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A Greener Café

A Greener Café

Decades ago when our founders started planting coffee on old ranching land, sustainability of the land, local agriculture, and their community were their motivators. To date, those values still drive us, but the world has changed. The kind of sustainability we strive toward also includes a broader focus to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint.  

All of our to-go containers are now biodegradable and you can get a discount for brining your own cup and/or straw. 

Don’t get us wrong, we don’t think one Kona coffee shop ditching plastic straws is going to stop climate change. We just want to make conscious changes toward a greener business. Hopefully, setting an example of what a small business and individuals can do to help and not harm the earth means one sea turtle might be saved from eating a plastic straw or one customer might be inspired to plant their own edible landscaping. If we can create this awareness, that’s a start.

Learning and sharing ideas over coffee and tea  PHOTO: Blake Wisz

We started the year by asking all our café staff, “How can we be Greener?”  Malia, our Operations Manager, explained that “running a green business has always been part of Kona Coffee & Tea’s decision-making. But we’re making it a definitive goal in 2018.”  After brewing their ideas in small groups, our staff presented us with the list above.

Here's some of our staff who came up with these green initiatives.  

We started at the beginning of the year by implementing these green initiatives. After forming these actionable efforts, we have had like-minded organizations approach us to join forces.

We have collaborated with Mana’o Pono Sustainability to plant edible landscaping around our building at Kona Coffee and Tea. We removed an ornamental ground cover and planted edible herbs along with the native vegetation of Ki and Lauae. We plan to use the Lemongrass for tea, the Mint to accentuate some of our drinks, and the lavender in arrangements. The basil will no doubt find its way to one of our homes to complement some delicious meals. Mana’o Pono Sustainability is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization committed to the promotion of food and resource security, starting with our Big Island community.  Mahalo to Rebecca Villegas and Krista Donaldson for planting our edible landscaping.

Coffee beans being roasted. PHOTO: Blake Wisz

Coffee beans being roasted. PHOTO: Blake Wisz

Living in Hawaii, which is the most isolated land mass in the world, really makes us aware that everything that isn’t here already is shipped in. And everything that can’t be reused or recycled goes into our landfills. 12 year-old, Noa Frechette and his dad, Dusty Frechette, have brought us a HI-5 beverage recycling bin to bring awareness of the collection of recyclable containers. It’s outside our front door just waiting for those empty HI-5 bottles and cans.

We are making a conscious effort to make a difference. Many of our regular customers have noticed and are on-board with these changes. Thank you for your support!  Our future goals consist of using compostable trash bags and composting our paper containers. Please contact us or comment below to share your ideas or feedback.

Crepe Making Kona Coffee and Tea Gabi

CONTRIBUTOR: Gabriela Markova

I'M PROUD OF:  Running the 100 mile EPIC Man race with my partner in adventure, Jesse

You may have seen me behind the counter at the café, making crêpes, or giving out dog treats.  I am the Café Manager at Kona Coffee and Tea. I’m originally from the other side of the world from Kona: Prague, Czech Republic. An opportunity working in hospitality brought me to Kona five years ago. After positions with the King Kamehameha hotel and Four Seasons, I originally got a job with Kona Coffee & Tea to learn how to one day open my own café. For now, I’m happy feeling like Kona Coffee & Tea is my own café. Along with managing the café and being a new triathlete, I’m also “Mom” to three fur babies: Pivo, Chui, Pono.

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