Thatʻs a good question. As you know, we are very passionate about providing our community and customers with high quality nutritious food through our plant-based menu. What you might not know is that we are equally passionate about instituting the most sustainable practices possible. For example, we have installed dual-flush toilets in our bathrooms (where we save approximately 3-4 gallons of water per flush), we use all non-toxic cleaning materials/supplies, we used deconstructed building materials during our buildout and remodeling phases, we purchased re-used table bases and chairs, used locally sourced wood (monkeypod and mahoghany) for our table tops, all of our take-out products (napkins, cups/lids, bowls, containers) are biodegradable, our business cards are homemade and printed on seeded paper (with basil and wildflower seeds) so that it can be planted when the business card is no longer needed, compost all of our food scraps/waste to feed our worms or turn into high nutrient dense soil, and we use solar-powered and LED lights throughout the restaurant and garden to reduce our energy use.
Well…over the past year (since we opened) we have tracked our water consumption trends and recently discovered that it is potentially more sustainable to use eco-friendly, biodegradable compostable plates, cups, and utensils, than hand washing all of our dishes. If not used in our compost, these high-end biodegradable products can easily be turned into energy through H-Power, as well as save thousands of gallons of water each month.
We are trying this out to see if it makes a significant difference. We will continue to track our progress, and let you know just how much of an impact it is having in helping us and Hawaiʻi to become more sustainable.