When the weather gets cold, many people pour salt, cat litter or defrosting pellets on their driveways to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. The salt and pellets melt the ice and add traction to the surface. Instead of the traditional salt and sand, Krakow residents have started sprinkling coffee grounds on their paths and sidewalks.
The Krakow parks department announced online that they were collecting coffee grounds to melt the snow and ice in public walking areas. In response, over fifty cafes collected used coffee grounds that would have otherwise been thrown away. The initiative encourages residents to recycle their trash and look for more natural defrosting methods.
Importantly, coffee grounds are safer and more environmentally friendly. Some common defrosting materials, like salt and sand, can be dangerous to animals. According to the Krakow parks department, used coffee grounds are much safer for animals like dogs. Many people bring their dogs for daily walks in the park, even during the winter months.
Overall, the parks department uses about eighty tons of sand to defrost the paths and walkways. Residents hope that using coffee grounds will encourage people to recycle more often, drink more coffee and use environmentally friendly methods to clear the walkways.