The second life of coffee and tea
Coffee grounds and tea bags can be put to use long after you've drained the cup. Make your morning brew work double duty with these waste-saving ideas.
There are lots of ways to incorporate coffee grounds into your beauty routine.
Skin feeling a bit rough? Just add the used grounds to your favourite all-natural oil (coconut oil works well), then add two to three tablespoons of double cream and a tablespoon of honey. Rub the concoction gently over your body in circular motions to slough away dead skin.
Using coffee, you can also prepare your own natural anti-cellulite treatment. Mix three tablespoons of coffee grounds with three tablespoons of water, then gently rub the mixture onto the skin. The caffeine in coffee dilates blood vessels, and creates a toning effect. The grounds will also increase circulation and reduce water retention, both of which can smooth the skin.
Prefer tea to coffee? Used tea bags can come in handy, too.
Brew a second pot of tea with your used tea bags, allow the tea to cool, then rinse the tea through your hair after shampooing and conditioning. Tea gives natural shine to dull hair and adds extra volume, and the caffeine it contains can also help hair grow faster.
Used tea bags also work wonders for puffy and tired eyes: just place them over your closed eyes and allow the tannins to do their soothing work.
There are lots of ways used coffee grounds can come in handy around the house. Keep a small cup of them near your sink, and rub them over your hands after chopping garlic or onions to get rid of the smell.
Wooden furniture sporting a scratch? Mix the grounds with olive oil, then apply the mixture to the scratch with a cotton bud.
And don't let your garden be left out. Coffee grounds are rich in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper, and as they degrade, they release nitrogen. It all makes for a very rich compost. Try mixing the grounds with carrot and seeds to double your harvest, or use them as insect and pest repellent by sprinkling them around your plants.
Turn a new leaf
Tired of scrubbing and scouring pots and pans? Drop two or three used tea bags into a sink full of dirty dishes and warm water, then leave it all to soak for around five minutes. The tea will help break down grease and food stains, making the washing up that much easier.
Tea leaves are also great at absorbing odours, so you can use them to freshen up your fridge. Just pop a few used tea bags in an open container, put them in the fridge and let them soak up the unpleasant smells.
Written by Maggie Sychta