Zero Waste Project
What is Zero Waste?
Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices in an attempt to emulate sustainable natural cycles where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others' to use.
Zero Waste Begins at Los Bagels
Our Zero Waste journey started before the catchphrase Zero Waste was common within our community. When the original owners opened Los Bagels, they worked to implement recycling systems within the stores to ensure excess scrap foods were not wasted and instead were given to local livestock as feed. Our coffee grounds are distributed to gardens, and farms within the community. Along with waste diversion, it was substantial to the founders to find local produce and good including working with local agriculture to decrease transportation waste and using wild-caught fish.
In September of 2016, owner Eddie Blakeslee worked with Los Bagels staff and HSU interns to create a much more conscious effort to Zero Waste practices. From production to the packaging used, the store worked to renovate our practices to produce the least amount of waste possible.
“The success of the zero waste project has been huge on two fronts: not only are we diverting trash but it has been a huge team building experience for the staff, the camaraderie and movement we have built among the entire company has been amazing”
-Eddie Blakeslee, Managing Partner
Pre-Consumer Waste: prep scraps, unused dough, and bagels are given to Tule Fog Farm to be used a feed to raise pigs. Without the food scraps, the farm wouldn’t be able to afford to feed them.
Post-Consumer Waste: wax papers, to-go boats, to-go cups, miscellaneous food scraps (excluding meat) are given to the Local Worm Guy to be composted. We also convert left over bagels into bagel chips, and donate to some charitable organizations in need.
Excess Bagels: plain, poppy, sesame, and multigrain are donated to Amy and Steve from Alchemy Distillery to make a bagel whiskey. We focused on streamlining our production to educate and bring waste awareness to our staff. Alchemy Distillery created two barrels of whisky before we eventually ran out of excess bagels for their use, which resulted in success all around.