Arran’s Zero Waste Cafe has now been running for a little over a year. We thought we would take a second to celebrate, have a look at what has happened, and also to ask people what they would like to see happen with the Zero Waste Cafe going forward.
What is the “Zero Waste Cafe”?
The Zero Waste Cafe is a small “cafe” pop up with tea, coffee, baking and soup available.
There is a shop section that allows people to fill up their own containers from zero waste dispensers meaning less packaging is used and you can take as little or as much as you need.
We also have a selection of store cupboard staples tinned goods ranging from soups, beans, and tinned tomatoes to sweet things like peaches, fruit salad and custard.
We have teamed up with island growers such as the Arran Pioneer Project, Clachaig Farm and Holy Isle to make local produce available each week. This changes with the seasons but sometimes veg is picked that very morning and from as little as less than a mile away!
People also bring in any gluts they have – last summer we had some incredible Lamlash grown peaches and the world’s biggest cabbages!
Each of the halls that the Zero Waste Cafes run in also have a Food Share freezer donated by Eco Savvy where any food left over is available for anyone to take. The Food Share is a scheme run by the Co-op and Arran Eco Savvy where food left over from the supermarket at the end of the day is redistributed on the island. You can read more about the Food Share here.
Watch the short video about the Zero Waste Cafe here:
Since we started…
Here are some of the stats from the Zero Waste Cafe from between March 2022 and March 2023…
Some of the local growers we have worked with at the Zero Waste Cafe include The Pioneer Project, Holy Isle, and Clachaig Farm.
The Zero Waste Cafe aims to be good for the environment and good for the community!
The purpose is to reduce food waste, packaging and food miles through making local produce available to local people.
We use our electric van, Evan, to transport everything (give us a wave!).
The Zero Waste Cafe is for everyone, whether you want to come for an unhurried lunch or you just want to pop in for some oats for your porridge.
We often collaborate on events with others for example, we have had:
- a free chocolate milkshake giveaway from Arran Dairies
- a pop up vintage stall from the Eco Savvy shop
- ebike trials
- foraging walks with the very knowledgeable Zoe from Wild Food Arran
- a sourdough bread making demonstration from George Grassie of Blackwater Bakehouse
As well as these one off events The Pioneer Project often use the Zero Waste Cafes as meeting points before and after garden open days in Corrie and Shiskine.
We recently held a pop up at Arran High School with more pop-ups planned for the next few months.
And we also attended the recent Energy Drop-in day which you can read about here.
So as you can see there are often little extra things happening at the cafes!
We want your help!
Going forward we want to make the Zero Waste Cafe as successful and relevant to the folks on Arran as possible.
We would love to hear YOUR thoughts on the Zero Waste Cafe – we would be super grateful if you could fill in this survey which should take approximately 3 to 5 minutes!
Tell us your thoughts!Zero Waste Cafe Survey
Thank you to our funders
Thanks also to the team at Arran Outdoor Education Centre for providing storage and the use of your kitchen!