Gardeners are sure to dig this freebie! Need some grounds for your grounds? Have you ever wondered what Starbucks does with all of its used coffee grounds? (And, trust us, there are lots of used coffee grounds every day.) Well, guess what? Starbucks just gives ’em away at no cost. Participating cafés bag them up for customers in need of fertilizer for their gardens. (It can also be added to compost piles.)
The used coffee grounds are usually in a large basket or bucket near the register or by the front door. The bags can sometimes leak, so you may want to be prepared with a large plastic or trash bag in your car to transport them home. Otherwise, you might find a very large coffee stain in the backseat of your car.
Just be sure to verify the sign first or you may walk out with a bag of coffee beans by accident and find yourself in really hot water.
If you’re unsure, just ask a friendly barista for assistance. The availability varies by store, as to when they put them out. Sometimes you’ll find several bags and other times it will be empty for the day. The best part is that with so many locations, it’s easy to check multiple cafés in your travels.
The used coffee grounds are also available via the drive-thru at most locations — just ask for assistance. They can be a little heavy, so it may be a little awkward getting them through the window. And, remember, because sometimes the bags leak.
In its 20+ years, Grounds for Your Garden has evolved to become an important part of Starbucks effort to reduce the environmental impact of its stores. Although composting may not be commercially available in all municipalities, the program serves as another way to reuse coffee grounds.