We all know it's a good idea to reduce, reuse, and recycle, because creating less waste isn't just better for the environment — it's easier on the wallet, too. It's hard enough to do that on an individual level, so you can imagine what a challenge it would be for a restaurant to limit its waste, let alone eliminate it entirely.
Well, one Chicago eatery has accepted the challenge, and passed with flying colors. Sandwich Me In enacted a sustainability plan not just designed to reduce waste, but to make obsolete the mere idea of throwing away food.
Owner and operator Justin Vrany personally ensures that any waste the restaurant creates receives the proper disposal: biodegradable materials get composted, cardboard goes to recycling, and so forth.
After two years, Sandwich Me In had produced eight gallons of waste; that's what an average restaurant throws out in a single hour. Faced with this existential dilemma, Vrany gave the waste to an artist for a sculpture project, officially making the sandwich shop a zero-waste establishment.
In addition to its garbage policies, Sandwich Me In also operates on renewable energy and uses local, sustainable meat. The best part? All of the sandwiches cost less than $10, which goes to show that these policies don't have to break the bank.
Watch this short video from NationSwell to see how the restaurant manages to achieve what most people think is impossible.
What an inspiration!