Before we get started
Why don’t you go make yourself a nice hot cup of coffee? I’ll wait…
By the time you finish reading this, the pot will be cool and the grounds ready to be NOT thrown into the trash… but rubbed all over your beautiful body. Ladies, wake up and smell the coffee!
Eco products and plastic
If the idea behind consuming natural goods is to live a more ecological lifestyle, buying a PVC bottle full of “green” product still leaves us with an empty plastic container in the end.
Many DIY natural recipe ingredients can be bought at a farmer’s market with no packaging, but they’re food. A malnourished child could be eating the avocado I rub onto my face or banana I mash into my hair, just to make me feel prettier.
Instead of taking things out of our pantry and into our bathroom before they’ve been consumed for nutrition, let’s instead snatch them out of the garbage can (or compost bin). If our purpose is to not create more waste, then how about starting with what’s already considered waste: spent coffee grounds.
Coffee is pretty much my life
You’re with me here. You’re on the third cup before 10am has even rolled around, right?
Seriously, though, I live off of coffee. My Colombian agronomist husband and I work training coffee growers on sustainable farming practices. So we have a built-in supply of the stuff, and of the finest export-quality. It would be a shame to just toss those grounds into the garbage.
Coffee is a brunette’s best friend
Coffee has been claimed to do wonders for the entire body, reducing everything from eye bags to butt cellulite. These tips will walk you through how to use coffee grounds from head to foot, starting with our locks.
For us blond klutzes who slosh coffee all over our white shirts while running a mile a minute from the caffeine, we only moan at the mess. A brunette, however, may have noticed how the stain matches the hue on her box of hair highlighter. Coffee can not only color, but also clean, polish, and stimulate our hair. Why pay more for a product touting the same benefits but with sketchy ingredients?
What is your make up made up of?
My eyes were opened (without any eyeliner, shadow, or mascara) to the issue of hazardous chemicals in our beauty products while interning at Friends of the Earth on their newly launched Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Together with the Environmental Working Group, the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database was compiled for women to find out just exactly what their make up is made up of.
Swap conventional for coffee
Shampoo and conditioner
Rub used coffee grounds into your wet hair when showering. The gritty texture can remove gunk and residue from hair styling products like gel or spray, without being too abrasive on your tresses. It’ll leave your hair lighter, softer, and shinier. Give yourself a little scalp massage while you’re at it.
Hair dye and highlighter
Work used coffee grounds directly into wet hair and let sit while you suds up, or steep a strong dose of grounds in a couple cups of hot water and pour the cooled liquid over hair. Pep up your natural coffee color with the brew itself. Recommended for brunettes and redheads with dull or gray strands, but not for blonde or silver hair.
Thicken and lengthen
Steep used coffee grounds in hot water, strain into an atomizer bottle, and spray your scalp throughout the day. Just like coffee perks us up, the caffeine is said to stimulate hair follicles to promote faster growth.
Stay tuned to future tips on coffee for your face and body.
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Carrie is an environmental educator, anthropologist, and translator. She took her passions for ecological, health, and women’s rights advocacy from the offices of Washington, D.C. to the streets of South America. Now in Colombia, she is slowly opening women’s eyes to the wonders of “la copita de luna” (Moon Cup) and Keepers.