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Urban gardening with coffee grounds

In its company brochure, “idealo” portrays its role as “bringing clarity to the thick fog of online shopping”. The online comparison site employs 700 staff at its headquarters in Berlin’s trendy Kreuzberg district. And the main meeting point is the company’s cafeteria with a large communal kitchen for staff to cook their own meals, as well as two self-service Melitta® Cafina® CT8 coffee machines that often serve up to 800 coffee specialties per day. Lactose-free milk and soya milk are in high demand and the firm’s coffee consumption also has valuable ecological benefits. Staff use the coffee grounds as a fertilizer for the courtyard garden. Herbs, lettuce and vegetables are grown in mobile containers for use in the communal kitchen.

The green boxes come from the neighboring “Prinzessinnengärten” (Princess Gardens). In 2009, hundreds of volunteers helped turn derelict land around the “Moritzplatz” into a mobile fruit and vegetable garden. The non-commercial urban farm and its 1,000 or so helpers grow some 500 different types of herbs and vegetables in boxes and rice sacks every season. There are also 9 bee colonies and a garden café and restaurant. And several kilos of coffee grounds per day from the cafeteria of idealo internet GmbH.