Douce Tip to Waste Reuse
If you are an avid coffee drinker, you might have noticed from brewing your own coffee at home that there is waste left over in the form of coffee grounds. Instead of throwing it away like usual, you could reuse them one more time! There are a few creative ways to do this.
In the last couple of years, in Denmark, there are some creative people that have begun to reuse coffee grounds for growing oyster mushrooms, which are the easiest to work with. Innovative companies like Beyond Coffee, Fra Grums Til Gourmet and Svampefarm are either growing the mushrooms themselves or producing kits for growing mushrooms at home. KaiChi, the founder of plantadouce, is in Copenhagen all of March were we visited Beyond Coffee’s farm in the North-West area of Copenhagen. You may find more content about this innovative circular business from KaiChi's interview with Beyond Coffee.
Another way you could reuse your used coffee grounds is by making body scrub! I would recommend drying the wet coffee grounds to avoid mold or other growth of fungi. When you have the coffee grounds ready, you can start with this basic recipe that I use:
1 part olive oil
2 parts coffee grounds
4 parts sugar
Feel free to add a few drops of essential oils, or adjust the mix to your liking!
A good reason you should try to make your own body scrub is that you will always know what the product contains. Some body scrubs are filled with microplastics to achieve the scrubbing effect. Every time you use a product containing microplastics in the shower, it runs out into the sewers and eventually out into the oceans. As you might have heard from organisations like Parley For The Oceans and Plastic Change, microplastics are dangerous for the environment. Animals and humans alike are affected because microplastics never dissolve, they only break into smaller and smaller parts and cycle through our environment.
Besides using spent coffee grounds, you can also experiment with other ingredients you have in your home for your DIY body scrubs. If you have leftover food waste from lemon and orange peels, you can add these to your scrub instead of essential oils. Other alternative ingredients that you can use in your body scrub are different kinds of salt, sugar (brown, white, cane sugar, demerara sugar), uncooked oatmeal, honey and oils! The oils should preferably be the oils that stay liquid at low temperatures so they do not block the drain. Choose oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil.
However, if you are not feeling ready for making your own body scrub yet, you can use the app Think Dirty, which can be useful when you shop and choose conscious skincare products. When you go shopping you can use the app to scan products and see if they contain ‘dirty’ ingredients.
If you want to learn more about microplastics in our surroundings I would recommend the app My Little Plastic Footprint. This app is both a place to learn more about plastic in our surroundings while gaming your way through the app and testing your knowledge to get to the next level.
Next time you are about to throw out your coffee grounds, think again! Have fun :)