Thank you for your waste

Coffee uses 150 litres per cup to grow, process, pack and ship.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve started a composting round covering my favourite restaurants and coffee shops. It’s an energy efficiency thing where I try to use as little fuel in the car as possible and still get my regular coffees while hijacking part of the local waste stream.

Boost Juice Gawler give us their organic waste and the blue buckets that much of their material for juicing comes in. Right next to them is Poetic Justice Cafe and a little further out are Cafe Sia and Cafe Nova.

The main goal is to gather a precious resource that usually goes to waste. Brown gold, I call it. Coffee grounds. The cafes each give us close to a ten litre container of used grounds a couple of times a week. We could probably get more, but at the moment, this is enough. Boost contribute a good 5 – 10 kg / day of cut and pulped vegetable and fruit scraps that are left over from their daily operations.

Cafe Sia Gawler

So, why are Coffee grounds golden?

We use the grounds for many reasons here. I’m so enamoured with them that I even submitted an article to the permaculture magazine, PIP. I think I’ll wait until the article comes out buy but I can tell you that we use it for Bokashi, fertilizing, odour control, worms and a few other innovative things.

We can’t use close to the amount we gather so, beside our use, the grounds go to local ventures Uncle Rob’s Worm Farm and Barossa Gourmet Mushrooms. Rob at the worm farm uses them to boost the worms, nutritionally that is, not by massive doses of caffeine. Danny at Barossa Gourmet Mushrooms inoculates them and grows mushrooms on them.

UNcle Rob's Worm Farm

Ligaya Garden closes the circle again by receiving spent mushroom spawn from BGM and worms and associated material from Uncle Rob’s. I think this is what folks are calling the ‘circular economy!.

It’s all about closing the loops in the waste stream, especially food waste. I probably don’t have to tell you that this is a major player in landfill and also the production of greenhouse gasses. We also help to utilise water better. It takes 130 – 140 litres of water (depending on the source of the info) to grow, pack and ship a regular sized (125ml) cup of coffee, it also takes 6 litres for 1 tsp of sugar and who knows how much to produce that splash of milk? (that’s 18,900 litres to make a kilo). As their product is juice, which is mostly water, Boost are to be congratulated with a few extra claps for getting involved in local waste processing.

Boost Juice, Gawler

So its a big thank you to the business who contribute to this little loop!

Next…a methane digester…hmmm…

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