Coffee for Your Plants? Starbucks Offers Free Coffee Grounds for Gardeners

Starbucks serves freshly brewed coffee to millions of customers each day. But many may not know they can also pick up a free bag of used coffee grounds to enrich their gardens and compost.

Starbucks in the U.S started its Grounds for Your Garden program in 1995, and this initiative is now available across all Starbucks stores in New Zealand, and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Even the packaging has been reused – baristas scoop spent coffee grounds into the empty bags originally used to ship espresso beans to stores.

Here’s how it works

Coffee grounds are a nutritional additive for your garden soil. During the brewing process, most of the acidity is removed, leaving behind a nutrient rich green material that has an average pH of 6.9 and a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of 20:1 - great for nitrogen loving plants!

Add grounds directly to your garden to promote plant growth, repel ants and slugs and encourage earthworms. Apply as a side dressing to nitrogen-loving plants and most perennials. Balance the nutrition of your soil with "brown" materials such as leaves or grass.

Or, add to your compost to enrich, by combining with “brown” materials. Use grounds within 2-3 weeks of brewing to capture the most nutritional value.

Grounds for Your Garden is an important part of Starbucks’ efforts to support environmental health.

Help us keep these used coffee grounds out of landfills. Pick up a free bag to enrich your garden and keep your plants happy.

Limited quantities available at selected Starbucks stores nationwide and on a first come first served basis.