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FREE Used Coffee Grounds for Gardeners

Starbucks serves freshly-brewed coffee to millions of customers each day. BUT DIDJA KNOW? Starbucks bags up all their used coffee grounds for customers who will likely use them as fertilizer for their gardens or add them to the family compost pile. Starbucks usually keeps ’em in a large basket or bucket near the front entrance — just pick them up and they’re yours. Make sure and ask if they are FREE used grounds for you to take home (heaven forbid you walk out with a pound of whole bean coffee without paying!) Availability varies by location… Just go in and ask!


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Starbucks started its Grounds for Your Garden program in 1995, which is offered on a first-come, first-served basis in participating stores where local codes permit. Even the packaging has been reused – baristas scoop spent coffee grounds into the empty bags originally used to ship espresso beans to stores.

“Grounds for Your Garden is a win-win for both Starbucks and our customers,” said Jim Hanna, director on Starbucks Global Responsibility team. “We can keep valuable material out of landfills and put it to good use.”

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.

“Our vision is to recycle and reduce the waste in our stores as much as possible,” Hanna said. “This is one way we can accomplish this objective while providing something for our customers at the same time.”

Pre-packaged bags of Grounds for Your Garden may not be available in all stores. Check with your barista to see if used coffee grounds are available at your local Starbucks.


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About Starbucks Global Responsibility

We have always believed Starbucks can – and should – have a positive impact on the communities we serve one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.  As we have grown to more than 20,000 stores in 67 countries, so too has our commitment to use our scale for good. It is our vision that together we will elevate our partners, customers, suppliers and neighbors to create positive change. We are innovators, leaders and contributors to an inclusive society and a healthy environment so that everyone we touch can endure and thrive. Read more: The Role and Responsibility of a Public Company.

For more information on this story, contact the Starbucks Newsroom

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