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Simple Solutions…

My son’s school has a Java Connection to raise money for middle school events.  It used to consist of foam cups, cheap donuts, throw away paper plates and napkins, bulk food service coffee…all a personal affront to me each time I accompanied my son to have breakfast and visit the school.  So I simply asked if I could donate paper cups to the middle schoolers for the Java Connection.

The teacher suggested it would be better if I came in to talk about sustainability (smart teacher) so I did. I posed a couple of questions:

  • Instead of throwing away the foam cups, how could you use them to get closer to green choices, or to educate your customers?
  • How can the coffee house do more than raise money?
  • How can it raise more money?

A month later I came in to the Java Connection and saw so much:

People: local foods, healthy choices, promotion of local businesses and hand made goods, soy milk, honey, and more teas.  The coolest part was bringing in the violin class to play in the corner, providing an amazingly relaxing and beautiful atmosphere and gaining performance-experience for the kids.  This exemplifies Triple Bottom Line (TBL) thinking.

Planet: cloth table cloths, flowers in vases, healthy juices and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) fruits and vegetables, reusable hanging signs for each food station

Profit: reusable signage is an investment but a great gain over time, broadening to include a homemade lunch offering was more work but created a whole new profit center, paying more for local was a risk, but a solidly placed investment.

The result?  They have since made THREE TIMES the profit each month than they did prior to the “green renovation”. TBL is smarter through and through.

Think, and be greener.

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