Saturday, August 9, 2008

On Waste: Something To Be Proud Of

In building the bakery business at Four Worlds, I have been obsessed with waste. Or really, obsessed with optimizing the lack of waste. It's not just financial. For me it's a moral and ethical requirement that my business is contributing little to the problems of our modern way of living.

So last Monday, after the "soft" opening party, I took out my trash for the first time since moving to the new bakery. One bag in nealy a month of operations. In addition, I generate one blue recycling container every two weeks, and one or two 5-gallon buckets of compost a week.

The hardest aspect of my waste system is controlling the amount of unsold bread. Despite pressure to keep bread "on the shelf," to sell it, I have stubbornly insisted on freezing unsold loaves immediately on the day they are baked; then offering the frozen loaves for sale at a discount. This way it's it is possible for me to operate the bakery without throwing away any finished product at all: unheard of in the bakery business.

I started putting products taken out of the freezer on the display shelves at the bakery. So look for them and know by buying the breads from the freezer, you are making a difference in controlling waste and getting a big discount in the process. Of course, it's never as good as a fresh loaf baked the day you eat it. But it's still pretty darn good.

And thank you Tim for taking the picture of my first garbage disposal. May I oneday reach the point of zero waste.

1 comment:

aimee said...

i didn't know you had a blog! just thought you had a website. looks like things are coming along nicely with the bakery, with a lot of hard work i'm sure!