Saint Monday Making a Difference – Part 2

At Halve Waste, we want to spotlight and support those individuals, groups and businesses that are “doing good” and helping us to reach our target of reducing our waste by 50% by 2020.

We continue our talk with owners Lauren and Chris from Saint Monday located in Yackandandah. A great example of people and business in the Halve Waste region doing their bit to reduce waste to landfill and are happy to talk to Halve Waste about how they are making a difference.

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Business Doing Good – Saint Monday, Yackandandah

Halve Waste supports Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, how has Saint Monday been able to embrace “reduce” and minimise waste?

We feel really lucky to deal with five local farms for our fresh produce, cheese and eggs, not just because we receive awesome organic produce from ethically run businesses, but because these producers provide us with goods packaging free – everything is delivered to us in crates and buckets that we return to each farm for reuse. It’s a very cool little system we’ve got going on!

We source the majority of our fresh produce from local farms and the supplier for the remaining produce have embraced our plastic-free policy,

and send us our produce without any plastic packaging at all. They also take back all the cardboard boxes that our deliveries come in, for reuse.

All our spices, beans, pulses, rice, and specialty dried goods we buy in bulk, and packaging-free, from Border Just Foods. We drive into Albury once a week with a crate full of our own reusable containers, thus saving all the plastic packaging that would normally be associated with these purchases. We’ve even changed our cheese supplier so our cheese now comes in reusable glass jars that we wash and return to them to be sterilised for reuse!

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It’s great to see your suppliers are embracing your plastic free policy, what activities are you doing within the café about managing food waste?

We produce a fair quantity of food waste, mostly peel and scraps from our kitchen, which we were sending home with customers and staff to feed their chooks or composting via the green bin system.

We have recently invested in a commercial-scale worm farm of 12,000 worms, which will live down the back of our garden, and will be able to

process the vast majority of our kitchen and food waste. We’ve made this investment because we really want to be able to take responsibility for our waste as far as we possibly can. It makes really good sense to transform our food waste into something that we can then use on the cafe gardens!

worm-farm

chooks

 

We understand you have started the process of eliminating disposable coffee cups from your café, how are you going about this?

A major item of waste connected with serving food and drink is, of course, coffee cups. In November last year, we started a process of eliminating disposable coffee cups. Even though we use biodegradable coffee cups, they cannot be composted via our local compost facility. We have since bulked up on the small reusable cup/ mug library that we already had in operation here in the café and have actively encouraged
our takeaway customers to take their coffee in a mug that can be returned to the cafe at a later date – very similar to the Boomerang Bags idea!

Those who wish to have their coffee in a disposable cup pay a 50 cents surcharge, 30 cents of which we donate to Clean Up Australia. In the first two weeks of the scheme, 80 percent of takeaway coffees were served in reusable cups! And we estimate that 99 percent of local

takeaway customers now use their own cups and avoid paper cups altogether!

It can be difficult to ask people to change their behaviour in this way, but we’re committed to getting rid of disposable takeaway cups altogether – we think it’s inevitable that throw-away coffee cups will no longer be viable or conscionable, and by making a change like this in our business, we can help smooth the transition away from disposable cups for our café and our customers.

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reusable-mugs
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Halve Waste supports Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, how has Saint Monday been able to embrace “recycle” and sort the waste?

We have a multitude of bins in our bar and kitchen to ensure we’re able to sort all waste properly, quickly and with minimal contamination.

We have recycling bins (to go to the kerbside yellow lidded recycling bin), soft plastic recycling bins (which we transport to the REDcycle collection point in Chiltern ourselves), worm farm bins, chook food bins and a rubbish bin (to go to landfill via the kerbside red lidded bin). In our bathrooms, we offer visitors reusable handtowels that we made from towelling offcuts from a local textiles factory. While we end up doing a lot of laundry, it saves on paper towel waste!

 

How would you summarise your Reduce, Reuse and Recycling efforts?

Sometimes it’s harder, can be time consuming and takes thought to minimise waste. During a busy lunch rush, it takes more time to stop and think about where to put things, but in the end we believe it’s worth it.

To learn more about their journey visit www.saintmondaycafe.com.au

Halve Waste would like to thank Lauren and Chris for their time in sharing how Saint Monday is making a difference and helping us to reach our target of reducing our waste by 50% by 2020.

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