August 3, 2008

Is Your Café Environmentally-Responsible?

One of our favorite local/independent cafés offers cork sleeves for those in too much of a rush to get for-here [applause]. Another one forbids folks to talk on cell-phone while in line [applause], which may not be eco per se, but we’re all for it. Another offers all compostable to-go stuff—and compost, paper recycle, and commingled container recycle bins—and even did a greenish build-out of the former Dunkin’ Donuts site they took over. Another offers fair-trade yummy coffee and healthy fare (still a rarity in cafes)—and it even offers our elephant staff gift certificates in partial exchange for one of our Mindful Guide listings, so our team can stay energized even while…selling ads. And finally, our favorite tea-focused cafe (which also supports ele) sells yummy, vegan (two words you don’t always see together) snacks, organic teas, offers organic milk and has a skylight in the men’s bathroom so you don’t need to turn the light on during the day—a minor, but thoughtful energy-saver.

Still, most cafés don’t offer compostable to-go ware, just bleached paper cups that have an active life of 3 minutes and a landfill life of 3 years. Many blast heat in the winter with the door open, and AC in the summer with doors wide open. Many don’t have recycle and compost bins where the public can access them. Many wrap their non-organic white flourful goodies in saran wrap, and only offer the nu-cu-lar microwave as a way to heat up frozen burritos and such.

What does your café do that’s eco-commendable? Comment below, if so inspired–the link will help direct some of ele’s traffic to their site, a small token of good karma for their actions.

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