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It's been an incredible, wild and challenging 2018. As we reflect on the past year and look towards the year ahead, we try to learn from our mistakes (too many to list here) and try to plan to do something meaningful in the year ahead. Of the many things we learned in 2018, none had a more profound impact on me than learning about waste.
This was in large part due to one woman - Anukampa Freedom Gupta-Fonner, whose company, Design by Freedom, is trying to eliminate waste by creating reusable products and systems. We began by carrying her reusable, fully compostable sleeves but through conversations with her, we fell down a rabbit hole that enlightened us on all the issues surrounding recycling, waste and how the word sustainability is total bullshit (the system is broken so why sustain it?).
We've since hosted a full-blown talk for her to the tech and coffee community and have roped in some of our cafe partners into carrying her sleeves, too. Apart from trying to convince people to buy and use a reusable sleeve, (you get a discount on your drink while helping the world!), we're looking to partner with her on some very cool and groundbreaking initiatives, so stay tuned.
But having our eyes open is just half the battle. As a coffee company that prides itself on being both realistic and idealistic, we understand that we can, at a very micro-level, make a difference when it comes to waste. In our conversations with Freedom, we realized that there were a whole host of things we could do to eliminate waste in our coffee bars and roastery.
So here's our New Year's Resolution for 2019 - eliminate one piece of waste at a cafe each month. So much of what we use that is single-use can be made reusable, so that's what we're going to aim to do. We'll post about it here as we go, but the first order of business is to get rid of single-use plastic water cups for those who are hanging out in our cafes. Those of you who have frequented our Santa Monica cafe may have noticed we swapped them out for metal ones, (which were all promptly stolen - thanks jerks), so we now have reusable plastic ones instead. Hopefully those won't get stolen.
We'll also continue to push our reusable coffee canister program (still the best deal for coffee beans, in our humble opinion) and the sleeves, so help us out by partaking in those, bringing in your own cups and not using paper or plastic when having a drink "for here" (besides, drinking out of ceramic and glass is just tastier).
We hope you help us out on this journey and we're always open to suggestions on how else to eliminate waste. Here's to a less wasteful 2019.