What motivated you to join the Partnership Program?
We were eager to join the Partnership because we’re passionate about reducing waste at the Coffee House and we had already begun to explore how this would be possible. It’s clear to us that we need to start thinking differently about waste because we’re running out of space on this planet. Zero Waste is important to us and we know that it’s important to patrons. We want to show Italian Market that we’re taking the lead on waste and willing to take bold steps towards making our neighborhood cleaner and more sustainable. At the same time, we want our neighbors on the Market to see that Zero Waste is attainable – we can all take steps to reduce our waste, and together we’ll have a greater impact.
What are your goals as a new Partner?
We recently achieved Silver Partnership status, which means we divert over 70% of our waste away from the landfill. We’re now one step closer to achieving our long-term goal of reaching Gold Status, or 90% waste diversion. This won’t be easy by any means, but we’re committed to our goal. Plus, we’ve already implemented 9/10 Zero Waste Actions, which are helping us progress forward each month. We hope that, as a result, we’re viewed as leaders in Zero Waste on the Market and that we can use our Partnership status to start conversations about waste with our neighbors. That we’ve been able to achieve Silver status within just a few months of joining the Partnership should show that the program is worthwhile for any business in the neighborhood; we hope we’re the first Partner of many.
What are some Zero Waste Actions you’ve implemented or are working towards?
If you’ve visited the Coffee House in the past few months, you may have seen our sustainable purchasing practices in action. We no longer use StyrofoamTM, plastic bags, or plastic straws, and we’re looking to phase out straws entirely. I’m most excited about our Zero Waste coordinator, who has their eyes on waste in the Coffee House every day – whether they’re reminding staff to compost coffee grounds and vegetables or sorting through the recycling bin. Having a Zero Waste coordinator has made a big difference when it comes to education and spreading passion for Zero Waste through the whole team. We couldn’t do this without our staff and having them on board has made the Zero Waste Partnership a team-building experience.