Using quotes relating to the environmental impact of our purchases is nice, but it doesn't tell you a lot about our approach ... As we have nothing to hide, here is a non-exhaustive list of our efforts to reduce the impact of our restaurant. Do you have any ideas that we might have missed? Let us know!
And since we wouldn't dare sharing information without sources, you can find them at the bottom of this page :)
Our approach to reduce our environmental impact
ALL our products are from organic farming (some in transition). Scientific reports are clear *, eating local will not be enough to significantly reduce our impact. ( also, local pesticides, are not better for your health ...) The restaurant has been vegetarian since its conception, and has been vegan since the beginning of 2021, the impact of our plates is therefore automatically far lesser than that of a restaurant with an equivalent offer using animal proteins *
No bottled water whatsoever, filtered still or sparkling water is available for free. We want to avoid unnecessary transport of bottles and we say no to the sale of a vital resource for benefit
Fruits and vegetables
ALL of our vegetables are organically grown (some come from foraging in the nearby mountains) and come from less than 25 km around the restaurant. For the fruits, most are from Isère, but the climatic hazards being more and more regular and violent, and the organic fruit sector having dire needs of development in Isère, we have to expand to the nearby department of Drôme, or sometimes further away, but never further away than mainland France. (except for our citrus fruits which are from Corsican or Italian organic farming)
We strive to work as much as possible with local producers and local businesses. Organic farming in Isère has some deficiencies (which are gradually being reduced), especially in cereals and seeds, which forces us to bring certain products from a little further. Our purchasing priority always follows the following logic: Isère, then Rhône Alpes, then France, and as a last resort, Europe.
Full transparency: European origin labeling laws being what they are, we (very rarely) buy products that are supposed to be French, Spanish or Italian, but are actually just packaged or processed in these countries, and the real origin is outside Europe (such as for example a dozen different olive oils that we believed to be European when ordering, actually turn out to be from Tunisian olives...). However, we are very careful with the labels and do not repurchase these products.
The 5 exceptions
The only products coming from afar are all from organic farming and fair trade. These five products are: chocolate, which is supplied to us by Kaoka, an exemplary supplier in their environmental and social approach.
Coffee (flagship product of our 5 exceptions, which goes so far as to be inscribed in our name and identity). Michel comes from Colombia and knows the difficulties that coffee growers go through, so it was unthinkable to work on anything else than the best coffee (in the social, ethical, environmental, AND quality sense), which is why we only offer organic and fair trade specialty coffee. Our cafes pay fairly the coffee growers and all have labels to prove it. In addition, Loutsa (our main supplier) strives to work with exemplary suppliers like Roasters united or Belco. They are involved in several social projects in regions operated by their partner coffee growers. They are all organic because coffee is one of the main consumers of pesticides in the world and the ecological impact is just as important as the social impact for us. You will sometimes notice some coffees that pass by the restaurant do not (yet) have the organic label, as they are in the process of transition. Their coffee is purchased at organic or biodynamic prices by our suppliers during the transition period to finance the label and prevent its economic burden from falling on coffee growers.
Sugar. From fair trade and organic farmers.
Spices, we work with two exceptional organic spice suppliers, Place des épices and épices de Shira who both go out of their way to gather only the best spices and make sure their suppliers are able to live from their trade.
The tea is supplied to us by Jardins de Gaïa, their approach is exemplary in the world of tea.
You will have noticed that we have a lot of plants. To avoid them having an impact on our water consumption, they only drink recycled water. The leftover water of water bottles that you have not finished, the water for washing and cooking the vegetables (which we have not seasoned since 2019 in order to be able to recover it, and because the salt water in the waterways is not without consequences either) are all gathered in a collection tray that we use to give drink to all of our plants. This allows us to recycle around 90 liters of water per week in summer (we keep less in winter since plants drink less in this period)
All of our furniture comes from recycling, upcycled products, or as a last resort, PEFC or fsc wood from Chartreuse or France.
From the greens to the roots
Since the opening we strive to use all the edible parts of our vegetables. No edible parts go in the trash without having served before a purpose in one way or another. (and for total transparency, we are unfortunately not perfect, we (very rarely) do not have time to process certain products and have to throw them in the compost without having been able to use them)
Sorting our waste
It seems obvious in Grenoble, but when you leave the region you quickly realize that this is not the case everywhere ... We sort all of our waste. Most of our waste is organic waste (compost). We try to give a second life to what we can (all the packaging protections of the products that we receive go to our ceramists so that they can in turn re use them to ship their ceramics i.e.) We avoid as much as possible plastic packaging and give preference to products packaged in compostable materials since we are aware that a lot of our waste in the recycling bin will never actually be recycled, and we believe that composting packaging is better than incinerating it or it ending on a landfill)
We inherited it from the previous owner, and we learned that the moment where it has the most impact is at the end of its life, we decided to keep it. It is only used when the announced temperatures exceed 30 °. This use allows us, among other things, to extend the lifespan of all our refrigeration equipment which is not designed to withstand a heatwave in Grenoble like that of the last 3 years. Without air conditioning, we would have already had breakdowns on half of our refrigeration equipment (try to make an appointment in Grenoble in summer with a professional refrigeration equipment repairer, you'll have a laugh ...)
No napkins on the table
We couldn't make it two months after opening systematically offering napkins in organic and fair trade fabric embroidered by Claire at the table. We quickly noticed that most of the napkins were unfolded, but not used. Sad to have to wash perfectly clean towels, we decided to stop offering them at the table. You will find napkins in strategic places around the tables, available if needed. The impact of this decision? 60% less towels to wash (if you are not very invested in ecology, or your impact, that also makes 60% less laundry and time spent on them ...)
All our cleaning products are certified by several organizations. We try to use the simplest possible products while respecting hygiene standards.
When we offer take-out, it's in reusable, returnable containers. Any paper bags are fully compostable and recyclable, the coffee cups are also fully compostable
We do our best to manage the portions you find on your plates as best as possible to limit the amount of waste. We weighed the leftovers on your plates over a month at the end of each service. We had an average of 27g of leftovers for every 32 guests, or 0.84g per person (the reality is that most trash comes from one or two plates, from one or two guests). We are aware that a month is not a huge sample, but we always use the same bin to collect the leftovers from the plates before going to the compost, and the volume has been constant since we have been monitoring (mid 2020).
The napkins are organic and fair trade cotton, embroidered by Claire.
The hand towels are in organic and fair trade cotton or linen.
The aprons are in organic and fair trade cotton, embroidered by Claire. (soon, the new ones will be in organic and fair trade cotton and recycled plastic from the sea)
The clothes are in organic and fair trade cotton or from thrift stores. (recycled plastic safety shoes from plastic bottles)
(soon) the chef jackets are in organic cotton and recycled plastic from the sea
Sources on the difference between a meat and vegan diet:
Report towards a low carbon diet - WWF
Why is meat so bad for the planet? - The world
Environmental impacts of food - ADEME
To quote just them..
Sources for the need to consume on the very least organic products (the ideal being agroforestry) :
Environmental impacts of food - ADEME
An agroecological Europe in 2050 - IDDRI
Environment & agriculture, The key figures. 2018 Edition - GENERAL COMMISARIAT FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT