In Australia, 220,000 tonnes of coffee waste is produced per year, which represents a large carbon footprint. This is not our biggest source – but it is large enough to care about. For consumers and individuals, one solution is to support a café that is actively recycling their coffee groundsMax Middleweek, Founder, Zero Impact
Coffee can keep you warm twice over. We blogged about coffee husks and coffee grounds being used to make reusable keep-cups recently but here’s another way to stop coffee grounds predominantly ending up in landfill. How about if they were used to create an alternative energy source?
Max Middleweek is the founder of renewable energy start-up Zero Impact and they acquire spent coffee grounds from inner-city cafes around Melbourne and process them into coffee briquettes, which can be combusted and used to produce energy. Biofuels are fuels that are produced from organic matter, or biomass, which include plant material and organic matter such as coffee grounds and they create a meaningful alternative to fossil fuels. They are considered a renewable energy source and help to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to the warming of the atmosphere and our planet.
Max says, “In Australia, 220,000 tonnes of coffee waste is produced per year, which represents a large carbon footprint. This is not our biggest source – but it is large enough to care about. For consumers and individuals, one solution is to support a café that is actively recycling their coffee grounds.”
The briquettes that Zero Impact make are an alternative to firewood that burns better than wood and is a much cleaner source of energy than coal. They can be used in wood stoves, firepits, barbecues, campfires or in a fire place. They also work with pizzerias, plugging the gap in the market for businesses who want to be more sustainable. The logs do give off a slight aroma of coffee when they burn but they do not impart the flavour into the pizza or food on the barbecue.
Zero Impact have received a $23,000 small business grant from the City of Melbourne to expand their operation.
To find out more about Zero Impact and order their briquettes you can visit their website.