Starbucks Coffee Company invites green thumbs across North America to pick up a complimentary bag of spent coffee grounds for their gardens and composting bins on their next visit to Starbucks. What originated as a grass roots initiative more than eight years ago, "Grounds for Your Garden" is a popular program offered at Starbucks Company-operated retail stores across North America.
"Coffee grounds are a valuable source of nutrition for the garden," said Ben Packard, director of Environmental Affairs for Starbucks. "At Starbucks, we strive to find innovative ways to contribute positively to the environment and to reduce our footprint on the planet. Reusing coffee grounds in the garden is a great alternative to disposing this rich resource from our stores. It's a win for gardeners and a win for Starbucks."
Complimentary spent coffee grounds are available year-round to customers on a first come, first serve basis. Grounds are packaged in reused coffee bags and sealed with the "Grounds for Your Garden" sticker with simple directions for using the grounds in the garden or compost pile.
General facts about coffee grounds include:
Coffee grounds are considered a good nitrogen source, with a carbon-nitrogen ration of 20:1.
Combined with brown material such as leaves or straw, coffee grounds generate heat and thus speed up the compost process.
Coffee grounds help absorb moisture and can improve the texture and fertility of soil.
Coffee grounds can be applied directly to acid loving plants such as azaleas, roses or hydrangeas. The acidity of the grounds can be countered with leaves and dried grass.
In addition to providing coffee grounds to customers, Starbucks actively recycles the organic waste by donating grounds to organizations such as parks and community gardens.