Ground for Ground: Put your coffee back into the earth

Aug 23
Espresso Essential - Coffee

Espresso Essential - Coffee

Coffee grounds are better than gold in the garden. One Australian man got fed up with all the wasted grounds and started up a movement to get them back into the soil.

The world drinks a lot of coffee- over a billion pounds a year. After all those cups of coffee, espresso, and lattes have been poured, there’s a veritable mountain of grounds left behind. The vast majority of it gets tossed into the waste bin and hauled off to the dump.
Shane Genziuk of Victoria, Australia thinks we could be doing something better with all those grounds, so he started a local initiative called ‘Ground for Ground‘ which works to facilitate coffee shops making their grounds available to people to use in their gardens and compost heaps.
Genziuk has collected around 1,874 pounds of coffee grounds since March of this year from coffee shops near his home, using it in his compost bin, around fruit trees, in raised garden beds, and as gifts to families and neighbors to use on their lawns and gardens.
• Coffee is a great source of nitrogen, a much needed plant fertilizer. The nitrogen in coffee is of a kind that needs to break down in the soil before being released so it ends up feeding a slow and steady drip of the fertilizer to your plants.
• The nitrogen in coffee nicely balances the addition of “brown” materials (leaves, straw, and cardboard) in a compost heap.
• In addition to the nitrogen, coffee grounds also contain magnesium and copper in just the right amounts to be beneficial to your plants.
• Coffee grounds act as an effective repellent against slugs, snails, ants, and cats.
• Earth worms LOVE coffee grounds.
Starbucks started a similar program in 1995 called Grounds for Your Garden that offers their customers free five pound bags of used grounds to take home to their garden.
To learn more about Ground to Ground, you can visit the website and/or contact Shane Genziuk via email at
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