We all need the planet to live, right? Well, here’s the thing… it also needs us! Between garbage islands, rapidly declining biodiversity, rampant natural disasters, and calls for a clean energy transition, talk of the current climate crisis is proving a very rude (yet long overdue) awakening.


Sustainability is a big word, but it’s really just about giving back and protecting our home as much as we can. At LeadUp’s event on 5 June in Melbourne, Co-Director of Reground Kaitlin Reid shared her story and determination to make a difference.


Tune into our podcast from the event:


Take a peek at the photos of the event here.


Why sustainability?

Originally from Queensland, Kaitlin wasn’t always passionate about the environment.

But a trip through South America radically changed that. The awe-inspiring landscapes of Patagonia and pockets of paradise across the continent made her realise something she’d never considered before.

Mother Nature gifts us with everything we need and more… but what do we give back?

Back in Australia with a newfound awareness and sense of clarity, Kaitlin then met Ninna Larsen over a seemingly insignificant coffee in Melbourne. Little did she know that something bigger was brewing.


“I didn’t realise how much that cup of coffee would change the trajectory of my life.”


From mission to profession

Everything started that day, in a cafe (where else?) and Reground is now a thriving business empowering the community all along the supply chain. All this without any outside investment!

Reground is a waste education service collecting coffees from cafes, offices and groceries and take it directly to community gardeners and home gardeners. But why recycle coffee?


“When coffees end up in landfill, it turns into methane gas, which is 40 times more destructive than carbon pollution from cars”.


The organisation has already effectively recycled “4 hundred tonnes of coffee [ – the equivalent of 10 million lattes]”!

At Reground, waste is a resource in itself.  They demonstrate that one man’s trash can quite literally be mankind’s treasure.


But what can you do?


Regardless of whether you’re early or late to the sustainability conversation, now is the time to act. Coffee is one of the most popular products in the world – yet we never stop to think where all that waste goes. It is simply this process of questioning that helps us reflect on how can we do better.

Businesses can already take steps to put their resources towards a good cause and demonstrate corporate social responsibility.

Of course, switching mindset will not happen overnight. It is more about understanding where you are at, what you know about sustainability, and what you can implement to make a difference.

Ask yourself: “What are three things that I may not have needed to put in the bin?”


“The most important fact with behaviour change is really not one-size-fits-all.”


Kaitlin reminds us that it is about thinking bigger; about being the bigger person. Caring about sustainability means caring about the greater good. It means each of us doing our part – not for you, not for me, but for the community, the generations, and the planet that depend on us.


There are also other ways to give back. Why not join the LeadUp community and help create a world that is fair to all? Check out our last podcast on mental health awareness.

About the Author:

Monica is a self-confessed grammar nerd and passionate advocate of diversity, equality, and cultural heritage. Communication is her trade and words and languages are her best tools, allowing her to bring creative flair to any kind of content that she creates.