At our Ravenna location, we are on a mission to become Seattle’s very first Zero Waste cafe! We are practically there, now its just a matter of measuring our progress. Follow our numbers here to see how well we are doing!
In our first week of measuring (November 18th-24th, 2019), just 1.98% of our waste went to the landfill! The other 98.01% was diverted for reuse, donation, composted or recycled. This SHATTERED the threshold set by most Zero Waste certifications, which expect a business to divert at least 90% of their waste from the landfill in order to call themselves Zero Waste.
The certification process is very expensive, and we think that money could be put to better use for other environmental initiatives. However, we are following the guidelines of organizations that provide Zero Waste certification. We want at least six consecutive weeks of data before we claim to be Seattle's very first Zero Waste Cafe!
How did we do it? Nothing too difficult, we just
- Made waste sorting easier (and saved money!)
- Reduced coffee bag usage and offered more bulk options
- Switched to all-compostable items (and saved money!)
- Separated the cost of coffee beverages from their containers
- Rearranged the waste bins behind the bar (and improved efficiency!)
- Eliminated cling wrap & ziploc bags
- Started recycling film plastics
- Created a greener condiment bar
- Started asking "would you like that in a disposable cup?" rather than "would you like that for here or to go?"