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Digital's model for innovation

In this fast-paced world where consumer culture affects our everyday lives, many of us should stop and assess a more sustainable lifestyle. We have all heard about the belief of composting coffee grounds. They are close to pH neutral with less acidity once your cup of java is made. The grounds are a big source of nitrogen for composting and help enhance soil structure, but it seems they can also be a productive source of energy.

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Green Caffeine has been taking leftover grounds from coffee to create renewable energy. Expected to hit the market this year, they have created a product called Hot Coffees, a new type of barbecue coal made from coffee grounds.

At their production plant in Cambridgeshire, England, they dry the coffee remains, crush them, and then extract the oils. Founder of Bio-Bean, Arthur Kay says the entire process only takes a few hours before the coffee grounds are ready to be used as energy. Through their process they aim to reduce landfill waste, fossil fuels and methane production.

Barbeque coals aren’t the only use for this efficient source of energy. The extracted oil is turned into biodiesel, and the remaining coffee grounds are transformed into biomass pellets. The oil is used as biofuel, powering automotive, and the pellets are sold in one tonne bags to later be used in biomass boilers. The bag is said to be able to produce enough energy to heat a family home for an entire year.

This circular economy receives supply from customer, and then later sends out the final product. Kay says this creates a closed loop system. They collect from coffee shops, freeze dried coffee facilities and roasting facilities. It’s actually cheaper for these outside companies to send their coffee remains to be repurposed rather than paying to dispose of them.


According to the United Nations Environment Program, Think-Eat-Save, 30 percent of all food produced is thrown away each year.  At least 12 million tonnes of it are fruit, like tomatoes, but researchers may have found a way to reduce tomato waste.

Part of our food waste problem is that some of our fruits and vegetables look good and feel firm on the outside yet are mushy and flavorless on the inside, so they get trashed. The other issue is that some have ugly bruises and get passed by in the grocery store. Now, plant biologists at the independent research institute, Boyce Thompson say they have uncovered something that can be applied to tomatoes to help keep them firm and fresh longer.


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