cityscapes,new services,Zero Waste

Restaurant practicing zero waste in Chicago

9 Jun , 2014  

Sandwich Me is a great example of the innovation happening in the United States around zero waste. In this short video, owner Justin Vrany shares his success in becoming a truly zero waste restaurant.

What does he do?

Zero Waste Practices for Small Restaurants

  • He takes his recyclables home from the restaurant to make sure they get recycled.
  • He composts the organic fraction of what's left from his daily work.
  • He sources meat and produce from local farms.
  • His shop runs on renewable energy.
  • The 8 gallons of true waste he produced (over two years) was made into art by a local artist.

The zero waste ethic emerged from life experience with real scarcity. He describes changing his way of doing business after learning about sustainability.

Although he doesn't mention it in the video, there are other practices that Justin appears to use:

  • Using a chalk board for announcements and listing menu choices
  • Replacing paper plates and plastic utensils with real foodware
  • Tracking and managing water use and waste effectively

Underpinnings of Success

There are other factors contributing to Sandwich Me's success. Justin's educated himself on what he can do. He's a business owner and operator, so he gets to set the rules. He has access to recycling at home and proper permits that allows him to compost his organics.

Are you finding success in your zero waste efforts? Let us know about it.


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