Posts Tagged ‘zero waste’

Lincoln Eco Pantry revisited

February 24, 2021

When visit anywhere a shop, coffee shop, have a bad experience, it can be worth paying a second visit, maybe the first visit was an anomaly.

That is what I did today with Lincoln Eco Pantry.

My first visit was before Christmas, their second day of opening. Sympathetic refurbishment of the building, excellent stock, but what I did not like, too many people crowded in, a coronavirus death trap, and as I left when I spoke to the lady who identified herself as the owner I would not go as far as surly but not very friendly. But to be fair, very busy, major problems and delays in opening, probably stressed out.

I passed by last Saturday, I had intended to pop in, too many people, gave it a miss.

Today, empty.

The reception could not have been different, the owner went out of her way to help, information on the products in stock.

I was very pleased to learn, Tony’s Chocolonely once stocks have gone, will not be restocking, links with slave trade, industrial low quality cholate. What a pity others do not show same standard of ethics. I advised check out Luisa’s and Bullion.

Everything I wanted was in stock, though not olive oil shampoo. Even sea salt. For salt I will have to take in a glass jar, it would eat through a brown paper bag. Would she like glass bottles and jars? Yes, but not currently. On the first floor, a box with an assortment of glass jars and bottle, also a shelf of glass kilner storage jars.

A big plus compared with the zero waste stall in Lincoln Central Market a wider range of stock. Another advantage actually open.

One week after the zero waste stall opened in Lincoln Central Market, the local Council kicked out the fruit and vegetable stall that accounted for at least 80% of market footfall. The market is now dead. The zero waste stall has irregular hours, take pot luck if find open. I can pass through on my way from the bus station, but I would not go out of my way not knowing if open. Sometimes I am lucky and find open, sometimes not. A downward death spiral.

Lincoln Eco Shop located opposite Redhill farm shop. The location is good, as a range of food shops, butcher, baker, greengrocer, Elite on the Bail fish restaurant. All we now need is a decent speciality coffee shop.

Note: For quality chocolate try Imperial Tea.

Note: Coffee beans are loose. Not ideal, will have oxidised and not be fresh. For coffee beans, Madame Waffle or Coffee Aroma.

Lincoln Eco Pantry

December 20, 2020

Passing through Lincoln Central Market I learnt of a zero waste shop uphill, ‘competition’. As I was en route to the Lincoln Christmas farmers market on Castle Hill, I decided to try and find it and check it out.

Lincoln Christmas farmers market a very sad and sorry affair.

Lincoln Eco Pantry in Bailgate opposite Redhill farm shop, not difficult to find. A queue outside, though everywhere had a queue outside.

Lincoln Eco Pantry a long time in opening. There was rumour of opening in the town at least two years ago, but a bad location, then at St Marks, another bad location. The current location, should have opened early November, finally opened on Friday.

Letting agents Banks and Co which means will be paying high rent or a surprise if not, Bailgate location would also be high rent, though in current dire circumstances maybe rents are starting to fall,

The location, apart from the high rent, excellent as compliments butcher, baker and greengrocer. All we now need is a specialty coffee shop, currently lacking in Bailgate.

Sympathetic restoration of an old building. How it has been fitted out creates a pleasant environment.

Ground floor, bulk refill for shampoo and laundry liquid. No names I recognised. For shampoo, Faith in Nature from the health food shop opposite Mary le Wigford Church just off the High Street, laundry liquid the zero waste shop in the Central Market.

The point was made, choose suppliers to compliment not compete with what already exists in Lincoln.

All the more baffling therefore a large amount of prime shelf space by the counter which encounter as enter the shop devoted to poor quality chocolate laced with additives, chocolate that can buy in any Oxfam shop and in most supermarkets, with not very environmentally friendly package. A definite negative.

Helpful young lady manning the till fed me nonsense additives were because vegan chocolate. Er no, emulsifiers substitute for cocoa butter because the emulsifiers are cheaper. Dark chocolate cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, occasionally vanilla, nothing else. Only milk chocolate and white chocolate are not vegan due to addition of milk.

For quality chocolate visit Imperial Teas on Steep Hill. Excellent selection and knowledgeable about chocolate. The only place in Lincoln for quality chocolate.

Limits on numbers in the shop, limits on numbers on the first floor, a notice on the door, not that anyone took any notice of the notice on the door, nor was it enforced.

Upstairs on the first floor, loose nuts, cereals, dried fruits, tins of tea and coffee. All bagged and weighed by a helpful young lady.

But, this is not how to handle coffee beans, loose in the tins the beans will oxidise, they will already have oxidised in the plastic boxes shipped in, no information on the coffee beans, their provenance, where roasted when roasted roasted, their origin, country not sufficient.

I have recently been in discussion with a coffee shop and roastery, shipping of green beans, roasting, then supply to the coffee shop. I did consider supply in boxes, but dismissed, not good for the beans, they will oxidise.

DT Coffee Roastery supply roasted beans to Coffee Lab Academy and to The Square by Coffee Lab. The beans are supplied in bags even though located near each other in Winchester. Also true of coffee shops where the roastery is located within the coffee shop, the beans are bagged.

Beans popped in bags after roasted will outgas CO2 which creates a positive pressure in the bag, keeps out the air and stops the beans from oxidising. Roast, leave to rest for a week, then at their optimum for three weeks. Once the bags are opened, coffee beans go stale very quickly.

Coffee should have a wonderful aroma, a hint of things to come. I lifted the lid of the Brazil beans. Instead of a pleasant enticing aroma, I saw burnt over roasted beans with accompanying smell of burnt stale beans. Not pleasant.

And even if by happenchance bagged freshly roasted beans as they arrived in a brown paper bags, by the time arrived home, the beans would have oxidised,  not unless arrived prepared with vacuum storage jars.

If wish for coffee beans,  visit a reputable coffee shop where they care about coffee, Madame Waffle or Coffee Aroma, or try the zero waste shop in Lincoln Central Market.

Tea is fine in the tins, but for tea I would visit nearby Imperial Teas on Steep Hill.

Indy coffee shops and roasteries are always ahead of the game. Much work is being done on closing the loop with sustainable coffee bags. There are no easy answers, no quick fixes, packaging for shipping coffee beans keeping the beans fresh whilst at the same time reducing waste. [see Horsham Coffee Roaster – Recycling our coffee bags]

On sale reusable coffee cups during a coronavirus pandemic when coronavirus is out of control and a new strain is spreading like wildfire is an absolute no no. No responsible coffee shop will accept reusable cups for the simple reason it is to introduce an unnecessary  disease vector. They care about staff and customers and do not wish to place them at risk of infection.

The only reusable cup worth considering is a glass KeepCup, but if dropped, smashed to smithereens or consider a huskee cup. But why use reusable cups, why takeaway coffee, reusable cups addresses a symptom, not the underlying problem, stop using grab and go takeaway coffee.  During covid-19 crisis takeaway cups a necessary evil to reduce cross contamination.

Walk in Coffee Aroma, only one person at a time, strictly enforced a sign No Reusable Cups, and they will refuse to serve anyone who insists on using their reusable cup. Safety of staff and customers paramount.

Post-pandemic, relax and enjoy coffee in glass or ceramic served in an indy coffee shop.

In the natural world the concept of waste does not exist in space or time, the output of one process is the input to the next. Therefore we either use natural materials or we emulate a closed loop system with our manmade materials,  as we do with glass, steel or aluminium.

In Athens it is the norm, loose nuts and dried fruits, loose bars of chocolate, shops, stalls outside Athens Central Market, no special name as this is the norm.

Cashew takes it to another level, loose nuts, dried fruits, bars of chocolate jars of honey and peanut butter combined with a coffee shop serving speciality coffee. Coffee beans on sale are in bags.

The big difference to UK, far wider choice far higher quality. For example, more than one grade of dried apricots, pistachio nuts, peanuts.

I picked up muesli and chocolate-coated coffee beans, bagged, weighed and down to the till downstairs to pay. I may have lingered longer and bought more but it became unsafe, too many people allowed in.

The muesli, soft muesli, more like a muesli base, could have done with added fruits, but nevertheless excellent with the raw unpasteurised milk off the Christmas farmers market.  The chocolate-coated coffee beans reasonable but very poor quality when compared with chocolate-coated Brazil nuts from Athens or chocolate-coated coffee beans from Colombia.

The name Eco Pantry always wise to check if already in use. I found myself wondering why looked different to the shop I visited. I was looking at Eco Pantry in Sevenoaks.

Covid-19 biosecurity poor if not very poor. Ground floor door open thus ventilated, tiny crack window open first floor not sufficient ventilation, a girl on the first floor handled all the goods and bagged, but there were too many people in the store, this when we have a mutant highly infectious strain of covid-19  spreading like wildfire and Lincoln  recording double the national average of new covid-19 cases. Sale of reusable cups highly irresponsible. No one should be taking reusable cups to a coffee shop and no coffee shop should accept. The lax covid-19 biosecurity so poor Lincoln Eco Pantry should close until further notice until they address these issues.

Forage & Fill

July 4, 2020

Forage & Fill opened on Wednesday in Lincoln Central Market. Run by a very helpful mother and daughter team, Nikki & Katie.

Dried goods in chutes, shampoo, soap. Bring own containers.

Nut free, excellent if have a nut allergy not so good if looking for nuts not even peanut butter.

Saturday, only two days open and already a steady stream of customers and unlike me came prepared with containers.

Future products.

May have quality bean-to-bar craft chocolate, possibly Luisa’s and Bullion. But would need somewhere cool to store. Currently the only location with quality chocolate in Lincoln is Imperial Teas half way up Steep Hill.

May have coffee. There is though a problem. Coffee is fresh produce with a very limited shelf life. One week rest when roasted then three weeks optimum. Best source for coffee is direct from a roastery or from a specialty coffee shop. In Lincoln both Coffee Aroma and Madame Waffle sell coffee. Or would have to have an alert system, we have coffee in, limited stock, first come first served, fast turnover until the next batch.

Possible roasteries

  • Dark Woods but only single origins
  • The Blending Room
  • Outpost Coffee
  • Cartwheel Coffee

If coffee then coffee equipment? Mid-range hand grinder, V60, swan-neck kettle.

Forage and Fill compliment the fruit and vegetable stall, but therein lies a problem, the local council are trying to evict the fruit and vegetable stall which bodes ill for everyone in the market as they generate at least 80% of the footfall.

Forage and Fill an asset to an otherwise drab market.

Quad Restaurant reusable coffee cup

January 8, 2019

Quad Restaurant demonstrating how not to.

Not barista friendly ugly plastic reusable coffee cups, one of the worst examples of reusable coffee cups I have come across.

No surprise,  low take up.

The Quad is the privately run renamed former County Restaurant, the staff restaurant of Lincolnshire County Council.

Early last year, it was the norm to see staff sitting at table drinking tea or coffee out of a takeaway cup when ceramic cups available.

This has at least improved, more are using ceramic or compostable cups. But where are the compostable cups deposited? This will be general waste stream unless special bins provided.  A tiny step in the right direction but still a  fair way to go.

Plastic cups are still being used for water. These should be glass.

Plastic is being used for their own yogurts. And why low fat yogurt with additives which is very unhealthy?

Only one person observed using a Quad Restaurant reusable cup everyone else using ceramic or Vegware compostable cups.

The reusable cups need to be removed, or if compostable cups for people to take back to their office, bins for compostable cups.

Lincolnshire County Council should be setting standards, not lagging behind best practice of indie coffee shops.

The County Council needs to do a deal with KeepCup, ecoffee or POLŪ to bulk buy branded cups, which are sold at cost to staff, given away at conferences, to get the message out.

There should be a latte levy of 25p on takeaway cups. The money goes into a  separate pot, once a month, staff choose, funds raised go to a local environmental group.

Should aim at 80% minimum of replacement of takeaway cups with reusable cups.

But also recognise compostable cups, reusable cups, are addressing symptoms of a grab it and go takeaway culture. Should encourage relax with coffee served in ceramic.

The Quad should have a target date for plastic free, zero waste.

Keep

December 15, 2018

Passing by vegan cafe Okomoko I noticed a board saying zero waste and on display in the window an ecoffee bamboo coffee cup.

I walked in to inquire, I was curious to learn how they achieved zero waste. Whilst waiting, I noticed a sign pointing upstairs to a zero waste shop. Curious and curiouser. I climbed the stairs. I was expecting to maybe find a counter selling off old stock.

What I found was a little shop in a room, an Aladdin’s cave of delights.

Keep, a tiny version of Hisbe in Brighton. Two pleasant and helpful young women. They told me they rented the room.

Quite a clever idea and not the first time I have come across this arrangement, Anonymous Coffee in Reading, down an alley leading from Broad Street to Reading Minster, has a similar arrangement, rent space in a wine shop.

By renting space, in this case a room, overheads are low, for Okomoko, assuming they are not busy, it helps share the rent and puts to use unused space.

What is the alternative, a pop up shop, a market stall?

On offer, grains, cereals, nuts, dried fruit weigh and buy what you want. At the back, large containers of liquids, for example detergents, buy what you need.

Even ecoffee bamboo coffee cups on sale.

What would be a clever idea if Okomoko and Keep crowdfunded a joint glass KeepCup.

As I explained, a similar concept to Hisbe in Brighton. I recommended they visit.

If we are to aim for zero waste, there is much that coffee shops and restaurants can do.

  • eliminaate takeaway coffee
  • on sale reusable coffee cups and offer discount for use
  • compostable takeaway coffee cups
  • leave coffee grounds to be taken away
  • use food waste in cakes and soups
  • compost food waste

Reusable coffee cups and compostable coffee cup are a step in the right direction but what we must do, is eliminate grab it and go takeaway, encourage relax with speciality coffee served in glass or ceramic.

Keep is open Monday to Friday morning to lunchtime, Saturday until five, Sunday morning.

 

Zero waste supermarket

June 9, 2014

I find annoying, when I go into a supermarket and find everything is shrink-wrapped and overpackaged. One of the worst offenders is M&S who then have the gall to charge 5p for a plastic bag. They claim this goes to environmental charities. It does not, only 1p, and I doubt even that. It is greenwash by M&S, and an opportunity to rip off gullible customers.

And where fruit and vegetable are sold loose, as for example Waitrose or Lidl, why am I forced to use plastic bags, why not paper (which I can recycle on the compost heap)?

One reason why I buy off markets, it is seasonal, cheaper and fresher, and I can pop in a paper bag. At least I could. I notice some stalls are switching to plastic, which is a retrograde step.

Americans produce an unbelievable three pounds of trash every day. I do not produce that in a week, probably not in a month.

It is therefore good news, that a German supermarket Original Unvertpackt has moved to zero waste. The launch of the supermarket has been through crowd funding.

Customers are invited to bring in their own bags and bottles.

I remember Neals Yard Wholefoods, in an old warehouse in Neals Yard in Covent Garden. Everything was in bulk, you shovelled out what you wanted. Freshly ground peanut butter in large jars.

Original Unvertpackt is only a small step in the right direction. We have to recognise an end to growth, an end to the purchasing of worthless stuff, that goes on a one-way trip from mining, sweat production, sitting in the house for six months, then on its way to landfill or recycling.


%d bloggers like this: