Karen and Rob Sewell's Honest Kitchen is about sustainability, and they would like to see other cafes doing their bit for the planet, says Honest Kitchen spokesperson, Charlie Meyerhoff.
Charlie says the hospitality industry is huge, worldwide, and New Zealand is too far behind in terms of sustainability. Honest Kitchen is an example of where things should be.
They use Laugesen's as their main produce supplier, so nothing's wrapped in plastic and the miles travelled to get to the cafe are minimal. Bin Inn is the source of a lot of the dry stock.
"At the start of the year we started to really reward our customers who joined us on this sustainable plan," says Charlie. If you bring in your own cup you get an 80 cents discount on your drink. "That's not a specified size of cup — it can be your favourite mug, a bowl, a glass, whatever you want it to be. If you bring in your own container for food you get 50 cents off.
"The best way to combat climate change is to move away from single-use plastic."
Charlie says they've seen a real shift with lots of people bringing in their own cups and food containers.
All left over food at Honest Kitchen is put into bins and used by local piggeries.
The latest venture in sustainability at the cafe is the Chunky Loan Cup.
"This is something that Karen [Sewell] wanted to bring in to Honest Kitchen, and what we'd like to see is a lot more places in Whanganui get on board with this. It's a loan / lease cup. Throughout the whole of New Zealand, there are probably about 150 places that are part of this not-for-profit scheme. You come in to the cafe, you normally bring your own cup but you forgot it today: fine, we can lease you this cup for $10. You go across to the park (or wherever) drink your coffee, return the cup, we give you your $10 back." You can lease and return to any cafe on board with the Chunky Loan Cup scheme.
The cups are stainless steel, double-walled, vacuum insulated, with a 3mm drinking rim. No burnt fingers, comfortable sipping. They come with an acrylic, easy-clean lid, fully recyclable.
Charlie says that New Zealand really has to start living up to its perceived "clean green" image. This is just another way of doing that. Add seasonal, locally sourced produce, recyclable containers, bring your own cup, waste food into pig bins and Honest Kitchen is leading the way.
Honest Kitchen is the first cafe in Whanganui to start the Chunky Loan Cup scheme and it has already taken off. They'd like to see it catch on in other cafes around town. Perhaps more hospitality venues can look at their businesses and see what sustainability measures they can take.