7. Reduce and reuse – if all else fails, then recycle
This one is more general and can apply to a lot of things, which is why it is impactful.
The mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” refers to the things we can do to lower our environmental impact – in order of priority. A lot of companies are emphasising their “100% recyclable” packaging as a way to look greener, but the fact is that only a small proportion of fully recyclable packaging is actually recycled in the end – even when you put it in the recycling bin.
The best thing you can do is reduce consumption in the first place to avoid using the earth’s valuable resources for production of new things. For things you can’t reduce, opt for second-hand or reusable alternatives which minimise the need for more production and carbon emissions. Only when these aren’t viable options should you opt for recyclable things that are better than single-use products destined for landfill.
You can put those three priorities on a checklist and assess all the different things you need in your coffee shop – for instance food packaging, furniture, napkins and cutlery – to see where you can find better solutions.
And of course, dispose of rubbish responsibly in general waste, recycling or compost bins. If you can, order more specialised recycling bins available in your local area.