When we first started Native, the whole idea was based on who we are, where we are from and what’s around us. We’re a socially responsible bar because it’s the right thing to do, not to win awards. It’s important to us because we’re in the F&B scene, which is one of the biggest waste contributors.
We choose to use solar energy at Native, which is more expensive, but totally worth it. We work with a solar energy startup that harvests solar energy that goes directly to our power lines. Initially, we started at 50%, then 75%, and now we’re 100% solar-powered. It would be nice to see other establishments taking up initiatives like this. At the same time, we recognise that we still have air-conditioning, which is bad for the environment. It’s an ongoing battle. We really have to be patient, because it’s not going to change overnight.
“I believe sustainable bartending is here to stay, but it will eventually evolve into something that becomes the norm”
When we look at an ingredient, our goal is to use every part of it. Being zero-waste forces you to be extra creative because you start to work in ways that you didn’t think were possible. Everything from pickling and fermenting to making a cordial or infusion – there’s so much more in your arsenal.
Aside from foraging and recycling, we also do our own composting – which goes into our garden – and try not to waste anything. On average, our trash output after composting is 30 grams a month.
There’s a whole younger generation coming into the industry and they want to do something about the way the world is. They’re more interested in sustainability and how they can contribute to the cause. In the bartending scene, the White Lyan guys were some of the first to champion zero-waste and sustainable bartending and they’ve done a lot to raise awareness.
Globally, people are looking at and valuing things differently. I believe sustainable bartending is here to stay, but it will eventually evolve into something that becomes the norm. Instead of always shouting about it, it’ll become something we’re used to – the new normal. It’s all about having the right mentality.
This article was originally published in the August 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine.