June 2014 … A mid winter holiday to Byron Bay, our little slice of heaven in the perfect environment.
Midway through this beautiful break, I had a powerful Light Bulb moment which we now realise exactly 5 years later, has completely changed how we deal with the most important element of our business … the used ESE Coffee Pod. Since that moment, we have diverted from landfill every single used ESE coffee pod used in our business, and dug it back directly into the earth. Mother Nature loves us for it, and in return, every single time we re-ground a coffee pod, it makes us feel good about ourselves knowing that we are doing our bit to look after the natural environment for future generations.
What many people don’t realise, is when their organic waste goes to landfill, it assists the creation of Greenhouse Gases. If, instead, we compost organic waste, it is beneficial to the environment, improving the structure of soil where it is used.
How did this lightbulb moment happen?
The week we holidayed, Byron Bay Council instigated the most amazing initiative – responsibly dividing household waste in a way that is beneficial to the environment. Large general waste bins were replaced by bins half their size, and new green organics collection bins were allocated to every household. Small Kitchen caddys were also supplied to simplify household collection of food scraps, coffee grounds and tea leaves. All green waste would then be collected and “processed into organic compost to be used by local farmers and gardeners to improve soils and produce our food” *
So in the kitchen in our holiday house, was a brand new kitchen caddy, and for a week, we collected all the coffee pods (because of course we always take a Sara coffee machine with us on holidays) tea leaves and green waste from the fruit and vegetables which we used. It was quite a shock to visually see how many caddies of organic waste we collected in that week. It was literally a light bulb moment for me : we send biodegradable coffee pods to homes and businesses all over Australia —-why am I putting these into a bin which goes straight to landfill, I should be re-grounding these pods so that they are beneficial to the environment when they could be going directly into the earth). That holiday turned into a serious research trip – how can we collect and dispose of all the green waste that we produce at home and in our business? I discovered the Bokashi method of composting, which is more convenient in smaller spaces, and ever since then we have reground every ese come pod that has been used in our home and business.
Our mission at Lucaffe Australia : to divert coffee pods from landfill, 1 pod at a time.
I needed to find the best way to collect and use those ese coffee pods used in our business and at home. The most obvious way to re-earth coffee pods is to use them directly in compost. My garden was way to small for the traditional method of composting, and I was worried about the smell or what little creature might be attracted around the inner city area. I found the Bokashi method of composting. This is a fermenting style of composting where waste is collected in a small enclosed bin. The organic waste decomposes anaerobically.
I started with a single Bokashi bin which I kept outside my house, and a kitchen caddy to collect any waste during the day. I would empty the caddy into the Bokashi bucket each evening. After about 2 weeks I would choose a spot in my garden, dig a hole , and empty the contents of my Bokashi bin into it. Of course I added all of my coffee pods as well as the ones I’d collected from work. I’d mix in a bit of soil, dried bokashi mix and cover the hole …and wait for the magic to happen. Bokashi + coffee pods = compost gold
6 weeks later, digging into that hole, I would have nutritious, friable soil teeming with wriggling earth worms. My coffee had been re-earthed. And a couple of years down the track, a dry, shale based garden which could only support the toughest of plants, has now become a rich green tropical oasis.