A key component of our ethos at the Island Cafe is looking after the environment. We do so in a number of ways from constructing our patio furniture out of recycled wood, to our compost heap. We try to avoid single use plastic: our Popsicle wrappers, labels, and all of our take out materials are made from compostable materials. In our attempt to reduce waste, we’ve implemented a four-level system of waste-management. The four levels are as follows:
The Best Compost – kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, fruit peel, and garden waste — this goes direct into our composers for the garden. Each year we fill approximately two to three cubic metres of this compost to feed back into our gardens.
The Next Best Compost – all the food scraps from our patio and meat scraps from the kitchen along with compostable takeaway containers go into city of toronto green bins. We fill nine bins per week.
Blue Box – City of Toronto has allowed a few more items into the blue box program which has reduced our garbage further. Our bulk buying means virtually all non-reusable material is recyclable.
Finally, Garbage – we now produce so little actual trash that we often have no bins to put out to the street every other week.
We also promote local and green eating! Below is coverage of the Kale Project found in Ground magazine.
In issue 38, Summer 2017, The Commons, Lorraine Johnson, author of CITY FARMER: ADVENTURES IN URBAN FOOD GROWING and editor of Ground explores what "ethics of sharing" and what our kale garden does for the Island community.
In 2018 owner Maura McIntyre created an installation of plastics collected from a few beach walks over the winter. Though beautiful, this installation is a harrowing reminder of the impact we humans have on our environment. To learn more about the ways in which Canadians abuse plastics, check out this Globe and Mail article by Céline Cousteau from June 2018.