Café Habana

25 نوفمبر
2010

Café Habana was founded by Sean Meenan, well known for his eco-driven lifestyle. Café Habana’s owner is also responsible for the creation of a coloring book titled “Alternative Heroes”. This restaurant is classified as an eco-eatery. The plates are utensils are made of compostable materials like potatoes, sugarcane, and corn. Toilets are flushed with harvested rainwater. The door is recycled from a Latin American monastery. The smoothies are made from a bike-powered blender. The roof is made up of solar panels. Even Sean Meenan’s 1965 Lincoln convertible was converted to run on discarded cooking oil. Not only does the restaurant use sustainable means themselves, but they educate customers and the community about sustainability. While waiting in the restaurant, servers talk about sustainable methods. They also offer weekend programs of arts and crafts for kids. The only time the restaurant uses electricity is, of course, when solar-powered roofs don’t provide energy. Only on cloudy or rainy days does Café Habana use other sources of power. Even then, however, things like a bike-powered blender can be used. Toilets can still be flushed with harvested rainwater. After speaking to a worker from Café Habana, we were able to go more in-depth into the workings of this eco-eatery and discover how much they do in fact promote sustainable methods. Not only do they reach out to their customers, but Café Habana participates in a number of expositions to promote sustainable means of living. At the Earth Day Expo, they work with local businesses and teach others about composting and gardening. Habana Outpost in particular, boasts a thriving business, bringing the community together in more ways than one in their Outpost Market, where local designers and artists unite in a colorful experience.

The negotiations that we’ve chosen to focus on are profit vs. environment and waste vs. recycle. The purpose of the profit vs. environment negotiation is that, instead of a focus on earning the largest profit possible, there is the consideration of things such as discounting items that are made by the customer through sustainable means that allows for a eco-friendly environment. Also, the capital spent at the beginning of the project is greater than the average. In the case of a typical restaurant, the amount of money utilized at the start is less because instead of considering a more “green” energy source, they focus purely on future profits, not thinking of the money that could be saved in using a renewable source of energy such as solar power.  In place of a more traditional means of energy, Café Habana supports itself with its solar powered roof, offering excess energy to its neighbors and saving money on electricity.

Our second negotiation is waste vs. recycle. Obviously this topic is gaining momentum in the world today. Now, people are trying to move away from simply throwing things away and moving towards recycling products. In the spirit of “going green”, Nike created a soccer jersey made of old plastic bottles. In fact, nine World Cup teams were wearing uniforms made of recycled bottles. Just as Sean Meenan has converted his car to run on recycled cooking oil from his restaurant, people are now in search of new ways to recycle and reduce their carbon footprint on the world, and Café Habana is leading these people forward. Instead of disposable plastic utensils, they use compostable materials. Although these are much more expensive for the average person, Café Habana buys them in bulk, making it more cost-effective for them and, once again, making Café Habana more eco-friendly.

3 تعليقات to Café Habana

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Architechtures

ديسمبر 2nd, 2010 at 6:40 م

I think that this is a very cool concept and idea. The only question that I have is if you think that this idea would be something that will continue to last or is it just a place that people will hear about, go to for the experience, but then never go again – something like a tourist attraction? Would this be enough to keep this place open for years to come or will it eventually flop? Or do you think that even if it does become a tourist attraction, that it will have so many constant new visitors with a few returning to stay open? -Chris (Architechtures)

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Old Skool

ديسمبر 7th, 2010 at 11:58 م

I agree I think this is also an awesome idea. But I agree will they be able to compete with large scale restaurants that cut their costs by not being environmentally friendly. I know that especially in today’s business world most businesses will choose the maximized profit over being environmentally friendly. Also, how is the owners business? Does he have a constant flow of business or does it come and go?
Chris – (Oldschool)

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TheBTeam

ديسمبر 15th, 2010 at 2:48 م

Both Chris’s bring up interesting points. Café Habana has a unique premise, but can it really compete with other restaurants that are not eco-friendly? In the end, people go to restaurants for how tasty the food is, not how environmentally-friendly it is.

Another interesting point is, can Café Habana’s eco-friendly standards be implemented at a larger scale? This could be with other Café Habana locations or with the green standards being implemented at other restaurants. Of course, this question also brings up the negotiation of profit vs. environment, as stated in the post. Are other restaurants willing to lose profit in order to be green?

-Krista

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