SUSTAINABLE COFFEE ROASTERS AND CAFES
Sustainability guides every decision we make, recognising the pivotal role businesses play in shaping the future of our planet.
This commitment drives us to continually explore ways to minimise our environmental impact, pushing our boundaries and challenging ourselves to drive change in our industry as sustainable coffee roasters and cafes.
Actions speak louder than words, so let’s take a look at what we’ve done so far…
We’ve been working with the team at Plastic Free Cairns to reduce our plastic use to a minimum. Our coffee trailer has the Plastic Free Champion status and both coffee shops are Plastic Free members; the only thing stopping us, is a plastic lid in a bottle that we haven’t been able to replace yet. But hey, pretty good!
Both our stores have received the EcoBiz best practice Star Partnership (Energy/Waste) for all the measures we have implemented to our sustainability outcomes. But achieving this status is not enough for us, we have an action plan to improve further and compare our efforts on a yearly basis.
Scan, swap, drink, return. Green Caffeen is a FREE reusable coffee cup system for eco-focused cafes and coffee lovers across Australia. Cafes love it, coffee drinkers dig it and the planet high fives you for it. Think of a library system where instead of borrowing books, you borrow a cup. Very smart.
In 2021 we reduced the size of all our general waste bins to a household size bin! Yes, our coffee shops create as little waste as the average family. This was a big achievement for our whole team and great motivation to keep on going.
recycling soft plastics
We collect all soft plastics from the products we receive and instead of putting them in general waste bins, we regularly take them to RedCycle collection points. Glad wrap, food wrappers, plastic bags, all that single use plastic that otherwise would go into landfill, we recycle it.
We compost all the food scraps (egg shells, vege and fruit skins) and ground coffee, turning them into soil to grow edible plants and beautiful ornamentals. We also shred and compost all paper from bills and invoices. It’s a win-win situation and you can appreciate the results at our Stratford cafe.
The disposable cup is part of our culture and its usage is slowing down insignificantly. That’s why we are more optimistic about the quality and compostability of the cup than the possibility of zero demand for it. We have been using BioCup since 2013 and asking Cairns Council to hurry up and create composting facilities.
This has been at the top of our bucket list. For many years our bags were foil lined and ended up in landfill. Our latest bags carry the RedCycle logo which is a soft plastic recycling program that unfortunately has been put on hold. There are, however, other companies working hard to find a solution; hope is in sight. Specifically made for coffee, the valve doesn’t need to be removed before recycling!
The packaging we use at the cafes must be eco-friendly, made of paper or cardboard and as minimal as possible. We don’t allow plastic packaging or bags in our cafes unless there is no other option. Our business is evolving with the packaging industry. We save and reuse the bubble wrap from the products we purchase, for the online orders received through our web.
buckets of coffee
Every person that buys a bucket of coffee, saves that bucket from going to landfill. We get these buckets from another businesses that discards them after using them only once. These buckets are made of food grade plastic and even though they are laborious to clean, it’s worth it!
making better decisions
We are always looking at the products we currently use and could be replaced for a more sustainable option. For example, our cafes went from using black bin liners to smaller biodegradable ones, from chux to washable superior biodegradable bamboo wipes. Little steps, big impact.
On our shelves, we offer reusable products such as stainless steel straws, reusable coffee cups, stainless steel and fabric filters for various brewing methods. We don’t stock single use products like individually packed products, tea bags or coffee pods that create so much waste.
Drink coffee, do good. Since one of our customers recommended CafeSmart in 2013, we have been helping StreetSmart fundraise to help the homeless in Australia. Contributing as Roaster Partners and Participating Cafes, we have fundraised thousands of dollars with the help of our amazing customers.
Reuse, Repurpose, Upcycle
Everything we can reuse or repurpose, we do. Examples of this are our hessian bags, used in gardening, presents, as weed mats and arts and crafts. The cacao growers reuse our grain-pro plastic bags. Cardboard boxes make great barriers for weeds in the garden and save staff and customers money when moving houses.
We have been saving all our plastic bottle lids to repurpose them, but we haven’t found their destination yet. We used to donate them for the fabrication of prosthetics, but since covid they haven’t been accepting them anymore.
work in progress
Our commitment to sourcing ethically produced coffee, organic teas, syrups, chocolate and honey, free from undesirable elements, is part of our ethos. Look into each product description, and you’ll find information that shows our dedication to transparency and quality. Our commitment to enhancing every facet of our business is driven by our long-term vision.
People are our top priority, closely followed by a firm responsibility to the environment. For us, money isn’t merely a transactional tool; it is the means to create positive change and make the right ethical choices.
Perhaps in the future, our children will carry on this venture, leveraging their even more capable and environmentally conscious minds to achieve feats beyond our current imagination. This is the essence of sustainability—it’s a continuous journey where possibilities are endless, and there’s always room to do one more thing to further its cause.