Passing by vegan cafe Okomoko I noticed a board saying zero waste and on display in the window an ecoffee bamboo coffee cup.
I walked in to inquire, I was curious to learn how they achieved zero waste.
Whilst waiting, I noticed a sign pointing upstairs to a zero waste shop.
Curious and curiouser. I climbed the stairs. I was expecting to maybe find a counter selling off old stock.
What I found was a little shop in a room, an Aladdin’s cave of delights.
Quite a clever idea and not the first time I have come across this arrangement, Anonymous Coffee in Reading, down an alley leading from Broad Street to Reading Minster, has a similar arrangement, rent space in a wine shop.
By renting space, in this case a room, overheads are low, for Okomoko, assuming they are not busy, it helps share the rent and puts to use unused space.
What is the alternative, a pop up shop, a market stall?
On offer, grains, cereals, nuts, dried fruit weigh and buy what you want. At the back, large containers of liquids, for example detergents, buy what you need.
Even ecoffee bamboo coffee cups on sale.
What would be a clever idea if Okomoko and Keep crowdfunded a joint glass KeepCup.
As I explained, a similar concept to Hisbe in Brighton. I recommended they visit.
If we are to aim for zero waste, there is much that coffee shops and restaurants can do.
- eliminate takeaway coffee
- on sale reusable coffee cups and offer discount for use
- compostable takeaway coffee cups
- leave coffee grounds to be taken away
- use food waste in cakes and soups
- compost food waste
Reusable coffee cups and compostable coffee cup are a step in the right direction but what we must do, is eliminate grab it and go takeaway, encourage relax with speciality coffee served in glass or ceramic.
We have to close the loop, mimic natural cycles, where the output of one process is the input to another.
In nature waste does not occur, we have not the accumulation of waste in time or space.
Contrast Keep with Waitrose, stuck in the Environmental Dark Ages, fresh produce wrapped in plastic, bananas rotting on the shelves, or with failing retailer M&S, shell hacked off a coconut then shrink wrapped in plastic.
Keep is open Monday to Friday morning to lunchtime, Saturday until five, Sunday morning.