Congratulations to the newest Trailblazer—Whitebark Café
Whitebark Café is the latest recipient of the Zero Waste Trailblazer Awards, a recognition for Banff businesses and institutions going above and beyond with efforts to reduce, re-use and recycle.
We sat down with the team at Whitebark Café to learn more about their efforts to move towards zero waste, along with the unique challenges and opportunities that come with being a café. We quickly learned that management and staff alike are working hard to reduce their waste footprint in all areas, and continually seeking opportunities to improve.
As a café, single-use items are at the forefront of zero waste efforts and remain a challenge. However, by focusing on waste avoidance, Whitebark showcases a great example of what can be done to reduce single-use items. Examples of initiatives include:
- Providing to-stay food ware for customers who dine in (and making sure they ask the question before providing anything disposable!)
- Offering a discount to those who ‘BYO’ mug for a contactless fill
- Participating in Banff Isn’t Disposable’s container share program
Where no reusable alternative is available, Whitebark is working hard to source to-go items that are fully certified compostable or recyclable. Thanks to the systems in place at Banff Aspen Lodge, Whitebark provides proper streams in both the back of house and customer-facing areas of the café, to ensure all materials are properly sorted for recovery.
In addition to a team of enthusiastic and passionate staff who walk the zero waste talk, clear signage is posted to encourage customers to get on board. You won’t have much luck finding single-use items on Whitebark’s social media posts, which are instead filled up with photos of their branded reusable keep cup and beautiful latte art which is, of course, to-stay.
The café is open to exploring opportunities for a cup-share program for to-go coffee and, while there’s a way to go in eliminating disposable cups altogether, we congratulate Whitebark for tackling what is in their control and not being shy to share it with the community. Thank you to the enthusiastic team at Whitebark for providing Banff with excellent coffee that we can feel good about!
For more information, or to learn how to be a Zero Waste Trailblazer, visit http://BanffZeroWasteTrail.ca.