• Sunday, September 11th, 2011

This is the solution to reducing crime and “terrorism” throughout the world. May freedom reign for all.

Source: The Urban Farming Guys

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2 Responses

  1. 1
    Steve Eldon Kerr 

    Hey Mark,

    I am writing on behalf of the Students Society for McGill University. We are currently in the process of setting up a sustainble cafe to open in the future. As part of the sustainability mandate, we are looking to source as much food locally as possible. I was therefore wondering if you would be able to help us by passing on any materialsor experience to us that you think may be of help. We are particularly interested in forming relationships with local farms and farmers throughout all the seasons, and working in tandemmwith green/sustainable organisations to promote locally grown food. We would be grateful for any help or information you could pass on to us, particularly regarding the difficulties of setting up sustainble cafes in Urban areas.
    Longer term we would be happy to form relationships with groups/websites such as yours to co-promote the message of sustainability!
    thanks, I took forward to your reply,

  2. Hi Steve,
    This is a great challenge and exercise for anyone. First, I think you need to define what level of sustainability you wish to achieve. After all, one man’s sustainability is another man’s destruction of the planet. And I am open to whatever you want to do.

    You may want to look at other Universities in the U.S. that have already opened sustainable cafes at Yale and Penn.

    Here are my ideas for what a sustainable cafe would look like:
    1) Locally sourced food (as you already indicated). There are tons of farms nearby. What radius would you buy from? 100 Kms, 10 Km? Go to the Aliments Quebec web site or call them for a huge list of local farmers and food artisans.
    2) Plates and cutlery should not be disposable. For take-out, make sure you have compostable materials. What percentage of waste do you aim to be compostable? You need a compost bin nearby to dispose of the waste.
    3) Furniture and kitchen equipment should be recycled and re-used. Avoid buying new stuff wherever possible. Get second hand equipment like deli cases and refrigerators or get broken equipment and have some engineering students fix it up. Get furniture that is made from recycled materials and created by local artisans. Check out Galerie CO in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood for stuff. If they don’t have anything affordable, ask them where you can get it.
    4) Make it clear to customers that they are in a sustainable cafe and they have a BIG role to play by separating out their compost from waste. Because it’s cool that a few McGill students (like you) are awake and aware when it comes to sustainability, but the real goal should be to get the broader McGill community aware of how their daily actions affect sustainability globally and locally after they leave the cafe and go on with their lives.
    5) Make the space beautiful, light and airy. It should look like a green, environmentally friendly place. The floorings should look like they are “green” and the paint must be non-toxic and sustainably sourced. From this space, you should make it available for McGill environmental groups to hold meetings, public demonstrations of how to compost, and other community events.

    That’s a lot I’ve offered. Let me know if this is helpful.

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