Meet Lucy and Jess, business partners at The Coffee House, a popular café in the heart of Moreton Hall, which itself is a busy housing development on the edge of Bury St Edmunds.
When I dropped in with the family on Day 1 of Zero Waste Week, I warned them that I'd start talking to them about ways in which they help customers reduce waste. I was particularly interested in the success of the Keep Cups that they sell, i.e. the reusable coffee cups, as shown in the photo below.
I noticed that they'd been selling these since the café opened in October last year. Priced at £7.99 for a small cup and £9.99 for the larger one, whenever a customer brings in their reusable cup, they receive 10% off the price of their drink.
The reusable cups have been a real success for the café. Jess confirmed that they've sold approximately 250 since they opened last autumn and normally have around 10 customers popping in with them each day. As we were chatting I realised that I was holding up one of their customers who'd dropped in for coffee and when I turned around, I couldn't help but notice that there in her hand was one of the reusable cups that we'd been discussing.
Of course once the coffee discussion was over, my seven year old naturally brought my attention to his Zero Waste choice of the day....a selection of sweets from the sweetie jars on the counter.
The rest of his purchase wasn't quite ZW though. Even though he declared he'd try and reuse the straw from his small carton of orange juice and that'd he'd be sure to recycle the little box, there's not a lot you can do with the protective plastic wrapper. However, that was negligible compared to the Capri Suns that he bought at the weekend and all round was pretty much of a success. I'm not sure about his older brother though, who insisted on the plastic straw to go with his favourite chocolate milkshake. Unless he reuses that a few times over, he's already behind in the rubbish stakes.
So if you're ever visiting Moreton Hall, whether it's during Zero Waste Week or another time, be sure to pop into The Coffee House, where you'll always get a very warm welcome and a discount if you've got your own cup. And if you're a keen gardener, you can take away some free coffee grounds for your compost too. Now that is a bargain!
More information about The Coffee House can be found via their Twitter stream @thecoffeehouse5 or their Facebook account.
If you're a regular coffee drinker who's looking for a replacement to disposable cups or run a café and are interested in saving landfill waste too, check out the reusable cups that are available at www.keepcup.com as well as the BYOcups that are sold by Onya.
This post was written as part of National Zero Waste Week 2011, that's taking place between 5-11 September. The theme this year is Reducing waste away from home. For further details visit http://myzerowaste.com/zero-waste-week-2011/