We are going Green at Quench and here is why….
A couple of weeks ago, I got a Facebook notification from a relative of mine about a blog that he set up called the Green Movement Guy. Brian is very passionate about life outdoors and his blog is defiantly something I would recommend reading.
The first post that I read was this one about using reusable cups in the workplace. Admittedly, the environment is never something I really give a second thought to… usually if it doesn’t affect me directly than it goes to the back of my mind. But with this topic, I think the universe was making sure that I began to take some notice. The day after Brian sent me his blog link, I had a class in college called Sustainable Energy Utilization, and in this particular class we discussed the climate change, the depletion of the Ozone layer and the affects of CFC’s on the environment. We had a little assignment to do and off I went to do some research.
During this research, I was still thinking about Brian’s post so I did some digging around coffee shops and I found out that research shows that up to 200 million non-recyclable coffee cups end up in an Irish Landfill each year. My first though was, Wow, that’s a lot of coffee but my next though was that if Ireland with a population of only 5 millionish(is that a word) disposes that amount of cups in landfills, imagine how much is disposed in the UK or the U.S.A. That is a crazy amount.
I than found out that, the Irish government were planning to introduce a “Latte Levy” on cups that are not compostable or recyclable. I don’t usually agree with the current policymakers in Ireland, but this actually makes sense and is a good way to educate us about the effects that this waste was having on our local and wider communities.
Instead of waiting for this Latte levy to be introduced, We at Quench, decided it would be good to start taking some action and trying to reduce our waste and took a two-step approach.
- We phased out our current non-recyclable cups and brought in compositable cups
- we decided to reward customers who will use their own reusable cups by offering a discount.
(Check out our facebook post here)
The first choice was a hard decision to make because we have a very good relationship with our coffee supplier Eoin of Mean Bean. He was our go to guy for all our coffee and cups etc. Eoin was brilliant help to us when we were first starting out and continues to be a massive help, so we were reluctant to buy cups elsewhere.
On average we would use 500 cups a week, This is mainly because during swimming lessons, a lot of people can be standing watching their children in the swimming pool, so it is safer to hand out takeaway cups rather than porcelain cups. This amounts to roughly 26k cups a year or 0.013% of the total cups going to landfill. That is a lot of cups so in the end we decided to order compostable cups from a wholesaler.
The good news is the Mean Bean will be stocking compostable cups soon so not only will that help us but also all the customers they have throughout Ireland..
I did some research on other coffee shops who offer a similar discount and was please when I came across this Blog post
Dublin, Cork and Galway were certainly leading the way, but I was slightly disappointed with the adoption in Waterford. Before us only 8 places offered a discount but hopefully this number will continue to grow, and we will continue to look for ways to reduce the amount of waste that our cafe is producing.
Little by Little, A Little becomes Alot