Coffee is the well-established fuel of British society. Many of us start our mornings with this beverage and drink it throughout the day for a quick pick-me-up. However, few of us think about where that coffee comes from or about the communities that produce it. The majority of our coffee is produced in developing nations, which are currently facing a water crisis. Many of the coffee-producing communities do not have access to clean water and must struggle each and every day to ensure they have enough water to meet their daily needs.
The amazing people at the Allegra Foundation saw the plight of these communities and decided to tackle the water crisis head on. They founded Project Waterfall and the National Coffee Week initiative with the aim of building water wells to provide clean, safe drinking water for the communities, which drive the $100 billion global coffee industry.
From the 10th to the 16th of April, thousands of coffee shops throughout the UK participate in the National Coffee Week movement. Some host various workshops, while others host other fundraising events. But all of them donate part of the money for every cup of coffee sold to Project Waterfall. 100% of these donations will be then used to provide access to clean drinking water where it is needed the most.
With coffee being an integral part of our daily lives and the upcoming UK Coffee Week, we started looking into alternative methods of reducing some of the waste associated with our use of personal coffee machines. So, put on your recycling hat and prepare to dive into the world of how to use coffee filters around your home.
- Reduce eye puffiness
- Odour-removing bags
- Use as a dryer-sheet
- Anti-static monitor dusters
- Glass dusters
- Oil/vinegar dribble catchers
- Microwave bowl covers
- Protection from cast-iron pans
- Make seasoning bags for soups and stews
- Place a filter at the bottom of a plant pot
- Compost used filters
Reduce eye puffiness
A surprising use for used coffee filters is to reduce swelling/puffiness around your eyes. While the filter is damp, allow it to cool down, make a compress, and apply it to the areas around your eyes for 10-15 minutes.
Do your shoes or gym bag ever smell really bad? Instead of buying an odour removal product, a low-cost alternative is to use a new or used coffee filter! Place 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda into the coffee filter (if it has been used, rinse it and allow it to dry out), seal the filter with an elastic band or staples, and put it in the offending item as often as possible to remove the smell.
Use as a dryer-sheet
If you have run out of (or don’t want to buy any) dryer sheets, a great alternative is to use a coffee filter. Simply dampen the filter with a small amount of vinegar and a few drops of lavender oil and place it in the dryer with your laundry. Your clothes will smell great and the filter will absorb static electricity.
Anti-static monitor dusters
Coffee filters are fantastic at absorbing static and as such, they are ideal for cleaning high-static appliances, for example, computer monitors and television screens.
Used coffee filters can also be used to clean glass products and windows without leaving scratches or streaks. Rinse the used filter and allow it to dry out and you will have the perfect duster.
Oil/vinegar dribble catchers
We’ve all experienced the following – you use oil/vinegar for cooking or a salad dressing and some of it dribbles down the side of the bottle. The next time you use it, you end up with old oil or vinegar on your hands. You can remove this small annoyance from your life by wrapping a filter around the neck of the bottle. The filter will catch and absorb the dribbles so you won’t have to pick up a sticky bottle.
Microwave bowl covers
Another common annoyance is your food splattering all over the inside of your microwave. All you need to do to avoid this in the future is place a filter over the top of the bowl or plate. The filter will catch all of the splatters, leaving the inside of your microwave nice and clean.
Protection from cast-iron pans
Taking care of your cast iron pans can present quite the challenge as they rust very easily. To prevent this and keep your expensive pans looking brand new, flatten a coffee filter and place it in the pan after you have washed and dried it. This helps prevent rust from forming as the filter will absorb any moisture left in the pan.
Make seasoning bags for soups and stews
Adding extra flavour to your soups and stews has never been easier with the use of coffee filters. All you need to do is place your preferred seasoning (think whole garlic cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, bay leaves) in a coffee filter, seal it with some string, drop it into the dish while cooking and remove it when finished.
Before filling a plant pot with soil, put a new or used coffee filter at the bottom. This will allow water to easily drain without washing the soil out of the bottom.
Compost used filters
Unbleached coffee filters are biodegradable and can be added to your compost heap. Don’t worry about rinsing them beforehand as used coffee grounds contain nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium which are essential for successful fertilisers.
Who would have thought that the world of alternative coffee filter usage would be so varied? Now that you have 11 great uses for coffee filters, you can amaze those around you with your creative use of common household objects that would have otherwise ended up in the bin.
Do you know of any other ways to use coffee filters? Let us and our readers know by commenting below or give us a shout on social media!
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