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“What makes you environmentally friendly?”

Often times people ask, “what makes you environmentally friendly?”

And that’s a valid question given that our sign out front says eco-friendly, coffee house.

This isn’t something that we’ve touched on online a whole bunch, but it’s something we are very conscious of behind the scenes.

So for your reading pleasure, here’s what we are doing to make sure that we have very little impact on the environment !

Food Waste:

When opening, Crossroads, our biggest pet peeve was food waste. Other coffee shops we’ve all worked out, over buy, over prepare and if things don’t sell, or they go bad, they get tossed.

To start, at crossroads. All of our food items are prepared to order, so we are not over producing, in doing so our food waste and food scraps are minimal.  The scraps that we do produce in the spring, summer and fall, get added to our compost pile.

As for baking, each day we bake what we know will sell, if it doesn’t sell it goes into our 25% off case of day old products that are still good to enjoy, but might not be as fresh as the items in our bakery case. We also use the 25% off case for items that may be over baked, broken, etc. because some people don’t mind that!

We keep our breakfast and lunch menu, small, but mighty, because it helps us reduce how much stock we need to keep on hand each day which then minimizes the amount of food product we may have to get rid of IF something doesn’t move quickly enough.

Utensils/Paper Supplies:

To start, in order to reduce our paper and plastic usage, we all for all customers a discount if they bringing their own cups for coffee.

However, when it comes to our cups, forks, straws, sleeves, etc. We’ve done our best to make sure everything is either recyclable or compostable or made from recycled materials.

So while we aren’t the biggest fan of straws, just know that the straws you are using our 100% compostable so down the line they will break down and right back into the soil.

The same thing goes for our single use forks, spoons and even paler plates when we use them!

Multi-Use Bakeware:

As you may know, we bake a lot here. Every day. Sometimes for holidays too!

Another way we reduce our waste, is to use multi-use bakeware; this includes, silicone, baking mats, reusable, loaf tins and reusable quiche dishes to name a few!

We also have mats in our bakery case that can be washed and sanitized as needed. This makes it so we aren’t using extra parchment paper to line the case daily.

The disclaimer we do make, as we use compostable non-bleached parchment paper, when we are baking with anything that may contain an allergen.

For example, when we bake are gluten-free scones, we will not use a silicone baking mat, but instead use our compostable parchment paper to make sure there’s no contamination.

Oat milk only:

some people hate hearing it, but we don’t, and will not ever have almond milk. Why?

While it is one of the more popular milk, alternatives, almond milk, not only contains a main allergen, but it’s also one of the least environmentally friendly milks on the market.

Almond milk requires such a high percentage of water to almond ratio to produce the milk that it uses more resources and energy than other alternative milks on the market.

Oatmilk, however, has a much lower impact on the environment and also is free of most allergens. We’ve experimented with other environmentally, friendly milks, such as hemp and pea, but since they are newer, we saw a lot of hesitation from people to try it. So it ended up being more wasteful in the long run.

So until more environmentally, friendly, alternative milk, options, come to market, or become more popular, we will stick with oatmilk!

Our Roaster:

We use local roasted coffee from Sleeping Giant Coffee Co. Not only are they 10 minutes away so it cuts down on shipping and travel, but they use 100% biodegradable bags as well as partner with Cafe Femenino as women owned and operated farm that provides resources to origin producers!

All in all…

These are just a few of the main things that we do to make sure we’re having a lower impact on our environment each day.

Some of the smaller things include making sure that our equipment is energy, efficient, from our ovens to our fridges to our air conditioning unit in the summer.

To us, it’s all about the little steps that every shop can take to be more environmentally conscious and reduce the waste that we put out into the world. In reality, when it comes to business, it can be very expensive to change over to completely compostable, material or energy efficient appliances, some places may not have access to that. And that’s okay. Unfortunately, a lot of resources to help sustain the environment or not as affordable or readily available to people.

However, the little steps add up and mean just as much over time as the larger ones!


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