Cutting the Carbon Footprint
- All our regular lighting (office, task, security, hallway, bathroom, etc) in the shop uses compact or regular fluorescent bulbs.
- All the bathroom lights are on motion sensors.
- All the retail display lighting uses LED spot lights
- We use evaporative cooling vs air conditioning.
- We have low-flow toilets and aerators on faucets.
- We use a programmable thermostat for the natural gas forced air furnace.
- All the refrigeration is on a 4 times yearly cleaning and maintenance schedule to maintain optimal efficiency. All new refrigeration is sourced as the highest efficiency possible for models selected.
- All unused equipment is turned off when not needed or during the night, including the, computers, printers, cooling, and lighting.
- We purchase blocks of LPEA “wind power” each month to help offset our carbon emissions.
- We have a 10.8kva Solar PV array that provides about one quarter of our electrical power
- We use daylighting to help light the basement offices.
- Our company vehicle is a bicycle.
- We pay the City of Durango over $1K yearly to purchase the use of an auto parking spot to host a bicycle parking rack for community use.
Responsible Purchasing and Product Sourcing
- We select and sell organic, fair trade, and shade grown coffee. Our coffees are for the most part estate-grown high quality beans that fetch higher prices for the farmer due to their high quality.
- We also select and sell organic and fair trade teas and some organic chocolates.
- We use antibiotic-free and BGH-free milk, organic soy and rice milk, and use organic ingredients in many of products including organic raw sugar, organic vanilla, and organic wheat.
- We seek and sell as many locally sourced products as we can including almost all local pastries, lunch items, and packaged products like honey, jams, mustards, spices, dip mixes, chocolates, cards, coffee and tea mugs, cook books, herbal teas, and of course our coffee is all locally roasted.
- Our shopping bags are made with post consumer recycled materials and are recyclable.
- We have a program for using locally sourced office supplies, equipment, and services (bookkeeping, maintenance, cleaning, etc) whenever there is a local equivalent product or service available.
- In any remodeling or building improvements we utilize Safeco and other non-toxic and low VOC paints and recycled/eco-friendly building materials.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- We recycle all plastic bottles (as much as 250-300 plastic milk jugs a month), glass bottles, cardboard (and we allow adjacent business to share our cardboard recycling container), about 75-80% of waste paper, and cans.
- We recycle much of the shipping materials especially the hated Styrofoam peanuts through a local pottery shop that reuses them for shipping.
- In cooperation with several Durango area community members, and a small burgeoning business we have helped start, we have been composting almost all of our spent coffee grounds and tea leaves, much of it through vermicomposting.
- We train staff to always ask customers if they want their drink “or here” or “to go” and if the customer says “for here” we serve the drink in a non-disposable cup/mug which we then sanitize and reuse.
- We give customers who bring their own cup a discount (we only charge for a small size drink regardless of the size of their cup)
- We recycle almost all our old office equipment through the City e-waste collection days or donation to another organization or business, and our spent ink and laser toner cartridges.
- We recycle many of our spent fluorescent light bulbs.
- We help our vendors recycle & reuse packaging such as pastry delivery boxes, shipping cartons, and milk, drinks, and other delivery crates.
Enhancing the Environment
- Our spent coffee grounds and tea leaves are provided to the Durango Compost Company whereby through vermicomposting we have reduced a waste stream and at the same time provide some of the best compost available to help grow better soil locally.
- While there is great pressure in the marketplace, we have consciously avoided the use of corn-based plastics as our research has shown that the use of corn based plastic are unsustainable due to numerous reasons such as the fact that using corn for materials or fuel puts it in competition with its use as a food. Also the growing practices for corn are unsustainable, often using large volumes of herbicides and in some cases depleting aquifers.
Community Education & Investment
- The owner has been a founder of numerous environmental advocacy organizations and donated countless hours of volunteer and advocacy work with such organizations as Local First, Southwest Colorado Renewable Energy Society, The Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado, and 4CORE that advocate for sustainable business practices.
- We sponsor and contribute to events like the Green Business Roundtable, Local First, and Durango Nature Studies for classes and education, and to help strengthen our community.
- We contribute thousands of dollars each year in gift certificates, money, and in-kind contributions to a range of local non-profits, including the Women’s Resource Center, Durango Arts center, Habitat for Humanity, 9R school district, DYSA, Kiwanis, Rotary, Ignacio High School, the Adult Education Center, Durango Nature Studies, Manna Soup Kitchen, Fort Lewis College, KSUT, Durango Film Festival, Music in the Mountains, Winter Bike to Work Day, and many others.
- We use our central downtown location to help advocate/advertise for environmental and sustainability causes.
- We offer the free use of our wall space for five months each year to the local photography club to publicly display their photography.