Kafe Kara has got it going on. It has been a successful Hobart enterprise for years and has thrived through successive owners.
Owners de jour, Oliver and Abbie started making their mark in December 2011.
They have maintained the quality Kara devotees know and love, and they have brought their own commitment to sustainable living to this CBD café.
If you know Kara, you may have noticed the whiteboard above the barrista.
The shocking facts about restaurant waste
Have you ever wondered what happens to all the waste from restaurants and cafes all over Hobart…and the world really?
Each week, Kafe Kara alone produces around 600 litres of general waste, collects a 240 litre bin of organic waste and, Abbie and Oliver take excess organic waste home for their own compost. On top of all that garbage, they also have a pile of recycling. This is the waste from serving around 1 200 people coffee each day and 500 people meals. Let’s do the math: multiple that by the number of cafes in the city, state, country…well, you get the picture.
Roast vegetable salad with beetroot relish
The organic waste Kara collects, is more than what your average-bear puts in their domestic compost bin. It includes: used scraps; food they cannot sell; shells and bones; paper napkins; and compostable plastic straws, lids and cups.
Sustainable waste management
Kara have put two extra bins in place: one at front of house and one in the kitchen, to collect the organic waste that staff sort as they go.
Oliver says the Kara crew share the sustainability ethos and got right behind the initiative because they are happy to play their part.
The waste is then bagged in compostable bags and collected once a week by Organics Recyclingwho organise the processing of food and green garden organics into compost material. Organics Recycling collect from residences and commercial outlets.
Collecting organic waste for composting matters because Oliver and Abbie want to make their contribution to sustainability. By collecting organic waste they estimate they have reduced their general waste by around a third.
The cake display at Kara
Our local landfills are reaching capacity, the cost of setting up transfer stations and establishing the new Copping landfill and the cost to rehabilitate old sites is excessive. Any contribution we can make to reducing this impost is a good thing.
Oliver and Abbie are helping the planet and they say it is good business too because it has lowered their waste collection costs. Their organic waste collection costs as little as $10 per week.
The waste is used to produce organic compost that is used across business and homes around Tasmania and Victoria.
There is a new sweet and savoury muffin choice daily
Kara’s commitment to sustainability includes their menu choices.
They use Pyengana ‘Real Milk’ because it’s REAL! It’s not homogenized which means it contains its natural fat and isn’t standardised, so each bottle will taste different, just like god and the cow intended. All Pyengana milk comes from their own cows they take care of the entire production life cycle.
Kara chooses wild rabbit above farmed animals because they are a pest and its a good way of dealing with an animal that shouldn't be free ranging in the Tassie ecosystem.
Of course, free range eggs are a no brainer.
Where they can, they source Tasmanian producers.
Corn fritters and rocket with bacon which this day, replaced salmon
They are on to energy efficiency too. Kara is phasing out their incandescent and halogen globes and replacing with LED globes.
They have long term plans to move to solar hot water at a minimum but they have a vision of solar for all their energy needs. In the mean time, they are minimising their energy consumption where they can.
The food is excellent too
The Two Girls love Kafe Kara for their coffee and treats: Monte Carlos, Kingstons, Moon biscuits and the daily changing sweet and savoury muffins are all staples in our morning teas and work brekkies.
Kara changes their menu every six months and has weekly blackboard specials.
This Girl and her lunch buddy (not boozy Friday lunch friend but, let’s call her Burlesque friend) chose the roast vegetable salad and the corn fritters with rocket and bacon Oliver and Abbie get great feedback on their sustainable waste management commitment. If you liked this post keep an eye out for our future post on Organics Recycling coming soon!
Is sustainable food production something that matters to you?