Category Archives: Free Stuff for Learning

Free Starbucks Coffee Grounds

Check out your local Starbucks for free starbucks coffee grounds.  There is one store that is located near where I live.  If I call in the morning they will save coffee grounds for my to pick up.  And then I use them in my garden or in my compost!  Even though coffee is acidic,  the acid goes into the coffee leaving the coffee grounds almost neutral.

I Used Free StarBucks Coffee Grounds in My Last Batch of CompostFree Starbucks Coffee Grounds for Compost

One difference with my last batch of compost is that we discovered free Starbucks Coffee grounds.  Some stores package them and leave them out in silver bags in a wicker basket, free for the taking.  Even though the grounds are brown colored they are considered greens and not browns because they are high in nitrogen.  They have to be mixed with browns or carbon to compost properly.  The shredded leaves worked great for this process.

Getting StarBucks Coffee Grounds on the NJ Turnpike

We had a very good experience with a Starbucks store on the NJ Turnpike.  We asked for used  grounds because their basket holding the silver bags was empty.  There was a long line waiting for coffee so they said no they are too busy.  Then this young guy reconsidered and said, “Sure, I’ll get some for you!”  He emptied the whole trash can into a plastic bag which was very heavy.  And then he decided he needed a break so he carried it to our car.  What great service and what a lot of coffee grounds!  You don’t get nearly that much in a silver bag.  I think all the used Starbucks coffee grounds greatly enhanced and sped up our composting process.  Thanks to Starbucks–a company contributing to our environment by recycling all those coffee grounds and keeping them out of the landfills.

The Soil Beneath Our Feet–A Whole New World

The soil beneath our feet is a whole new world, only partially discovered.  It is really like another universe except it is finite.  It is a living entity filled with micro-organisms that help plants grow andThe Soil Beneath Our Feet-a Whole New World decompose all of our dead, whether animals, plants or other organisms.   I am putting two free educational links on this page so we can learn more about our wonderful dirt!  From 2008 until 2010 the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History presented an exhibit called:  Dig It! The Secrets of Soil:

 

“Soils Make Life”

Plants grow in and from soils, and plants—directly or indirectly—feed almost all life on Earth.

“Life Makes Soils”

Soil-dwellers such as bacteria and fungi recycle once-living organisms into nutrients and organic matter (humus)—vital components of all soils.  Without soils, life would not exist as we know it.”

Fortunately for us, they have created an audio visual tour of this exhibit.  This is a fascinating site and I highly recommend looking at it.  You do need to have Flash installed to view parts of this exhibit.

For the kids in the family, and for the adults who are kids at heart, there is another great website with a educational game all about soil , what lives there and cleaning up toxic wastes.

There have been experiments where worms have cleaned up toxic wastes.  So all the organic things that we add to our garden plots are building up the soil.  Adding compost, manure, vermicompost and mulching are all good things we can do to enhance everything that we grow.

Free Online Worm Composting Course

There is a free online worm composting course being offered by the city of Plano, Texas.  Click on the Indoor Worm Bin leaf at the top of the page after the introduction.  As our landfills fill up with an unnecesary percentage of food scraps, cities and governments are encouraging people to learn how to compost food scraps.  This would take part of the load out of the landfills and also create great compost for our yards and gardens for free. This is an interesting and educational project for adults and children.

Here is a great YouTube about the benefits of worm composting.