written by John Lawrence.
Escaping the Winter chill and wandering into the warm and busy ambience of the Nosh @ Newport Cafe, the smiling staff, vibe of a diverse musical soundtrack and colourful artworks are immediately welcoming. This is definitely my kind of place for a coffee and a chat over lunch. But is it ‘environmentally sustainable’?
Omar Morgan, Nosh @ Newport cafe.
Inquisitively, I approach the cafe owner, Omar Morgan. He explains that “In this type of business you can do very little even if you want to…and seek to” but then adds “We try to (be sustainable) by proper recycling and purchasing recycled packaging products.” “Our food however must be fresh, ” he says with a smile, “not recycled!”.
“Making improvements in our recycling has been relatively easy and helpful to our bottom line too. By returning our milk containers, for example, we have halved our recycled bin waste each week.
We have also installed energy-saving lighting and only use our heating systems when we really need them for customer comfort. ”
“We keep an open mind to anything more we can do to help our bottom line and the environment.”
Omar goes on to outline his philosophy. “We are living on this Earth to be responsible and that includes our environment. Other people will say that their effort will make no difference to the bigger picture but it all adds up.”
‘Have you always thought this way?’ I ask. “Not really,” he offers, “I used to think like (..others) but you hear, you read and it does make you very concerned.”
I introduce the idea of using a local food waste recycling service (ie. daily collection, processed into compost). ”That’s new to me” he says, “I just need someone to come in and explain it to me and we’d certainly be interested as food scraps are 30% of our general waste.”
I finish a delicious coffee and depart, reassured that this small food retailing business at least is grappling thoughtfully with the challenges of combining economic survival and environmental sustainability….and remains open to further improvements to its environmental performance!