Zero Waste Coffee Date

Fall is right around the corner. The summer is winding down. Peaches and strawberry stands are having their last hurrahs.

Apples and grapes are starting to appear. The air is stagnant and hot waiting for the cool winds of September to blow it all away. I briskly walk 6 blocks to my new favorite place in town LEAF Café.

The walk winds through a park, community gardens, and Victorian homes. I admire colorful shingles, ripening pear trees, eclectic colors, and the same tabby cat who sits in an attic window watching me all 8 times I’ve made the journey.   

I may be addicted. I have managed to go every Saturday and Sunday for the last month, and I don’t even feel bad about it.

The café is quaint with vintage inspiration and an ode to local artists. A chalkboard sign sits out front welcoming you in through large beautiful wooden doors with romantic etched glass cutouts. The inside is bright, cheery and smells divine.... like chocolate chip cookies and coffee.

Raney and Daniella, the chefs, are whipping up magical concoctions and their vegan chocolate chip cookies are even better than mine – a hard thing to admit. Their coffee is delicious. 

I highly recommend the cold brew, but I know Danielle would definitely recommend their excellent tea selection. When we go back I'm going to steal a sip... maybe I'll convert. 

They email or text receipts, encourage you to bring your own containers, they’re vegan/veggie/allergy friendly, and love the idea of zero waste in general.

Their plates are darling. They have several mix and match selections of china all rimmed with silver and different patterns about the edge - adding +15 charm points. LEAF is like a story book I would never like to leave.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Danielle from No Need for Mars. We spent hours chatting about puppies, zero waste, and life in general.

It was wonderful to find a kindred spirit and to indulge in cold brews, iced teas, cakes, cookies, and veggie sandwiches. The only thing better than the food was the company!

Danielle has a radiant smile and a dimple on her right cheek. Her wispy blonde hair beautifully frames her face and clues you in to her bubbly personality. Her passion for zero waste translates all throughout her life.

I loved hearing about all of the things she's trying to implant at her job. We discussed successes, failures, and relished in the fact we both pulled cloth napkins out of our bag.

I love finding neighborhood places that really care about the environment. Our town is a blossoming art community. I can't wait to see more and more places pop up like this.

The brewery downtown is on track to start selling growlers, I recently found a small bulk store 5 minutes from my house, I have a rad butcher, there's a dog boutique with ample bulk treats, and now I have a place to get an amazing cup of joe.

I love seeing this community grow. I'm so excited we get to be a part of the change as we traipse around with mason jars and cloth napkins bringing awareness to the dilemma of waste.

I find business owners to be very open to change. Talk to your local business owners. Explore your area. You probably have places hiding just under your nose! 

I hope we will continue exploring together. I'm sure this is only the first of many more zero waste adventures to come.  

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Check out Danielle here: Blog, Instagram, Facebook

And, Bay Area friends check out LEAF here: Facebook, Twitter

Everything is amazing. EVERYTHING. Go. Right now. This place is a gem. 

Do you have any cool places around your town? What are local businesses doing to reduce their waste? 

How to Prep for Long, Hot Days: Shakespeare in the Park

Summer is winding down, and I still haven't made it to the beach.  Life has been filled with moving, building, and creating. 

I have had the wonderful opportunity to be in another production with Shakespeare in the Park. This year’s touring production is Macbeth. We will be closing Saturday.

Our final stop is the graveyard at the old naval base on Mare Island. It is going to be spectacular. I imagine ghosts popping their heads up, relaxing on their tombstones, and really enjoying the show.  

Photo Cred: Stephen Jacobsen

Photo Cred: Stephen Jacobsen

We've had a fabulous run, and I've had a blast. Each weekend we wake up early and drag ourselves to a new venue. We rearrange the set, fix entrances and exits, and adjust fights.

It's an all-day affair made enjoyable with a rocking cast - plus we get to play with lots of blood.

Photo Cred: Stephen Jacobsen

Photo Cred: Stephen Jacobsen

What's been even more fun is planting some zero waste seeds. Several of us have been carpooling and some cast members have been bringing reusable bottles and stainless plates. Coffee is provided in the morning and I've seen cast members with real mugs. 

The mornings have been relatively cool. I get to traipse three blocks down to the stage manager's house, grab her bottle, and continue my walk to the coffee shop. We've even discovered a pear tree along the way! We're going to try poaching some when they're ripe.

Throughout the run I've spied reusable coffee mugs, water bottles, stainless plates, and cloth napkins. We've been doing a potluck picnic where everyone brings something to share. I've been bringing fruit.

You'll find me at the farmers market at the crack of 8 am to bring fresh, delicious produce wrapped in reusable mesh bags. I've brought grapes, peaches, watermelon, strawberries and blackberries. 

I've been toting along a mini cooler. It's packed with two 32oz mason jars of water, my klean kanteen, a small coffee cup, and a small portion of dried nuts, fruit, and granola.

I have yet to run out of water. It's so important to stay hydrated when you're spending 8+ hours in the sun, and I was really hoping I wouldn't have to use any of the plastic bottles provided.

So far, I've been covered. I also stuff a real knife, fork, two napkins, and two stainless steel plates - one for me and one to share. There's always been a place to wash the dishes, even if it is the bathroom. 

I hope to see even more waste reduction in the future. I can't wait to top this production next year! I'm sure the shows will keep getting better and we'll keep getting greener. 

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