At Pierreponts we feel very passionately about the environment and we are constantly working to make the café as sustainable as we possibly can. We strongly believe it’s our responsibility to protect the environment, both locally and on a global scale.
Here are some of the ways in which we’re working towards being the most sustainable business we can:
1. Keeping it local
We are very proud to work with a huge number of local food suppliers. Not only does this reduce the food miles it means we’re supporting local, independent businesses. And who wouldn’t want to do that? Our meat, bread, eggs, vegetables, dairy and wine come from local producers, and all our cakes are made in our own kitchen. Plus we grow our own herbs – now we’re talking food metres, not miles!
2. Reusable cups rule
If you bring a reusable cup for your takeaway tea or coffee, we’ll give you a 20p discount on every drink. We also sell a range of cups in the most beautiful colours.
There is much talk of cafes using recyclable or compostable take away cups. The truth is , however, that unless you live in one of two specific areas in the country your cup cannot be recycled. Compostable cups do not compost in landfill – the conditions aren’t right for it – so we believe the best answer currently is to stop using disposable cups as much as possible. Please don’t ask us for a take away cup for your coffee if you are staying in the café.
3. No more plastic straws
Plastic straws are only ever used once yet they take centuries to decompose. So back in November we replaced plastic straws with biodegradable paper straws.
4. Recycling is king
All our waste is sorted and we recycle as much of it as we possibly can. Anything that can’t be recycled is incinerated and the energy produced feeds into the national grid.
5. Stick with the seasons
We try as much as we can to use seasonal produce in our dishes. The fewer miles your food has travelled, the better it is for the environment. Plus it will have retained more nutrients in the short time between being harvested and served on your plate.
6. Cutlery counts
We don’t provide plastic cutlery with our takeaway food. Instead we provide rather lovely biodegradable knives, forks and spoons. And of course in the café we only use metal cutlery.
7. Vegetarian options
We are consciously increasing the number of vegetarian and vegan dishes on our menu, and offer a range of non-dairy milks for hot drinks. Many people are now including less meat and dairy in their diets. and so we are happy to help. We are careful to ensure that the meat and dairy which we use comes from farms using responsible and sustainable farming methods.
8. Bag-free tea
We are proud of our huge range of teas, from English breakfast to Lapsang Souchong and everything in between. All of our blends are loose leaf as we believe they taste superior to teabags. Plus you might not have realised that many teabags contain plastic – polypropylene, to be precise – which is used to heat seal them during manufacture to make sure they don’t open in the box or your cup. All our tea is supplied by the Wallingford Tea Company – another great local small business
9. Plastic is not fantastic
We don’t supply any drinks in plastic bottles, only glass. Nor do we use plastic carrier bags.
10. This is just the start
We’re proud of the changes we’re making but we’re very aware that there’s still more we can do to reduce our impact on the environment. One of our current challenges is finding boxes for our takeaway salads which don’t contain plastic but which don’t leak. Although compostable boxes are available, these only break down if they are put on an actual compost heap.
We would love to hear any ideas you have which could help us further.
And if anyone has a use for used coffee grounds please do let us know and we will collect them for you –they are great on compost heaps, deter ants, slugs and snails, and make a great fertiliser.