For us, April 22 ‘Earth Day’ is a reminder to keep doing more. It is about looking at what other ways can we reduce, reuse, and give back to our community. And so, we thought, do we really need all these lights? Probably, not. This month, you may notice a dimmer dining experience at the Market Buffet. No, we are not getting all romantic on you…
Lights generate a lot of energy which translates to waste. So, this April, we are turning off the lights in the North end of restaurant during the bright daylight hours and down in the evening. We are hoping that our customers will fall in love with this new experience, so that we can consider continuing the effort throughout the year.
But caring about the Earth can’t just be about one day! This year we really wanted to reduce our waste. One of the biggest wastes in the food industry is transporting produce thousands of miles to get to our plate. In our cold winters, sometimes this is unavoidable. However; if local produce is available we try to get it to your plate. We are proud of our partnerships with several local producers from Barrie’s brewery Flying Monkey to the sweet summer corn from Chappell Farms. Purchasing local puts money back into our community, ensures the freshest produce (our corn in the summer months is picked the day we cook it), and reduces carbon.
Another culprit of waste – straws. When we looked at our garbage, we found a staggering amount of straws! One straw doesn’t seem like a lot a waste, but in the landfill and our water system, they add up.
In North America alone, there are 5 million straws thrown out EACH DAY. And so, we thought what would happen if we brought drinks to the table without the wasteful plastic straws? Yes, some customers still want their straws, which we will happily provide. But, most happily drink their beverage straw free – and to those people, we thank you for helping us on this mission.
A conversation about waste wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk about food. Buffets are known for their food waste, let’s face it, with all that yummy food sometimes it’s hard to resist putting it on your plate. To minimize waste and satisfy the plate fill temptation-we decided to offer smaller plates. And, anything that you still can’t finish, goes into our food compost creating healthy soil to grow more delicious produce.
However; what about the food left at the buffet? We are thrilled to share that our recent partnership with Second Helping has helped reallocate this food back to the Barrie community. When Second Helping approached us about donating the leftovers, we immediately said yes! Each week, left over buns, salad, meat and dessert are all packaged up and brought to those that need it.
April 22nd is Earth Day – so let’s celebrate as a community by wasting less, reusing more and finding small ways to give back.