In conversation with our local BOWEN WASTE SERVICE we have learned that as much as 30% of collected plastic recycleables will be rejected for recycling and will end up being incinerated instead. Also, we are hearing stories of ships carrying baled plastics for recyling being turned away by China (fair enough!) and cruising the seas looking to pay a country willing to take the load...often ending up where there are inadequate facilities. Plastics in the ocean, in the land, despite our efforts here at home to dutifully recycle. 

What to do.

We are working with Bowen Waste to switch all of our take away packaging to COMPOSTABLE material.

All our take away packaging goes into the FOOD WASTE STREAM...NOT RECYCLING.

Here's an example:

 

PLA Materials

What is PLA?

Polylactic acid is derived from plants, a renewable resource, and it is used as a natural substitute for petroleum-based plastics and polyester products.

In the proper environment, PLA materials degrade naturally over time, making these products an environmentally responsible and practical choice for a number of applications, including medical and packaging requirements. PLA warps and degrades more quickly when exposed to excessive heat or humidity, which presents significant obstacles to using PLA in certain applications.


Bio-Degradation

When pure PLA is exposed to excessive heat or moisture, or as a natural process over time, the polymer chains that make up the substance begin to break down.

This creates ever smaller polymer chains. The result of this process is lactic acid, which is a naturally occurring nutrient that is also found in milk. Lactic acid is completely bio-degradable, and it poses no threat to local wildlife or water supplies. As lactic acid breaks down in the environment, it produces carbon dioxide, water, and stable organic matter used to form humus and topsoil.

 

Today we launched our "Help us Do Better" program in our coffee area!

An effort to reduce waste and garbage:

1) Please enjoy your hot beverage in one of our ceramic mugs and hang out in our deli or on our patio

2) If you must go, please bring your own travel mug: we will give you 10% off your hot beverage as thanks.

3) Forgot your mug? you can buy one from us ! Great inexpensive ceramic travel mugs with lids.

4) Buy a compostable paper cup for 10 cents: we will donate all proceeds to the local Food Bank. 

coffee cup waste 3

Thanks for your support!

 

 

  chocolate

 ARTICLE courtesy of the Queen of Green, SUZUKI FOUNDATION

The holiday season is now truly upon us, and with it, the season of culinary indulgence. Yum!

If your festivities in any way resemble mine, chocolate is part and parcel of celebration. Bird-friendly, fair trade or organic chocolate, that is — anything else is less than festive.

You've probably heard the research suggesting that eating moderate amounts of chocolate is good for you. It's packed with antioxidants, magnesium and the amino acid tryptophan. Lovely excuses to indulge!

But our favorite temptation is full of dirty secrets. Destruction of rainforests. Child labour. Impoverished farmers and rich corporations. A high price to pay for a cheap treat!

Thank (the Mayan) gods, chocolate lovers can skip this long list of woes and opt out of high fructose corn syrup, wax and other equally unappetizing ingredients by choosing fair trade, organic chocolate.

Certified organic chocolate promotes farm management systems that preserve soil fertility, protect farmers' health and conserve ecosystems. Where conventional chocolate is heavily dependent on pesticides, organic, shade-grown chocolate relies on natural fertilizers and a healthy relationship with the birds and bugs! Like all organic foods, those chocolate treats are also free of synthetic food additives, dyes and genetically modified organisms.

Fair trade means that farmers receive an equitable price for their product and that labour rights meet internationally recognized standards. Children go to school. Working conditions are safe. And most often, chocolate is purchased directly from the farmers or farm co-ops, so communities thrive. The fair trade certification system also prohibits GMOs and limits the use of agrochemicals.

Luckily, some of the most delicious delicacies win the triple crown: bird-friendly, organic and fair trade.

Sure, ethical chocolate costs more. Chalk it up to those fair wages, the lack of child labour and the cost of making sure critters get to thrive too! Then break a nugget, take a bite and savour the melting bliss. Real chocolate is so rich and wonderful, a little less goes a long way!

We'll soon be sharing chocolate bark around the table and sipping homemade cocoa on our nightly neighborhood walks. What about you? Will you visit a favorite chocolatier this season, indulge in a square of organic delight, or whip up a little homemade chocolate heaven?

Sincerely,

Tovah Paglaro, The Queen of Green

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

misty west coast

by Wendell Berry

We offer the following options to help you get your delicious groceries home:

  1. fill the bag you brought from home
  2. take a box (which we pull from our incoming shipments)
  3. purchase a lovely RUDDY reuseable shopping bag for $1.99
  4. purchase a recycled paper shopping bag for 25 cents. (we donate proceedes from paper bag sales to the food bank)