Repurpose used coffee grounds and tea leaves

We don’t have to tell you how popular coffee and espresso drinks have become. Whether you grind your own beans or pop a single in for an instant cup of java each morning at home and work, you can reuse the grounds, or the leaves, if tea is more, well, your cuppa’ tea.

Top Ten Ways to Re-Use Coffee and Tea:

1.            Add the grounds to your compost pile. Just remember that coffee grounds can make dogs ill, so keep them out of reach of animals until they break down and mix in. Tea leaves also compost, or can go directly onto plants for added nitrogen. But not all bags are biodegradable, so it’s best to empty the leaves out.

2.            Sprinkle coffee grounds around plants that love acid, like azaleas and rhododendrons.

3.            Your roses might like coffee grounds, but word has it that snails and slugs don’t like them. Sprinkle the grounds around your garden to get rid of the slimy pests.

4.            Put used coffee grounds in a piece of old (clean) pantyhose and place the hose in your refrigerator to absorb odors. Just remember to change the grounds every week or so. Used green tea bags or leaves in a bowl also absorb odors.

5.            Or add a drop of vanilla extract to the grounds in your pantyhose and take that coffee smell with you in your car as an air freshener. Use color-coordinated hose, or give it a sock puppet face if you’re worried about style.

6.            While you’re in cleaning mode, sprinkle some of the used, damp grounds into your fireplace before cleaning out the ashes. They’ll cut down on dust and make it easier to scoop up the ashes.

7.            Sprinkling green tea leaves in your cat box and other areas where pets hang out can cut odor.

8.            Soothe yourself. Some tea ingredients are said to ease inflammation, so place cool tea bags on puffy eyes or minor burns and bug bites.

9..           Coffee grounds are abrasive enough to help you scrub out stubborn stains in pots and pans.

10.          Finally, don’t waste the grounds in your K-cup. At home, you can dump the grounds into your compost bin, or collect them for one of the garden or cleaning uses above. The foil lids are recyclable, and Keurig says it’s working on a way to make the rest of the product greener. Until then, your office can join the company’s Grounds to Grow On program to collect used K-cups and grounds for recycling.

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