Capsules, used pods and coffee grounds: how to give them a second life?

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Aina Prat
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Plastic or aluminum coffee pods and capsules are a real ecological abyss... But rather than getting rid of them, you might as well give them a second life and exploit their properties. Here are some ideas.



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Single-use capsules and pods for Senseo, Dolce Gusto or Nespresso coffee machines are not recommended from an ecological point of view. In paper or plastic for the pods, and very often in aluminum for the capsules, this encapsulated black gold is nevertheless very popular since it is sold around 20 billion per year in the world.


Recycling the capsule… A sweet utopia?

As we have already mentioned several times in files or videos, the coffee capsule, whether plastic or aluminum, does not go well with ecology. If aluminum is an infinitely recyclable material, it is however very complicated to achieve it 100% and, therefore, throwing its capsule in a yellow bin will ultimately only have an effect on your ecological conscience. , because it is unfortunately a safe bet that this small capsule will end up mixed with other waste at the sorting center.

However, some are not resigned (and we can understand them) to swap their Nespresso capsule machine for a filter coffee maker or an automatic one. That's why we offer them to give their capsules and pods a second life instead of throwing them in the trash. All you need is patience and a bit of creativity to recycle used capsules and pods in another way.

For green hands

A flowery interior

Once the coffee has been consumed, and therefore the capsule pierced by the machine, it is in particular possible to use it as a container for planting seedlings. By removing the cover and keeping the tank, you can then incorporate soil and plant the seed of your choice. This process is ideal for small spaces or apartments.


The Pinterest application is a gold mine for finding new ideas to divert its capsules.


Still for plant lovers, the capsules can be transformed into hanging pots. To create this creation, you simply have to prick the capsule from side to side at the highest level - towards the opening - and pass a string or a fishing line through it: all you have to do is plant and hang this garland where you wish in the house.

And then for people wishing to have a little color in their house, it is possible to stick a small magnet on one side of its capsule, we thus obtain a pot to magnetize on its refrigerator: a good way to brighten up its interior simply.


© noemosu / iStock

For the more creative, the capsules can also be used as miniature lampshades for light garlands, but it is also possible to make jewelry or decorative objects. Cosplayers will find them ideal — crushed or not — for making chain mail (which can also be made with can tops).

On the soft pod side – Senseo type – they are most often made with traditional filter paper, a material that is more easily recycled than aluminum. Indeed, the coffee filter can be placed in a household waste bin. Indeed, it is important to specify that filter paper is not part of the selective sorting of paper.


Small trick if you still want to give a second life to your pod: it is possible to apply it to the bottom of flower pots so that the soil does not escape through the hole provided to evacuate the water; a small thing that avoids disasters.

Myecocafé Reusable Capsules
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Coffee grounds: a garden's best friend

And if you can give packaging a second life, why not do it with coffee grounds? The latter, which is contained in pods and capsules, is most often used as a fertilizer for plants.


© ThamKC / iStock

However, be careful not to overdo it: a handful of marc for a kilo of soil is more than enough, once every two months for indoor plants and once a month for outdoor ones.

As the marc gradually releases nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, mixing it with the soil of its seedlings will allow its young plants to find all the food they need to grow well.

Coffee grounds also have repellent properties against earth molluscs (slugs and other snails), caterpillars, cats and even mosquitoes (geranium also repels the latter species).

But also with cleansing and deodorizing properties

Coffee grounds can also be installed in a fridge, as they are able to absorb bad smells; it should be changed every week.


© turk_stock_photographer / iStock

It is also an excellent natural drain cleaner. Just put some in the sink and let the hot water run for 2 minutes. Not very consistent with reduced water consumption, this process nevertheless avoids the use of corrosive and environmentally unfriendly industrial products.
Finally, who has never had fingers that smell of garlic or onion after cutting them? In order to get rid of the smell, you can rub your hands with marc and voila.

And for the most stylish, a beauty asset from head to toe!


© iprogressman / iStock

First beauty idea, coffee grounds mixed with the usual shampoo – leave the mixture on for a few minutes – revives the color of brown hair (only) while adding shine. Besides that, it eliminates dandruff and boosts hair growth.

The marc can also be used for daily facial cleansing: diluted with lukewarm water, it gently unclogs the pores.


Anti-itch, marc soothes reactive skin – especially after shaving. © fizkes / iStock

But its virtues do not stop there. Coffee grounds can act as an effective concealer if mixed with yogurt and a few drops of lemon. In order for the preparation to infuse well, keep it refrigerated for at least 2 hours. Then, it is applied to the eye contour for 15 minutes – to be done once a week.

The marc combined with egg white acts as an anti-wrinkle. This time, it is with a brush that it is applied to the face. Let it rest then rinse. In order to have results, everything is to be done twice a week.

Hot coffee grounds have anti-cellulite properties if combined with oil (olive, almond or walnut). But, you have to wrap yourself in cling film for 5 minutes after applying the preparation. It is a little more restrictive, this process is to be repeated twice a week if you want to get rid of part of your orange peel skin.


© meesookde / iStock

Finally, body scrub is another option for using coffee grounds. This time, we cut it with coconut oil, honey, and a little hot water. Once the mixture is ready, rub lightly, insisting on dry areas such as the soles of the feet or the elbows.

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