What is garbage?
It is our opportunity to give things a second chance and to find out how creative we can be.
Do not you think so?
Well, let’s start from some very miserable elements we all have in our kitchens like coffee and tea and see what we can do.
Coffee: the basic element in every Italian kitchen. You can be at the peak of a messy move and have all your cardboxes everywhere in the new loft or flat, and still be sure the coffee pot and two mugs or “tazzine” will materialize from who knows where and offer some comfort. Yet, we usually eliminate the remains of the coffee after the coffee pause directly in the compost box and that’s it.
Wrong: coffee remains have plenty of uses.
1. Used coffee grounds neutralize odors in the fridge and from your hands when preparing or cooking specific food such as fish, garlic, etc.
Your partner has not given up smoking and you wake up each morning with ashtrays full of cigarette butts and home like a heavy industrialized city on Monday morning? Wash the ashtrays with coffee grounds and leave a subtle lay of it in them. They will absorb the smoke.
2. Used coffee grounds are just perfect for removing remains of food from your dishes, glass and pans. Just add a few to the usual dish soap and see.
3. Problem with ants and other insects attacking your garden at spring time? Ever tried to add some coffee grounds to your garden soil? It works and it is natural.
4. Crazy for gardening? This is the perfect time to start admiring your flowers and vegetables blossom. Problem with soil nurturing? Here it is your perfect and no chemical fertilizer: add some used coffee to the acid soil loving plants such as hydrangeas, gardenia, camelia and azaleas. Give your soil a boost in potassium, magnesium and nitrogen.
The American chain Starbucks even started giving away used grounds for free to clients for their garden compost some years ago. The coffee speeds the compost on condition you are combing the correct garbage and move it every now and then to let oxygen through it.
5. Finally: coffee grounds help your beauty as well.
a. Use it for a light scrub for your body: your skin will appear smooth and tonic after the shower.
b. Add a little to your usual shampoo lotion or conditioner: it will bring the shine of your hair back.
Tea: you do not like coffee? Me neither.
I am quite passionate about tea and so, I found 5 incredible ways to recycle tea bags as well.
1. Use your tea bags to marinade your meat. Assam tea leaves are perfect to add savor to your meat and even tenderize it.
2. Insects start biting? No worries. Just put some dampen used tea bags on the bites. Tannin will soothe the pain.
3. Too much sun on your first beach day? I know it burns! And “tea is always an answer”. Put some dampen tea bags on sun burn areas and let it sit for 15 minutes. Again, tea tannin will act as an astringent, relieve pain and reduce the red areas.
4. Good morning puffy eyes? Do you wish for a natural remedy? Place two dampen tea bags in the fridge for 15 min, place on your eyes for 10 minutes and…get ready to start your day with a fresh new look and no puffy eyes.
5. And tea helps your gardening talent, too:
a. you can add tea leaves as a powerful fertilizer to your plants soil.
b. you can even use the tea bags to clean the leaves of your household plants : they will be shiny green and absorb the nutrients directly through the leave surface. It will be like a “spa treatment” for your plants.
It is so easy you do not really need to be a “recycle enthusiast” to do it.
So, now stand up, grab your mug and place the used tea bags in the fridge just in case you need an extra help for your shiny eyes tomorrow.
Cover photo: Tea, ph. by chumsdock, via flickr