Sustainability Series

Written by Cafe Campesino on Jan 5, 2010 in NEWSLETTER, Sustainability |
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Through the very essence of fairly traded, organically produced, and shade grown product, Café Campesino has taken a stance towards promoting sustainability. We, along with fellow members of Cooperative Coffees, recognize our ability to significantly impact the process of growing, harvesting, purchasing, transporting, roasting, and distributing coffee beans in a manner that meets present ecological, societal, and economical demands and without compromising the success or needs for future generations. We now hope to open up a dialogue about the importance of sustainability, to offer practical solutions for managing waste, and to further explore our own practice from ‘crop to cup’, and beyond.

So stay tuned to this series for discussions about reducing/reusing/recycling, water conservation, energy efficiency, gardening/Community Supported Agriculture, home and yard care (including edible landscaping, definitely a delicious idea!)  We’ve got some things to share and we hope you will join in by following the series, by submitting your ideas and questions, as well as applying practical changes to your lifestyle that promote sustainability.  We all have a contribution to make and together we can, no doubt, make a difference.  We begin with a practical use for a waste product that we create a lot of: used coffee grounds.

Coffee Grounds 101

We discard our pail of ‘spent’ grounds and filters into our very own composting system and dispense to local growers at their request. In this manner, our grounds serve a great purpose of conditioning our community soil and avoiding the expensive transportation costs to a regional landfill. Composting coffee grounds is quite simple if you have an existing unturned pile. Discard the grounds to your pile making sure to add or cover with a high carbon source (dried leaves or shaved wood). This is important because coffee grounds are a solid nitrogen source having a carbon to nitrogen ration of about 20:1 (the same range as green manure!). The grounds will provide the heat the pile needs to accelerate decomposition, a lesson in chemistry right at your backdoor. If you are building a pile from scratch, it is good to use a layering technique by alternating one part fresh grass clippings to one part coffee grounds, by volume, turning once a week. Your compost will generally be ready in 3-6 months time. By recycling this valuable soil amendment and compost ingredient at the coffee house, we achieve a sense of economic relief, environmental pride, and social responsibility. You can too!

We welcome your feedback on this or any other subject.  Remember you can write to us anytime atinfo@cafecampesino.com.

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