Plastic Free July

This July, over two million people around the world are choosing to be part of ‘Plastic Free July Challenge’, reducing their consumption of single-use plastics in July and beyond.

Starting as a small, local campaign for individuals to raise awareness and change behavior, the campaign has grown to include businesses, community groups, schools and industry inviting them to be part of the solution to the growing environmental issue of plastic waste.

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Coffee an unsustainable choice?

It has travelled a long way to get to your cup. The further it has travelled, the further away the farmer is. The further away the farmer is, the less understanding you have about how it is grown, harvested and treated. It really is an unsustainable drink especially if you live in a cold climate in Australia.

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How often do we stop and think about where our paper comes from?

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis refers specifically to our use of paper, citing it as an example of a problem linked to our “throwaway culture”. He writes, “Most of the paper we produce is thrown away and not recycled … We have not yet managed to adopt a circular model of production capable of preserving resources for present and future generations, while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximizing their efficient use, reusing and recycling them” (Laudato Si’ #22).

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What to do with your coffee grinds?

Coffee – what to do with the grinds.

After you have had a cup of coffee, what do you do with the coffee grinds?

After a quick survey around the office, most of us put our grinds in the compost bin. It is a great soil conditioner, it has a wonderful amount of nitrogen to give back to your garden! It is the perfect place for coffee grinds. There are some people who say that grinds are too acidic for the compost. There is some truth in this argument. The acidity, however is soluble and disappears quite quickly, so if you have a healthy compost system this really shouldn’t be a problem. Make sure that there are many other types of organic matter in the compost too!

Worms absolutely love coffee grinds. You could have a worm farm entirely made for coffee grinds – just make sure to add some lime every now and then to keep the worms happy.

The other gardening option with grinds is to put them as a mulch around your small seedlings that would otherwise be eaten by slugs and snails. The slugs and snails will not go anywhere near the coffee grinds, the soil will love the covering and it will help to create a lovely textured medium for growing. Just remember to top up your slug and snail barrier after rain.

There are many other uses for dried coffee grinds – just a quick search online will help you find a cleaner of sinks, pots and pans, hair, face, a deodoriser for shoes, fridges and wardrobes, an indoor plant tonic, a dye for taking scratches out of furniture and an ingredient for candles. Just to name a few.

How do you use your coffee grinds?