Sunday, August 10, 2008

Coffee Grounds

I work at a coffee shop and coffee grounds are one of the things recommended for compost heaps…so it’s a wonder it took me almost four years to realize I could save the grounds at work and bring them home for our compost heap.

Well better late then never so I recently started saving the grounds all day at work (I can easily fill a good sized bucket in one day). I do it about once a week and dump the grounds, filters and all, on our compost heap. Since I just started doing it this year it remains to be seen how it will affect the quality of our compost.

You may be wondering, how is this relevant to me, I don’t work at a coffee shop?!?! (Well at least I hope you don’t.) That’s not a problem; you can just ask a local coffee shop for grounds. But having been on the receiving end of one of these requests let me warn first about what NOT to do.

Here’s the scenario: I work at a chain coffee shop and my manager very nicely agreed to save coffee grounds for this woman’s organic compost. Now you have to understand that a manager can only ask his employees to do so many things before they mutiny so when he asked us to collect coffee grounds for this woman, it cost him one other thing that he may have wanted to ask us to do which would have actually benefited him. Basically what I’m saying is we were doing her a BIG favor. How does she thank us? By giving us attitude about how the plastic bags we were giving her the grounds in weren’t environmentally friendly. Now of course she’s right but she hadn’t given us a container either so what did she expect, we were going to weave a freakin' basket to put them in for her? Needless to say we didn’t do this for very long.

My point is: go ahead and ask a local coffee shop to save some grounds for you but be very, very grateful. In fact, monetary thanks would probably be much appreciated, a few dollars tip every week for instance. But if you really don’t have the money for that, consider giving them some of your over abundance of produce (I know you have extra zucchini!) Alternately some nice home made cookies would also be very much appreciated but no matter what, keep in mind that these people are doing YOU a favor, and if you act accordingly they will probably be more than willing to keep doing it for you.

Or you could just quit your job and work at a coffee shop and get all the free coffee grounds you like, as well as the added perks of most certainly developing a severe caffeine addiction from all the free coffee, and having every item of clothing you own stink like wet coffee! Boy do I love my job.

(I don't have any delicous looking photos of rotting coffee grounds for you so how about a picture of our lovely phlox?)

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