💚 Putting Coffee Grounds To Use ☕

💚 Putting Coffee Grounds To Use ☕

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Happy Wednesday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • How old coffee grounds can tackle an environmental problem ☕
  • How nature can influence your perception of time ⏳ 
  • How the US EPA is cracking down on automobile pollution 🚘
  • And more… 💚

Chances are you drink coffee… But do you know what happens to your coffee grounds after you’ve thrown them away?

More often than not, they get a one-way ticket to our landfills, where they add to our waste and even release greenhouse gasses as they decompose.

(I might want to research too what my tea leaves do in our compost.)

But what if our coffee grounds could tackle a major environmental problem instead?

Thanks to a certain chemical reaction, this might just be possible…

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☕ How Coffee Grounds Can Mitigate Agricultural Contamination

1️⃣ The big picture: We generate roughly 6 million tons of coffee grounds every year, most of which ends up in landfills (producing methane and CO2) or is incinerated for energy. But scientists in Brazil have discovered that leftover coffee can be used to neutralize certain agricultural herbicides, specifically bentazone. When activated with zinc chloride, the carbon content in old coffee grounds becomes 70% more efficient in removing bentazone.

2️⃣ Why is this good news: Groundwater and surface water contamination is currently one of our most pressing environmental problems, and bentazone has been cited as having the potential to affect long-term water quality. If it can be replicated on an industrial scale, old coffee grounds could solve two major environmental problems: diverting coffee from landfills and reducing the environmental impact of agricultural herbicides.

3️⃣ What’s next: Although this is only preliminary research and more studies and experiments are needed to prove the processes’ commercial viability, researchers believe it to be a promising start. It could end up being a circular economy solution for old coffee grounds, which currently have no recycling or reuse system.

Related: If you want to learn more about how you can reduce agricultural waste, check out our article about Agricultural Carbon Offsets.

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📢 More Good News…

🏠 How decking can reduce CO2 emissions:

  • Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), US have developed a composite material whose production cuts carbon dioxide emissions over its life cycle.
  • The material uses lignin or lignite fillers that are modified and functionalized with captured CO2 before being mixed with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to create decking boards.
  • The carbon-negative decking could sequester 230 thousand tons of CO2 annually in the US if it replaced the decking currently sold, the equivalent of 54 thousand cars’ emissions.

How nature can influence your perception of time:

  • Finnish psychologist Richardo Correia has found that being in nature influences how we perceive time, and how it can even give us a sense of time abundance.
  • Studies have shown that nature seems to slow and expand our sense of time, with people reporting a sense of expanded time in a natural setting when compared to an urban one.
  • Nature can also help us be less impulsive and focus more on the future than on the stress of day-to-day living. 

🚘 How the US EPA is cracking down on automobile pollution:

  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has announced new emissions standards for light and medium-duty automobiles beginning with model year 2027 and increasing in stringency through 2032.
  • The ruling is the largest ever imposed by the EPA, which would reduce climate emissions by 7 billion tons, the equivalent of 4 years of emissions from the US’ transportation sector.
  • Besides reducing emissions, the ruling is poised to improve air quality and public health and encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. 
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🤝 Three Important Awareness Events

🧩 Autism Acceptance Month:

  • Autism Acceptance Month was founded in 1970 by psychologist and autism researcher Bernard Rimland Ph.D. to improve public perception of autism through education.
  • Today, Autism Acceptance Month is a global event providing more opportunities for people with autism and dispelling the myths surrounding the condition. 

✊🏽 April 4, Victims of Violence Holy Day:

  • Held on the anniversary of his assassination, Victims of Violence Holy Day commemorates the work of Martin Luther King Jr. to end racial inequality. 
  • It also celebrates those who have sacrificed to change segregation laws and honors those who have suffered to create a more inclusive world. 

🌐 April 7, World Health Day:

  • As one of its first official acts, the World Health Organization created World Health Day in 1949 to celebrate the value of good health. 
  • Each year, the organization picks a different theme related to global health and runs events, fundraisers, and campaigns focused on promoting physical, mental, and emotional health.

Related: You can discover all the 109 most important awareness events (for the month, days, weeks) in our awareness calendar for April 2024!

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📜 This Week in History

👩🏼‍⚖️ April 3, 1995: Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to preside over the Court, sitting in for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist who was out of town. She was also the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court.

✊🏽 April 4, 1968: American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a sniper in Memphis Tennessee. The assassination took place 5 years after he delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech.

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💭 Quote of the Week

“Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.”

― Sandra Day O’Connor; Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society!

Stay impactful 💚

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