The conscious cafe inspiring students
Author | Alex Tong
Sitting opposite UTS Broadway is one of Sydney’s most active players within the sustainable food space – Olive Green’s Café. This cosy welcoming café aims to promote food sustainability by serving a great variety of organic ingredients and reducing food wastage.
Olive Green’s Café offers a wide range of sustainable food choices in its menu. All staple foods (such as eggs and bread) are 99% organic, because the least a café can do to change the world is to use organic staples, says owner Myaa. You will never find heavily processed ingredients such as white rice or white sugar in your food, and Myaa opts for healthy alternatives wherever feasible (such as olive oil over butter). For those not fond of anything to do with animals, the café also offers healthy alternatives such as a vegan breakfast and lovely vegan birthday cakes.
For breakfast, the café gives customers the choice to pick the food and the amount they want, rather than the conventional way of serving everyone the same one plate. This reduces unnecessary leftovers as customers have the choice of choosing only the food they want to eat. Most ingredients (e.g. mushrooms) are cooked only when ordered, which means there is less food wastage at the end of the day and customers are served only the freshest of foods.
Olive Green’s Café also offers catering services with food sustainability in mind, by delivering only the exact amounts required and making sure beforehand there are no dietary concerns so that there wouldn’t be any leftovers. The café is very conscious about wastage, and makes sure even its own food scraps don’t simply go into the bin; it currently supplies the UTS: Institute for Sustainable Futures with coffee grounds, juice wastes, and other food wastes for use as plant compost.
The café’s sustainable food initiatives goes well beyond reducing food wastage. All coffee cups are completely compostable from lid to toe, and the coffee beans are organic and complies with fair-trade standards. This would surely explain why one of their most popular items is the yummy green tea latte! In the near future, Myaa is considering using alkalised water for cleaning to limit the use of harmful chemical cleaning agents, and using solar energy for a more sustainable future.
I would like to thank Myaa and the staff at Olive Green’s Cafe for giving their time to contribute to the Do Something! initiative.