June 3, 2021
We all know that the food and restaurant industry is a huge contributor to our worldwide waste problem. In our recent post, Working Towards a Waste-Free Future: Part I, we highlighted low/zero waste businesses that are looking to change that, including restaurants like Organic Krush, Frea, and Rhodora, and a few refilleries, like Dry Goods Refillery and Simple Bare Necessities. This week, we’re going to take a look at a few more low-waste refilleries working to lessen their impact on the earth. If you’re a restaurant owner, keep reading through the end for a few tips for reducing waste at your own eatery!
Precycle, whose logo is “just food—no packaging,” is a bulk food distributor that has been zero waste since 2018. They stock everything from legumes to dried fruit, pasta, flours, seeds, spices, teas, snacks, and much more. They also have refrigerated items like olives, tofu, and kimchi, as well as fresh bread on the weekends. “I think I was always eco-conscious,” says Precycle’s owner Katerina Bogatireva. “But in 2015 I started pursuing a low-waste lifestyle myself and I found it difficult to do—not impossible, but time-consuming and difficult. So I imagined what a store would look like that could serve other people like me and that’s when I started thinking about opening Precycle.” Today, you can visit Precycle on 50 Cypress Avenue in Brooklyn!
Planted Community Cafe is a vegan/gluten-free cafe, plant store, and low-waste market located on Brooklyn’s Smith St. Their menu items, crafted from food made by local growers, run the gamut from Zucchini Bowls to Coconut Yogurt Parfaits, Jackfruit Tacos, Blue Breakfast Smoothies, and Mushroom Lattes. Their plant store boasts a wide array of leafy friends like Sansevierias, Assorted Succulents, Haworthias, and more. Their market offers bulk food and personal care items, including CBD tinctures, gummies, and flowers. Check out their website for the full scoop!
Plant Base is a zero-waste vegan market located in Jersey City, NJ. Their offerings range far and wide, from body butters to bulk legumes, spices and herbs, and organic produce. They also offer a selection of prepared foods. “We realize how hard it is to change old habits and eating foods that you grew up with,” they write on their website. “That’s why we offer those same comfort foods most are familiar with in a healthy, plant-based version without sacrificing on the taste.” In addition to grab-n-go bites like tacos and wraps, Plant Base offers an occasional dinner special using unsold produce that might otherwise be wasted.
If you’re a restaurant owner looking to cut down on your waste—or take your efforts a step further—here are a few tips that may help you lower your waste imprint. Remember: less waste will ultimately benefit your bottom line!
Tips for Cutting Down on Waste at Your Restaurant:
- Use a chalkboard or a projector instead of printing menus
- Cut down on single-use items by offering reusable straws or cutlery
- Store food at the correct temperature so it keeps as long as possible
- Inventory your stock so you know exactly what you have one hand—and how long you’ve had it
- Focus on using every part of the fruits and vegetables you purchase Shop locally and seasonally—and don’t rely on food shipped in from afar
- Use soap vessels that can be refilled off from bulk containers
- Serve smaller portions so there’s less food waste
- Donate leftovers to charities and/or encourage customers to take leftovers home
- Train your employees on reducing waste and send the message that doing so is important
- Start your own herb and vegetable garden
- Compost naturally or consider a liquid food composter
We hope this post has been informative and inspirational! We’re excited to see all the ways our customers and vendors are caring for the earth.