what we're about

cafeculture.org is an independent, open source effort to catalog sustainable cafes and restaurants to change the culture of the service industry and the public. Australia’s cafe culture is applauded around the world; the shunning of mass-produced Americanized Starbucks culture happened because patrons cared. But consider, future generations will mourn the loss of the Earth – they won’t care about recycling, instead looking in perplexed anger at why single use items were created at all. If a single use coffee cup is the environmental equivilent of smoking, then a plant-based one is a vape.

This model is designed to educate and discourage our collective consumerist mindset. Tolerating single-use plastics within supermarket shelves globally is reprehensible, but changing that starts with keeping sustainability at the forefront of people’s thinking. Educating someone using an everyday visit to their local cafe achieves just that; perhaps leaving them considering other personal actions, or even just increasing their fondness for a certain cafe – that embodies sustainability – as opposed to another.

To be considered sustainable, at a minimum, a cafe must:

  1) Be part of one, but preferrably more, reusable cup networks
    saving cafes more than ~$1500 a month (asusming 20 regulars)

  2) Not use plastic through the course of business.
    because it doesn't biodegrade, ever

  3) Incentivise bringing reusable cups.
    encouraging more people to do so

Here’s information on how to implement this at your local cafe.

Cafes may also increase their ranking through additional actions, including using plant-based cups, stocking boxed water, using fair-trade coffee, being cycle friendly, among many others.

Plastic straws, cutlery, containers, bags and cups shouldn’t need to be discussed; yet we must. Our lust for convenience has created unfathomable amounts of waste which must now come to an end. It might not always be entirely comfortable or as cheap, but we reckon it’ll be fun.

The term ‘circular economy’ is thrown around a lot, which is what changes like these aspire to. Ideal circular economies generate no waste: you bring your own containers to the supermarket, even for drinks; you bring or buy a reusable cup everywhere, such as the cinema; you use shared cutlery and crockery, complete with washing station, at events with food. There are countless possible avenues to make this a reality, but it starts by turning sustainability into the norm, not the outlier.

So, cafeculture seeks to promote good, ease change, and aggressively discourage waste to increase mindfulness of sustainability. When has a top down revolution ever worked? Change starts with you.