Recycle coffee grounds and help your garden grow
A cup of Joe helps the anthuriums grow.
In Hawai'i, zoo folks, gardeners and teachers are among those taking advantage of a nationwide program in which Starbucks coffeehouses give away used coffee grounds for use in making compost.
The recycling program launched in 1994 by the Seattle-based company makes grounds available on request.
One 'Ewa Beach coffee shop worker uses grounds for garden compost. Compost, composed of various organic wastes, feeds plants, suppresses weeds and diseases and conserves water. A tip sheet with information is available at shops or by calling Rigg directly: 395-5859.
Coffee grounds are acidic and a great source of nitrogen and sulfur; provide bits of potassium, calcium and magnesium; and contain no phosphorous.
One heaping tablespoon of lime or wood ash added to a five-pound bag of grounds can neutralize the acidity. Grounds alone make poor compost: They should be mixed already wet and as no more than one-quarter of a pile with grass clippings and leaves. Ideally, the pile already will be hot.
Mary Kaye Ritz contributed to this Washington Post report.