George Webber of Hill ‘O’ Beans Coffee here in Waynedale wanted to do something for the environment so he designed a very special mug program. Bring your own coffee mug to Hill ‘O’Beans, and you get 25 per cent off each cup of coffee. A great way to stop the use of styrofoam that is filling up our landfills. And a wonderful way to help residents in Waynedale become part of a community of those who believe in greener living.

It’s rough on local coffeehouses these days, just like it is for most small businesses. And with it being stated by Consumer Reports last March that MacDonald’s was beating Starbucks in the golden coffee race it is bound to get even harder. See, there are lots of cool, innovative methods that 20 area coffeehouses, and restaurants in general can do with their coffee,  and more importantly their coffee grounds.

Starbucks has been doing bagged used coffee grounds for years. Customers come in, ask for a bag of the old grounds and take them home to feed to their gardens. And what do the gardens do? Well, they come up proud, green, and pretty. That is one thing that Waynedale restaurants might want to think about. Instead of throwing out those grounds, form a collective and take those grounds to the compost designation on Smith Road.

Or, maybe they can take a tip from Joe at Sustainable Enterprises.

I have started a small, but vastly popular coffee recycling initiative at my office and in my community. I collect used coffee grounds from work and local businesses, such as the neighborhood gas station/food mart. I have a 3-bin composting system (5x5x12) and I regularly add used coffee grounds with filter to my pile. It heats up the pile VERY quickly, and produces rich compost in a matter of weeks. Of course, in order for you to have workable compost so quickly, one needs to manage the pile. I turn it every day and water it regularly to keep moist. I amend my soil with the compost, and also sprinkle the coffee grounds under my plants, flowers, shrubs and trees.

Now, there you go! Good ole Joe came up with an interesting way to not only bring his co-workers together but save coffee grounds and recycle at the same time. I can personally attest to the fact that used coffee grounds work as compost because my plants have never been greener since I began tossing my used ground in the pots.

We are very lucky in Waynedale because we have several restaurants that could get involved in a coffee co-op situation. We also have a variety of businesses that probably dump tons of coffee grounds a day. And to top this all off Waynedale is close to a number of compost sites in the city all located on Smith Road.

Reusing coffee grounds is a very small way to help the environment, grow your own vegetables and plants and build community.

The energy benefits of coffee and its grounds are just becoming part of the green conversation.

Lately, the City of Fort Wayne has sent a bicycle friendly survey to area residents asking them about their bicycling habits, obstacles and needs in order to devise a bicycle friendly Fort Wayne. You might have seen it in your utility bill.

If you did, I hope you filled it out. Next time Waynedale Green Alliance will report to you the results of a Walkability Test we are doing in Waynedale. For those of you who are interested read all about it here next time or at WaynedaleGreen- Alliance.org.


And, while you’re at it, drink a cup of coffee.

The Waynedale News Staff

April Brewster Smythe

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