Charity Weeks : Unless someone knows something I don't, recycling coffee grounds has a long history, I think it would take a lot of them to shift the ph much !
a friend uses the empty K- cups to make up additional 'Tea Candles " ! Big AL !
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
Coffee grounds are a unique resource....relatively nutrient dense, and, when fresh, semi-sterile due to the heat of extracting the coffee. Growing edible mushrooms on them and/or feeding them to soldier flies or earthworms are two ways of obtaining an intermediate yield from them on their way to soil or compost.....
Our house has fallen into the convenience of the Keurig as well. I hardly make a pot anymore.
You might want to be careful with flavored coffee grounds... I'm not sure. Personally I drink a ton of coffee and prefer these:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007TGDXMU/ They're not cups, more like little filters with plastic tops. They're a little bit more messy but they work well. I've gone through several boxes already. It tastes great if you don't mind a little bit of fine grounds at the bottom of your cup.
I don't know why I hadn't thought of using the grounds before. That's an excellent idea. I'm just getting ready to start a worm bin too. Thanks!
I agree that coffee grounds are great for the garden - I throw mine straight onto the flower beds near the house as they are good against slugs too.
But... hang on there... what is "permie" about using these disposable little plastic pots to make your coffee? All you are doing is creating landfill. Even if you can recycle them (I don't know this brand but there are types that you can send back to the manufacturer for recycling as they are complex, not just one type of plastic) - why do it? Why create the need to recycle extra plastic? What is wrong with chucking a spoonful of grounds into a French press or just a coffee pot, then you never create any of this waste in the first place? Even a paper filter can be composted.
Call me purse-lipped if you like but frankly I'm a bit shocked!
In my worm bin I've used the K-cup filters (plus grounds) from hundreds of K-cups given to me by a friend whose office uses them. There were flavored and non-flavored ones from 3-4 different companies.
Getting the filter ripped out of each plastic cup is annoying, but not the true problem (bribe a small child to do it if you have a bunch of Kcups to do)...it's that the paper filters are enmeshed with plastic that isn't visible until the micro life has eaten the paper coating it. Almost a year later I'm still finding <redacted> plastic mesh from the <redacted> K-cups in my worm compost. So you're getting maybe 1 tsp of grounds for each plastic cup + plastic-infused coffee filter. I can't think of a less permaculture friendly way to drink coffee.
Have you seen http://igreenpod.com/? They are plastic free and supposedly compostable. Might be a way to have your Keurig and be a permie too. I backed them on kickstarter but have yet to receive my pods and have since switched back to brewing pots so I can't really say how well they work, but I thought I'd just throw this out there.
Adventures in Suburban Permaculture
I have a French Press plus an espresso machine (not one that uses capsules) - I use the grinds on my basil, as a sort of mulch and they love it. In the winter I use them to wash my hands as the oil is really good for my dry skin.
LOL there is a K-Cup machine at my workplace and someone keeps dumping the spent K-Cups (about 30 at a time from the machine's large internal wastebin) into the office compost bin - little plastic cups and all! I can only assume they once heard somewhere that coffee grounds are good for compost. Sigh.
I also struggle with the guilt of using this machine. At our home we keep a water boiler plugged in (it's on a plug-in timer so that it turns on at 5am & off again at noon). Right next to it we keep our pour-over cone, filters, and ground coffee. It's just as fast as using the K-cup machine because our hot water is right there and ready to pump, and it produces no plastic waste. Also more economical than buying K-cups. Our unbleached paper filters and grounds go in the compost daily!