If you are a big fan of coffee and are also eco-conscious, here are a couple ideas how to make your own coffee filters to reduce your coffee-making footprint. Coffee is more than just one of life’s great pleasures, it can become a necessity. But all that coffee drinking can create quite a bit of trash over time.
The Copycat Coffee Filter
You can make a cotton coffee filter that mimics the paper throwaway filters exactly. Use a disposable filter as your pattern guide. For this project you will need:
One disposable coffee filter
A pieces of 16 inch by 6 inch loose weave cotton or muslin
A pair of scissors
Sewing machine and thread or a sewing needle and thread (both work fine for this project)
First, fold your cotton in half to make an 8x6 rectangle. Lay down the disposable coffee filter so that one edge lines up with the edge of your fold.
Using your marker, trace the pattern of your disposable filter onto the cotton. You are now finished with the disposable filter.
Using your scissors, cut out along your pattern line. Whether you use a sewing machine or a needle and thread, close up the bottom and the other side of your cotton filter.
Before using your cotton filter, turn it inside out so that the seam is on the interior.
After using the cotton filter, allow it to dry out so that the grounds are easier to remove. Then rinse your filter and reuse, or you can even throw it into the laundry. Avoid using severe cleaners, like bleach, when your filter is being washed. It is highly recommended to have several reusable filters on hand so that you don’t have to wait for a clean one to make your coffee.
The Tea and Coffee Filter Bag
Another reusable filter project design is the homemade bead bag. This project is similar, but creates a different shape that you can use for either tealeaves or coffee grounds. The biggest difference is that you will also need a 12-inch string and two heat-resistant beads.
Tie the two beads on either side of the string, securing them each with a knot.
Cut your cotton or muslin into a 4 inch by 3-inch rectangle and fold the top of the four-inch side over the beaded string. Sew this seam, but make sure to leave room for the string to be pulled through when needed.
Fold the cotton square in half, keeping the string on the outside of the fold. Sew the bottom and edges closed to finish the bag.
Turn the whole bag inside out and it is ready to use with your leaves or grounds. Place this in your coffee maker where a filter would typically go.
This can also be cleaned with a simple rinse, and if it ever seems to be getting unacceptably dirty you can put it through a dishwashing cycle to clean it.
Whichever filter you choose to create, after you’ve finished brewing your coffee be sure to dump out the remaining grounds into your composting collector.