When I was a barista in Brooklyn, I remember a customer asking for the café’s unwanted coffee grounds for his home composting. We had tons of it—leftover from the espresso grinder and from making drip coffee—filling up our trashcans so we were happy to pass some on to him.

Recycling coffee grounds into your compost or fertilizer is a fantastic way to cut down on coffee waste. It’s also a great way to add valuable nutrients to your garden, since coffee is full of nitrogen and antioxidants.

coffee grounds

photo courtesy of Pixabay

Another fun use for coffee, which I also learned while working at that shop in Brooklyn, is for skincare. A couple of my former co-workers would take expired whole beans, grind them up, and use them to make facial or body scrubs. Not only does a coffee scrub smell delicious, it also makes for a wonderful natural exfoliant.

Since I don’t have a garden but I am obsessed with DIY natural skincare products, I’m definitely into the idea of making my own coffee scrub. Whatever you’re into, it’s good to know that we can reuse coffee grounds instead of just trashing them.

If you decide to take on your own beauty or gardening project, ask your local coffee shop for their unwanted beans or used grounds. Just like I was, they’ll probably be glad to take part in a customer’s recycling efforts.