Coffee Ground to Ground

“I have been collecting used coffee grounds since about November 2010. I haven’t used a huge amount, probably 30 Kilos (at one stage I hauled a 10kg bag home). But even this has been enough to see the results in the garden! No more ants- they had been eating out the root systems from many of my plants and when I added coffee grounds to the garden they stopped immediately. I have also found plants have shot up and are full of colour.”

“I have found that pests like ants, snails and slugs stay away as well as my cat! The cat seems to think my garden is her personal litter box and kept digging up plants as well. Since putting the used coffee grounds on the garden I haven’t found anything disturbed.”

Did you know that coffee grounds are a fantastic compost material that are free to collect and use?

The Ground to Ground website caters for this opportunity, by delivering news, views, research, and general information on the reuse of coffee grounds for compost and gardening. Of the tonnes of used coffee grounds that are discarded each day, only a small amount is collected for reuse – which is a real pity considering the good that can come from a group effort.

Recycling coffee grounds would have to be one of the easiest ways to make a difference, and for anyone interested in gardening, composting, vermiculture, or just environmental awareness, the Ground to Ground website can show you how to get involved for all our benefit.
Please help spread the word about this great initiative and tell your barista about it at your local coffee bar or cafe.

The Ground To Ground Map – Find Used Coffee Grounds

20 Ways to resuse coffee grounds and tea leaves – Treehugger

How to go shampoo-free

G Magazine featured an article on 5 ways to go shampoo-free that I wanted to share with everyone.

The foaming agents in shampoo don’t only lift dirt from your hair – they strip the scalp of it’s natural balancing oils. The temporary shine from chemicals in conventional shampoos could be doing more damage than it’s worth for your scalp, as well as waterways when it’s washed down the sink. Go “no ‘poo” with these natural ingredients on your crowing glory instead.

  1. Apply a cloudy solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 cup of water to the roots of your hair to help clean dirt and oils. It won’t be easy to start with, but stick with it for a few weeks and the oils in your scalp with balance out.
  2. Condition with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup water. Add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance, or lemon juice if you want to lighten your hair colour.
  3. Deodorise your hair between washes with a spritz of water and your favourite essential oils. Give it a rinse with water in the shower often too.
  4. Every few weeks, get rid of build-up on the scalp with a scrub of 2 tablespoons of brown sugar mixed with honey. (Turn the shower off while you scrub away.)
  5. Make your own dry shampoo to absorb excess oil between washes. In an airtight container, mix 1/4 cup of rice flour, 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Massage into oily parts of the scalp, leave for five minutes and while standing over a sink, brush out vigorously with a natural bristle brush.

Alternatively you may like to know How to make your own Dry shampoo.

How to make your own drain cleaner

Conventional drain cleaners usually contain lye, which is a potentially lethal acidic solution that burns the skin.

An old-fashioned plunger will usually do the trick. Place the plunger over the sink hole and create a seal. Pump until the block is gone. You may need to add some hot water and have a few goes.

Here’s a recipe to make your own drain cleaner:

1 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of vinegar

  1. Pour down the baking soda followed by the vinegar and cover the drain for 3o minutes, or overnight if possible.
  2. Then slowly pour down boiling water.

We keep our kitchen sink clean by tipping used cooking oil into an old glass bottle for disposal, and regularly using Actizyme overnight.

Alternatively try one of these green products:

How to get rid of mould

gloves

We had some persistent mould in our house, and finally got a professional to have a look at it. We received the following advice on using vinegar:

Vinegar

1. Vacuum the area with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, using the small brush.

2. Wash the area using a mixture of 80% Anchor white vinegar and 20% water. Use three buckets, two filled with clean water to rinse your cloth in-between.

The off the shelf products on the market contain mostly bleach, so it will appear as if the mould is gone, but the spores may still be present. Try not to wipe in big strokes – otherwise you’ll just spread the spores. It’s best to use a micro-fibre cloth over a board and do a small area at a time.

Clove oil

Tracey Stranger says:

“Cloves are naturally potent as antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and analgesic….

To kill mould, first you need to dilute (12 drops per 100ml) the pure essential clove oil in filtered or purified water then put it into a spray bottle. Spray the surface and then leave for 20 minutes. Wipe the surface clean and re-spray and leave it as it will take 24-48 hours for the mould spores to die.”

Prevention

Once you have cleaned the area, you need to keep it dry to prevent the mould from reoccurring. Annie Clark recommends closing all windows and doors when it rains to stop moisture entering your house. A dehumidifier can help take moisture out of the air. You can also use products which absorbs water in your cupboards and wardrobes, such as  Cli~mate Dry Egg or Indicating Silica Gel packets.

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