Recycled Coffee Grounds as Plant Fertilizer

Most people would likely to take a sip of coffee in the morning because coffee is the popular beverage across the world. Do you know that coffee in the morning can give you myriad of advantages? This is because coffee grounds contain high amount of caffeine, where it does help in boosting adrenaline. In this context, the big question mark is how you can be environmentally friendly by not directly tossed the used coffee grounds into the dustbin?

What is coffee grounds?

Coffee is made of a mixture of warm water and coffee grounds that come in various size, extra fine, coarse, and extra coarse. A few people more likely to prefer coffee mixed with whole milk. A very long process in preparing a cup of coffee commencing with planting coffee, harvesting, roasting the coffee beans, grinding the coffee beans into small size preferably, and brewing it with warm water.  Once the coffee grounds were used, it cannot be brewed for another cup of coffee.

How does it work?

The used coffee grounds can be directly poured into the soil or simply sprinkle them on the soil. Old coffee grounds have been identified as one of the fertilizer by-product that may help in fertilizing plants. The used coffee grounds contain high amount of nutrients that are necessary to soils and plants. There are several nutrients significantly important in improving the quality of soil which are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Normally, soils are lacking in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium which can be supplied by the chemical fertilizers. On the other hands, used coffee grounds would help to improve the soil quality for improving plant nutritional content.

What is the importance of recycled coffee grounds?

Normally, the used coffee grounds will be tossed into the dustbin. The significance of recycling the used coffee grounds is leading towards the direction of circular economy. The advantages of this concept can reduce the amount of waste being dumped into the landfill. Thus, it will prevent from the decomposition of harmful bacteria, which leads to the production of methane gas.  This is an approach of cradle-to-cradle where the product from a system of processes can be recycled as a new source for other processes.

Besides cost saving, the used coffee grounds can reduce the consumption of chemical fertilizers where it does not harmfully affect the quality of soil and do not jeopardised the environmental quality.

Note: Muhammad Afif Hasim is a Science Environmental Management undergraduate from University of Malaya and currently pursuing his studies in Master of Development Studies at University of Malaya. With deep passion in socio-economics studies, his research focuses on regional and sustainable development.

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