31 Jul It’s About More Than Just Great Food at Cider Press Café
At Cider Press Café, we are all about serving mouthwatering, delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes. But while such diets offer many health benefits, they are also friendlier to the environment. Protecting the environment has always been a passion for us at Cider Press Café. After all, how could we prepare such fresh, wonderful vegan meals without a healthy, sustainable environment in which our plant-based foods can grow? This not only includes protecting the air we breathe but our oceans as well.
Cider Press Café is Ocean Allies Certified as Ocean Friendly at the Highest Level
Cider Press Café is certified by the nonprofit Ocean Allies as being an ocean friendly business/restaurant. Ocean Allies is a grassroots community-led effort designed to spark a culture shift away from single-use plastics and towards ocean friendly lifestyles.
They work to marry business and conservation in an easy and practical manner, ensuring this success continues long-term by protecting our marine ecosystems and sustaining resident and tourist enjoyment.
Certification included various levels of which Cider Press met the highest and continues to meet this during random audits. There is no green washing here. We met with the Ocean Allies representative multiple times and received guidance on better products for the environment and education on how our staff can also educate our wonderful customers who also care about protecting the environment. We are committed to being environmentally conscious all the time; not just in the beginning but continually. We are learning new things and embrace that.
Naturally, vegan meals are friendly to our oceans and environments. However, we also only provide paper straws on request, and we do not provide take-out orders in plastic bags or serve beverages in plastic bottles, our take-away containers are compostable and Cider Press Café was also recognized for its energy efficiency choices in lighting and kitchen appliances. We met every criterion available and we can say after all this time this has only saved us money and brought continual good will from our customers. Being eco-friendly certainly has its advantages from a business perspective.
St. Petersburg’s Commitment to Being Ocean Friendly
At first glance, you might not think plastic straws are such a big deal. But in terms of being ocean friendly, plastic straws as anything but. In the U.S., we use more than 500 million plastic straws a day. Though you might think these get recycled, in actuality plastic straws are too light and small, so they often escape recycling machinery. Where do they end up? A large percentage of these straws end up in our oceans, lakes and rivers. And unfortunately, pieces of plastic straws often end up affecting marine wildlife. More than 70 percent of sea birds have been found to have plastic in their stomachs as well as 30 percent of all sea turtles.
The good news is that Cider Press Café and others are doing something about it. Several businesses in the St. Petersburg community have partnered with the city to dramatically reduce the number of plastic straws in the environment. The “No Straws St. Pete” campaign was launched earlier this year and is part of a growing national movement to avoid the use of plastic straws. Cider Press Café is one of the city’s partners along with dozens of other business committed to protecting our oceans and marine wildlife. Hardly imagined as being possible a couple of years ago, various no-straws campaigns are gaining momentum in major cities everywhere.
A Whale of an Effort – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
While our oceans need protecting from plastics and other harmful materials, they also need protection in other ways as well. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, formed in 1977, is committed to end the destruction of ocean habitats and marine species from all causes. Part of Sea Shepherd’s efforts involves publicizing illegal activities that harm our oceans. Specifically, they sponsor the television program, “Whale Wars,” which stars Captain Paul Watson. Captain Paul has been on numerous adventures exposing illegal whaling activities and is likewise dedicated to protecting all marine environments.
Fortunately, we were lucky enough to meet Captain Paul in person! Cider Press Café recently hosted a fundraising event called “Pints with Paul” this past month. Donations went to support the numerous activities that Sea Shepherd pursues in protecting our oceans and marine wildlife all over the planet. From efforts to protect sacred ecosystems like the Galapagos Islands to protecting endangered species of turtles, porpoises, and whales, Sea Shepherd actively strives to create ocean friendly environments. Cider Press Café now proudly flies Sea Shepherd’s flag within its restaurant and continues to support its cause.
Everyone Can Make a Difference
No matter who you are or what business you have, everyone can make good choices that are more ocean and environmentally friendly. Cider Press Café promotes programs like Ocean Conservatory’s “Take 5 for the Turtles” promotion. By performing five simple tasks, our beaches become cleaner and we protect turtle populations at the same time. Cider Press Café also supports Tampa Bay Watch’s clean-up rallies, such as those after the recent Fourth of July celebration. Being active in various community activities is easy and fun. And it makes our world a much more healthy and enjoyable place to be.