.

Dish Up Something New – There are many ways to incorporate brewed coffee into cooking. It’s great for adding a rich flavor in desserts. Instead of water or milk, try using coffee to thin out your oatmeal. Coffee grounds also add a new level of bold flavor to meats when added to a dry rub.

Make coffee ice cubes! Freeze leftover coffee in an ice tray, then pop them out for a cool treat. You could also add the cubes to milk for an iced café au lait, or try blending them into a smoothie.

Household Uses - Used coffee grounds have a wonderful deodorizing quality. Put dried coffee grounds in an open container and store them in the refrigerator or freezer to absorb any food odors. This also works in the bathroom or other areas of the home to get rid of unpleasant smells.

Keep some handy around your kitchen and rub them on your hands to help eliminate food prep smells. Also, tie the grounds up in a small mesh cloth or filter and put them in your shoes to keep them smelling fresher.

Be An Artist – Let your creativity shine! After sipping on your favorite blend, soak the grounds in water to create a brown dye. Use this for egg dying, painting, or even staining wood. You could also use this or leftover coffee to soak paper, giving it an artsy antique look.