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Pictured is a person putting coffee grounds into a plant pot.

27 Feb 2018

Wonky veg and re-purposing coffee grounds: more innovative ways to champion food waste on campus

Ethical and Environmental Week (E&E) is underway at the Students’ Union and, in keeping with the theme, the Sustainability team have highlighted two ways in which staff and students can combat food waste.

As you may know, the University gets through a lot of coffee and this leaves a large amount of the waste product – coffee grounds.

In a bid to tackle this, bins full of coffee grounds are being trialled in the Edward Herbert Building and in Martin Hall.

The idea is that staff and students bring a container and take the grounds for free. There are many online tutorials that re-purpose coffee grounds and suggest they can be used for:

  • beauty – they can be used to make an inexpensive facial exfoliator and a body scrub; they have also been known to remove under eye puffiness if mixed with water to make a paste. 
  • your house – they can be used to clean dirt and grease on grills and kitchen counters,  make a solution that removes furniture scratches and they can also be used as a hand rub to remove the strong smell after cutting onions or garlic.
  • the garden – this is the most well-known use of coffee grounds as they are rich in nitrogen and are great for composting. Due to their PH, the grounds are also good for banishing slugs and snails. They can also be used to change the colour of some plants if mixed in the soil.

And a new line of drinks that looks to combat the growing food waste problem in the UK is now available on campus in the Sport Park, Holywell café, the library café and Martin Hall.

Get Wonky’ drinks are made from misshapen produce that would have been thrown away because of how they look.

The drinks come in four flavours and in recycled glass bottles. Each drink saves at least two ‘wonky’ apples and the company aims to save 150 tonnes of wonky fruits before the end of the year.

For more information on E&E Week click here. To find out more about the Sustainability team and their work, click here