Sustainability and #zerowaste is far more deep-rooted than being a mere “2018 trend” that marketers have begun bastardizing. From chefs coming up with nose-to-tail menus, people getting conscious of segregating kitchen waste, and sustainable hipster fashion taking over the millennial minds – we are sure experiencing a revolution of conscious living. For those who are still a novice to this concept, sustainability in it’s truest sense is a lifestyle change. It is a lifestyle wherein you step out of your way, and comfort (consumerism) zone, to support ethical food networks, local producers, biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, artisanal products hand-made by other conscious humans on a daily basis. A lifestyle wherein you don’t exploit, but rather sustain with what you have.
The most utopian scenario would be to create and live in your own personal ecosystem. A space where every critter of the farm is used to create a new life, a space where by utilizing natural patterns of the environment we create a self-sustaining ecosystem. Imagine eating salad from the greens grown in the biodynamic farm of your backyard, or the honey from all the queen bees that have been facilitating pollination of your garden chrysanthemums! While stuck in the abysmal city lifestyle, making a three-sixty degree change does seem daunting. However, taking baby steps towards conscious living can be made into a fun, and of course, soul satisfying experience.
There are many ways one can make some intelligent (and creative) use of kitchen waste; up-cycle is one of them! Up-cycling is taking waste and making it into something that has equal, or greater use or value. “Up-cycling” is the act of transforming materials that would otherwise be discarded as “food waste” into new, high-quality products. This week I’ll talk about how we can creatively up-cycle all the left over ground coffee from your home espresso machine, Italiano moka, French press or the pour-over filter. Cheggit!
- Coffee scrub – Coffee grounds mixed with sugar crystals, and a wee bit of cold pressed coconut oil makes for an excellent exfoliating scrub. The caffeine in the grounds stimulate skin cells, which help produce tighter, healthier, and cellulite-free skin. To all my beautiful girls, I know that beauty is only skin deep – but give this vanity a shot!
- Odour remover (in refrigerator) – Hang a tiny muslin cloth filled with used coffee grounds in your fridge or freezer to eliminate random floating odours. This might end up making your fridge smell a little bit of coffee – but hey, how is that a bad thing now?
- Add to your compost – In case you’re the family that has it’s waste segregation, and compost pile in place, I’ve found you the easiest way to use waste ground coffee. For a better home farming situation – simply toss the waste coffee into your compost bin. Coffee grounds are acidic, which makes them a great soil friend for blueberries, roses, hydrangeas, and other acid-loving plants. It also provides a mean nitrogen kick in the soil.
- Cook with it – Coffee grounds can be used in cooking in several different ways. Grounds can be added to marinades for flavour, and also help to tenderize the meat. Coffee grounds can also be added to dishes such as chili and chocolate cake to enhance flavors. Well, coffee has always been the secret ingredient in my fudge brownies. Nomnomnom
- Grow em’ shrooms – Well, people love coffee, and coffee loves mushroom. Add the waste ground coffee to your next mushrooming project, and voila, see the magicaaa!
- Food for art – The tannins found in coffee are lovely for dying fabric and paper. Steep ground coffee in hot water for colour or rub the grounds onto the surface (paper/fabric). OR simply use leftover brewed coffee to create your very own art piece!
- More coffee, more carrots! – Mixing carrot seeds with ground coffee makes the planting process easier. Carrots seeds and ground coffee are a match made in heaven!
- DIY Coffee Soap – If you can make coffee scrub, then why not coffee soap? Just get with the glycerin for this one.
- Kitchen cleanser – They can be used as an abrasive cleaner when mixed with baking soda. This mixture is good for scouring pots and pans but be aware that it can stain certain surfaces. Also suffering with a stinky dirty kitchen drain? Add some coffee there and pour over boiling water to see the (pleasant) change!