TIP: Compost your tea bags and coffee grounds

used tea bags

Compost your used tea bags

Instead of throwing them in the trash or down the garbage disposal, compost used tea bags and coffee grounds.  Most people start the day with some sort of coffee or tea.  Hopefully you make that at home to save both money and the environment.  Take those grounds or tea and put it in your compost bin.  (If you don’t have a compost bin, you may want to check out this post that includes an award winning video of our children teaching people how to compost.)  Because the tea leaves and coffee grounds are already ground up they turn into compost very quickly.

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  1. What does Starbucks do with their coffee grounds after use?

  2. Hi Geoffrey,

    Thanks for asking! I couldn’t find a written policy on Starbucks website about giving out free coffee grinds, but the information is widely circulated that it is their policy to give free used grinds to anyone who asks for them. At some stores they have them pre-packaged in coffeebags with a compost sticker on them.

    Starbucks also has a page on their website that talks about composting, what ratios of coffee to use in your compost and what organic matter is in the grinds. http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/compost.asp

    On this page, they state:
    Coffee grounds act as a green material with a carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1. Combined with browns such as leaves and straw, coffee grounds generate heat and will speed up the compost process. Don’t make your coffee grounds more than 25% of any one pile’s content. To counter the acidity of the coffee grounds, consider adding 1 teaspoon of lime or wood ash for every 5 pounds of coffee grounds in your pile.

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