Old cups, tea bags, straws, to-go containers, napkins, paper filters and more have all been swapped out for plant-based, compostable alternatives. This includes the addition of about eight, neon-green “Go-Zero” trash bins where the business disposes most of its day-to-day waste product. Used tea leaves and coffee grounds from the day are also disposed of in the bins, giving off an almost pleasant coffee smell in the evening, said passerby, Josh Fries, as he took an evening stroll through South Park.
The bins are collected by a local compost courier, are processed and then the compost product is used throughout the Dayton-area in many different ways. After a few weeks of practicing zero waste, Ghostlight employee Will Flora said his manager brought in a bag of the shop’s composted waste and the staff was thrilled.
“Even just one coffee shop changing has a really big impact,” Flora said. “A lot of the stuff we had wasn’t even recyclable because of the wax lining (inside to-go cups) that our city’s facilities can’t break down.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Doing as much as they can to bring their vision of zero waste to fruition, Ghostlight has been encouraging patrons to bring back the shop’s to-go cups at each next visit to put in the bins. In a Wednesday morning Instagram post, the shop said it estimated that it could save 80,000-100,000 plastic utensils, cups, lids and straws from being sent to local landfills this year with the new initiative.