What makes us green?
Since its establishment in 2006, the organization has been founded on three pillars: Environmental Responsibility, Community Education, and Fiscal Sustainability. Through our ten years of operations, the business has worked to continuously refine its environmental performance and has introduced a series of eco-projects and campaigns. Our business is 100% zero consumer waste and carbon neutral––but what does that really mean?
ZERO CONSUMER WASTE
Since 2011, The Tea Room has officially been a zero consumer waste cafe. That means that everything you get here will end up eaten or back in the Earth, not in the garbage. Starting in 2016, not only are all products and packaging diverted from landfill, but they are also 100% compostable. From our plant-based "plastic" lids to our cutlery, everything you bring out of our store goes into our onsite compost or a compost bin nearby. While a regular take-away cup with a plastic coating is not recyclable or compostable, our cups naturally break down over a few weeks! (Our packaging is 100% renewable, BPI certified compostable, and ASTM compliant.)
But why stop there? The Tea Room encourages all customers to further reduce their impact by bringing a travel mug. In addition to saving 15% on your drink purchase, you'll also save a cup, lid, and sleeve, as well as the energy required to make them and transport them to the Tea Room.
CARBON NEUTRAL & RENEWABLE
The Tea Room is a carbon neutral establishment. All carbon dioxide emissions associated with every aspect of The Tea Room's operation, from heating of the cafe, to the water usage of the dishwasher, to the kilometers our vendors must travel to deliver our products, are completely off-set by planting trees through the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. In 2015, the Tea Room and Queen's Engineers Without Boarders collaborated to plant 725 trees!
In addition to this, the Tea Room has maintained a Bullfrog Power membership since 2008. On top of our carbon neutrality, all of the energy that powers the Tea Room comes from renewable sources, instead of fossil fuels. Therefore, we are pumping green electricity back into the grid on behalf or our organization and our customers.
Over the years, we have implemented a wide variety of eco-projects. We are continuously working to better serve our environment and our customers. This timeline highlights some of our environmental milestones as a business.