When you consider Australians consume billions of cups of coffee per year, and that less than 2% of a coffee bean actually makes it into a cup….. That’s a heck of a lot of spent coffee grounds going to waste. The main concern is that spent coffee grounds goes into landfill- producing methane and carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.
Working as a barista at East Brunswick Project three years ago, Ninna Larson became concerned about all the ground coffee waste being poured into the general waste bin, and thought it was time for a change. Originating from Denmark, her inspiration resonated with values she developed whilst working on sustainability projects for the Danish Cultural Institute. She trialled what is now known as Reground– a waste diversion program- whereby ground coffee is turned into a resource. Rather than dumping the coffee into landfill, Reground turns valuable organic waste into a resource that is uses in soil and composting. Ninna and Kaitlin now run the business full time, and service over 20 cafes in Melbourne, including Everyday Coffee, St Ali, Seven Seeds, and Auction Rooms. Cafes simply subscribe to the service, and Reground provide a bin, for a fee, that is emptied weekly. They also host events and discuss the importance of sustainability with the coffee industry as a whole, in order to help it grow into the future. “It’s great having the conversation with the coffee community as a whole, we are all in this together, and together we can be better” says Kaitlin.
What’s really wonderful about Reground, is that they deliver the ground coffee direct to community farms and local gardens at no cost to the recipient. Their vision is not only to provide a waste removal service, but also to raise awareness in both the coffee industry, and general community.
They are currently renting a small van….. but in order for Reground to grow and service the multitude of cafes and roasters around Melbourne, they will need to purchase their own van. According to Ninna, “Over the past 3 months, we have diverted 11 tonnes of coffee grounds .… when we have our own van, we can almost multiply that by 10”.
A crowd funding campaign has been launched to harness the support of the community for this great cause. They aim to make Reground accessible to everyone, educating the community on the importance of living sustainably. Cafes pride themselves in making ‘ethical choices’ about where they source their coffee, so it seems appropriate they consider the environmental impact of their waste.
These young ladies have proven that a business can be successful financially, while also have an ethical approach to the environment and society. Business shouldn’t have to always be focused purely on financial gain. There needs to be a balance in business values. With a focus on generating a greater good, while not losing sight of their main mission, Reground is on the verge of something big. Get behind Ninna and Kaitlin, and support them on their journey to creating a healthier world.
Direct link to the Reground crowdfunding page: https://pozible.com/project/reground-needs-a-van-1
¹ Coffee Ground Recovery Program. Dr Amanda Cameron & Dr Sean O’Malley