National Zero Waste Week: Coffee grounds

I mentioned at the beginning of this week that I work one day a week at a cafe. It’s set in a lovely little Arts Centre and I feel very blessed to have a job that brings me into contact with some great customers and staff. At the cafe we sell fair trade and only vegetarian food. I work on a Saturday and the cafe is closed on Sunday meaning it’s more important than ever for me to make sure all the food is within date. We usually have some bread left over which myself, or another colleague, take home to make toast or bread pudding. This sometimes happens with milk and (when we are v lucky) cake!

However there is food waste. Partly this is due to having to follow strict Use By deadlines, as is stressed in any food hygeine course and the regulations for food safety we have to follow. We are lucky that one of the members of staff has a couple of pigs (!) so we can save food scraps for them. We don’t have a compost bin at work which I know we should install (especially as we have a small courtyard garden and it would be good for the veggies).

One of the food/drink items we generate a lot of waste from is coffee grounds. While we can pour some of them down the sink to act as a de-greaser we have also experimented with bagging up the grounds and passing them onto willing customers who can take them home for the compost bin. A colleague also did some research and discovered that you can use coffee grounds for your face and body as it acts an exfoliant! There’s a recipe from the Peta website which includes olive oil to make a face mask.

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