Going Green

Silver Tips is going green. And so is the rest of the world, from the looks of it. There were articles on this subject in the current issue of Gourmet News, Specialty Coffee Retailer and Specialty Food Magazine. It's as if there's a tipping point and suddenly, it's everywhere. When we opened our Tea Room eight years ago, we had to explain Tea to the average consumer. Now, they explain it to us! Similarly, we were ahead of the curve in our advocacy of organic and sustainable issues. Now, we are joined by many who believe in the same cause.

First, let me tell you where Silver Tips is headed. Partnering with Con Ed, our local utility company, we have started changing our light bulbs to energy-efficient ones. This will be our first, big initiative. Next, we will change out our cleaning supplies to green products. This will include an environmentally-friendly glass cleaner for our tabletops, the lack of which has bothered me for 8 years! We will definitely change over to greenware in our take-out containers, our only offending polystyrene foam item now in our tearoom. Our paper products will be next, an area which offers the most choice in items. Interestingly, just about every hot paper cup has coffee imagery all over it with very few suitable for Tea! Last week, we painstakingly researched and ordered a case of beautiful 4 oz. sample cups with a green botanical pattern. What we received was a case of cups with a tan background, a picture of a coffee cup and coffee beans all over it! We are discovering that this industry is still in its infancy and that this is a journey we must begin with whatever tools are available. We find incongruities everywhere - hot cups are available but not lids. Plastic cups are available but recommended for dry goods, not liquid.

We'll keep you posted as we make some of these early changes. Next, we may even partner with CarbonFund.org to bump it up another notch! Help us go green. Give us ideas. Participate.

 Feb 22, 2008


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