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Starbucks Will Give You Coffee Grounds to Use as Fertilizer

A person scoops up coffee grounds with a spoon.
Nor Gal/Shutterstock.com

Those looking to supercharge their gardens and houseplants might want to head into their local Starbucks. The coffee purveyor could be the secret to plant growth.

Starbucks’ Grounds for Gardeners program sees free coffee grounds given away to help fertilize your houseplants and gardens.

The coffee shop originated the program all the way back in 1995 as a way to help keep materials out of landfills and reduce waste. It’s still in existence today in certain stores and locations where counties and municipalities allow it. The program sees the grounds produced from brewing the brand’s famous coffee scooped back into the very same bags they came from and redistributed to gardening enthusiasts.

Because the program is only offered in certain locations, you’ll need to check in with your local Starbucks to find out if they’re a participant. If they are, you can head in and pick up those leftover grounds for your plants.

But why coffee grounds for plants? There are a few reasons, but the first is that they can act as a fertilizer thanks to an abundance of micronutrients. While there aren’t as many studies as there are anecdotes about their effectiveness, coffee grounds could be particularly good for plants that need phosphorus, magnesium, and nitrogen. In addition to their fertilizing abilities, though, coffee grounds are also thought to be effective at keeping away bugs and pests like slugs, beetles, and ants thanks to their caffeine content.

The next time you’re headed to Starbucks for one of their new holiday drinks, it might be time to grab some grounds as well.

[Via 21 Oak]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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