At Seven we are pushing for a greener, less wasteful condiment bar! Now that we’ve honed in on waste sorting and getting items win the right bin, the next step is to start reducing and eliminating them as much as possible.
For months now, everything on our condiment bar has been compostable to make waste sorting as efficient as possible for customers. We pulled compostable silverware back off the bar when Seattle implemented new laws, and we noticed how much it encouraged people to sit down and enjoy a quick oatmeal or yogurt at the shop instead of taking it on the go. We started with straws...
The straw craze in Seattle has been real. We know straws are a drop in the bucket compared to other forms of pollution, but it was really easy for us to reduce straw usage. With some of the money we saved from lowered garbage costs, we bought some sleek reusable straws. When customers order an iced beverage for here, they automatically get one of these reusable straws so that there’s no need for a compostable one. Just to make sure we are using exactly the amount of straws we need an no excess straws, we pulled them off the condiment bar. Customers can get one by request and those who don’t need one don’t grab one out of habit.
We’ve replaced our compostable wood stir sticks with reusable as well! Not only are the new stir sticks a lot better looking, they are way easier to clean and more effective. Since practically everyone stirs their beverage before leaving the shop, there’s just no need for disposable stir sticks. In the month that we’vee made this change, we haven’t had a single person ask for a disposable one (according to our environmental communications system.)
In lieu of sugar packets, we’ve switched to bulk sugar packets. This was kind of a no brainer, from a business, customer, and environmental perspective. Bulk sugar is less expensive than the packets we have been paying for, and with a sugar shaker customers can get exactly how much they need. One of our baristas, Caitlin, noticed she was only using a partial packet of sugar in her coffee and just had to toss the rest in the compost. At her suggestion we’ve made the change, saved some money, and reduced unnecessary waste. Once we began a deeper conversation about sustainability, we have gotten a trove of good ideas from our employees and customers!
Lids and sleeves are the only disposable items you’ll find on our bar. We are working on turning some of our “waste” materials into reusable sleeves for our customers. Stay tuned!!
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