Recycling In the Coffee Industry - Part 1
In todays declining world we look to industry to recycle more and find more eco friendly ways of reducing energy and material use, CO2 and more. With coffee shops all over the globe serving billions of people each day, what happens to all the by-product of this ever expanding industry.
When we look at the processes involved with providing our daily brew, we see the fruit discarded, wasted water as well as the pucks. So who is doing what to change this, surprisingly, there are a number of companies doing a whole lot to make this industry as efficient and less environmentally damaging as possible as well as many things we can do at home. This two part blog will look at some of the things we can all do to help the environment a bit that little bit more efficient across the industry;
Ever heard of coffee trainers? The vegan friendly company nat-2 uses a whole lot of natural resources including stone to create their footwear. One of these products is our left over coffee grounds, which are applied to a patented layer on the top half of the trainer. The result is a soft, smooth trainer that looks amazing and smells of coffee and not cheese! Even with the eye-watering price tag of almost £400, would you wear them?
Many of us know about DIY home remedies for beauty products but did you know that you can use coffee to exfoliate? Face masks, puffy eye remedies and dandruff and skin exfoliating which are just some of the home remedies available, just by keeping hold of your pucks. You can even boost the colour of your hair with an espresso and some left over grounds. Have you ever tried these? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Cups, mugs and saucers
Ever thought about a literal coffee cup.. one made out of coffee.. that's right they really exist! Kaffeform and HuskeeCup are a forward thinking company's that manufacture travel cups and mugs using left over ground coffee pucks, which are collected and processed. In a world where reducing waste and efficiency is a top priority, this is a great way to recycle the waste from coffee and reduce the number of paper and plastic cups out there.
Lamps and furnishings
Along the same lines as the idea behind cups and saucers comes our next two products. Lamps, bowls, plates and more are being made by Decafe, not our beautiful low caffeine coffee but a Spanish company using left over coffee grounds to create a stylish set of products. Their unique porous, matt finish surface, which has the great smell of coffee, is every coffee lovers dream.
Nearly half the mass of a single coffee cherry, which are processed to make coffee beans, is discarded as waste. Çurface is an innovative material developed by UK-based Re-worked and Smile Plastics that incorporate at least 40 percent recycled coffee grounds, in combination with either bio-resin or recycled plastic, to create a material which has a beautiful dark coffee colour, smooth surface and the strength and durability of hardwood. Çurface is made to order and is suitable for a range of applications including appliance surrounds, jewellery and tabletops.
There are many, many articles on this one. If you're using fresh coffee at home, the advise is to sprinkle it on the soil or mix in with as a mulch to provide nutrients for plants in pots or the garden. From what I've been able to research this isn't quite an exact science. Coffee does indeed contain many great nutrients for plants but usually is too fine to use solely as mulch for plants. This is because it can suffocate the plant from essential water and nutrients that it needs. The best advise I've seen is to include coffee into your compost pile, as it slowly releases nutrients as it degrades, like with any other food stuff. Mixed into compost seems to be a great way to use coffee for gardening but a bit of research is worth while as there are many myths out there.
Thats just the first part of the many ways in which coffee waste is being used and we will look at more in the second part however, if you have used, tried or tested any ways to use coffee that we have not mentioned, or even have, feel free to comment below or tag us on socials @javahubofficial as we would love to hear about it!