It may be fall, but things just got a little bit greener here at Colectivo!
All of us at Colectivo are aware of the impact we have on the environment. This awareness informs many of our decisions, and we hope that in some ways it helps us to create stronger ties to our community. Not everything we do is on a grand scale, but the old saying is true, "Every little bit helps."
With that in mind, you may have noticed a few recent changes, including one that we’re pretty excited about.
We’ve said goodbye to plastic straws and now offer more eco-friendly paper straws!
This means that in the next year nearly a million plastic straws will be diverted from our landfills, waterways, and the environment. Plastic straws are not easily recycled, never fully degrade, break down into microplastics, and harm our wildlife. Although a paper straw may not function exactly like a plastic one, we’ve gone to great lengths to find a biodegradable option that we think works well. And we also offer a selection of durable, reusable stainless straws for sale in cafes.
New Hot & Cold Drinkware!
We have a new affordable travel mug that’s friendlier on your wallet and the environment. The design drives home the point that by using your own mug, you’ve made the choice to go green rather than use a disposable cup. The new cups are stainless lined, spill-resistant, and will save customers $0.25 per drink for the lifetime of the cup. We are also rolling out a couple of new designs for our higher-end Klean Kanteen travelers!
On Wednesday, October 16th, bring in your travel mug or purchase one of ours to receive a free cup of brewed coffee (up to 20oz)!
Share a picture of your reusable cup and use the hashtag #reusablewednesday for your chance to win a prize package that includes our new cold and hot Klean Kanteens and a bag of Sumatra Highlands. Good luck!
Other ways we're reducing our environmental impact:
➸ Cardboard containers for to-go orders. Now when you visit our cafes, any food or bakery items packed to go will come in a compostable, recyclable cardboard container made from 100% recycled paper. (Note that for now, grab-and-go items like wraps and fruit salad will still be packaged in plastic.)
➸ Save $0.25 on all drinks when you bring your own travel mug. Bring in your own mug, and we’ll take $.25 off your drink purchase. Those savings add up!
➸ Composting at our Bay View Bakery & Cafe. We make a LOT of breakfast burritos which means we crack a lot of eggs. Now all those eggshells (and coffee grounds, and veggie scraps, and more...) will be turned into nutrient-rich soil instead of ending up in a landfill.
➸ Plastic utensils and drink stoppers available only by request. We’ve removed these items from our stir stations to help cut back on plastic waste.
➸ Green Building. One of the best ways to ensure eco-friendly practices is to implement them from the very beginning. This includes our focus on clean water (through rain barrels, native plant rain gardens, parking lot runoff filtration systems, and more) at our Lakefront cafe as well as our Humboldt cafe and roastery, which was named “Best Environmentally Friendly Project” by the Business Journal Real Estate Awards. Recycled and repurposed materials have been used in all of our locations and we’re proud to be among the first businesses in the area utilizing Urban Wood, diverting trees damaged by the emerald ash borer for use in our Mequon cafe.
➸ Plastic cups made from plant-based renewable sources. All of our plastic cold cups are made from a PLA resin derived from plants. The plant sources used to make our cups are domestically grown and annually renewable and compostable in a commercial facility.
➸ Bikes! Colectivo supports a number of bike-friendly organizations and initiatives including the Wisconsin Bike Federation, Bicycle Benefits, and the Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit, which is available to our coworkers that commute by bike. We also have bike pumps available for use at all cafes to help keep more people pedaling and decreasing our dependence on fossil-fueled vehicles.
➸ Biodegradable tea sachets. There have been recent reports about some tea sachet bags that may break down to release billions of plastic microparticles when steeped in hot water. We’re happy to share that our Letterbox sachets are made from a plant-based material called Polylactic Acid (PLA). This material is fully biodegradable, is not and has never been derived from plastic.
➸ Reducing waste wherever we can. We are working to eliminate single-use plastics and reduce packaging waste wherever reasonable across all areas of our business. This includes actively seeking solutions for a fully recyclable coffee bag as well as recyclable/compostable hot cups. We’re also looking to replace plastic water bottles with an eco-friendly alternative. We hope the demand for more sustainable products helps make these items more widely available from our vendors, and we will continue to seek them out. Stay tuned!
Look forward to even more changes - big and small - in the months and years to come as we constantly seek ways to improve! Thanks, everyone!