Guest Blogger: Matthew Naimi
On this day, every year, people around the planet take time and reflect on the environment. This day is a wonderful celebration of best practices and earth friendly initiatives. It is also a day to talk about endangered species, pollution, and environmental issues. Earth Day is Mother's Day for Mother Earth.... But unlike mom, most people stop thinking about these issues after earth day. Most go back to the bad habits that they were doing before.
Personal responsibility and individual actions can change the world that we live in. Each and every day, we make many decisions that affect the health of the planet... From what we buy, to what we eat, to how we dispose of our waste. If we all just spent a little time viewing these decisions through a greener lens, we can change the world.
Avalon International Breads has made a decision to drastically reduce the amount of waste that they generate. They have been true leaders in the community. They buy from local vendors and use neighborhood services. They make healthy, delicious food with 100% organic flour and are always willing to help local charitable organizations. These are decisions they make that change our local world for the better. This next step will require help from everyone involved to work... and it will work.
Avalon has partnered with Green Safe Products to be the first commercial business to pilot the Safe Return Compost program. All of the cups, plates, bowls and utensils that are served to Avalon customers are petroleum free, annually sustainable, and compostable. These products, along with all food waste, will be collected in a separate waste container. This material will be picked up by Green Safe and safely returned to nature... to a network of farms that will compost the material. All remaining glass, metal, paper, and plastic will be placed in the recycling container.
A commercial compost facility differs from a traditional 'back yard' compost bin by regulating the temperature of the decomposing material. This is achieved by turning the compost to keep the temperature above 85 degrees. The heat generated by the decomposition helps to speed up the breakdown of this material, especially the plant based Green Safe Products that Avalon is using. Currently, the City of Detroit does not have a local commercial compost facility, but there are a few groups working to establish a local facility. What the Safe Return Program is creating, beginning with Avalon, is the collection and transportation infrastructure that can feed these local operations when they are up and running.
Avalon Breads will need the help of all their employees and customers to make this happen. Please take the time to properly dispose of your waste when you are done eating at Avalon. Make this one of your daily decisions that can change the world. Better yet, say "no thanks" to bags and excess packaging at the counter. Bring your own bag or ask for your muffins or cookie without one! Bring your own reusable cup for your coffee.
Many people believe that the garbage bin is the end of the journey for packaging and food waste. With a little effort, Detroit can make the garbage bin the start of the journey back to nature (compost) or back to work (recycle). This journey starts with you.
To truly change the waste stream, from a system that buries or burns our resources to a sustainable system that protects our planet, we need the cooperation and communication of everyone... Businesses. Stadiums. Schools. Citizens. Students. You!
Make a difference. Make every day Earth Day.