Café Vert is a project within the Initiative et Development Citoyen (IDC) organisation. One of the main goals of IDC is to promote sustainable development. Therefore, people within the organisation are always thinking of new ways to accomplish this goal. In 2019, the idea came up to reuse coffee waste since most of it ends up in the regular trash. In fact, we learned about the potential of growing edible oyster mushrooms on spent coffee grounds.
Soon after, we started on a small scale, producing 1kg of oyster mushrooms. After examining and improving the production process, we decided to upscale our production and include local bars, cafés and restaurants in this circular economy project. We started calling the project Café Vert.
Several volunteers within IDC were very interested in being part of this project. In 2020 Robert from Ireland started taking charge of the mushroom making. Robert is still pursuing his fungi passion, but he has found two other members for his mushroom team, Oskar from Belgium and Deimanté from Lithuania. They are continuing the production and optimisation processes with the ultimate goal to give coffee waste new life under the form of tasty oyster mushrooms
The main idea behind this project is to reduce waste, raise awareness and bring a circular economy approach into reality. This project shows that a lot can be done by everybody to reduce our impact on the environment, and it is there to inspire people to take action and show that the world can really be changed by our own actions. It is a simple project that can save tons every year from going to waste, reducing waste management costs for the community and reducing the impact of coffee consumption as well as improving resilience by producing food locally. Moreover, this kind of project is easy to be brought to life.
“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors;
we borrow it from our children”
- Native American Proverb
Leaving the world a better place to live for our children is our biggest motivation. “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” it’s an American Indian proverb that sumarizes very well what’s behind this project. Our plan is to do it through different actions: first of all raising awareness about issues we can have a real impact on, show our real power and inspire other people to take action is the most important goal in our view. Reducing the impact of coffee consumption, improving circularity of the economy and change our consumption habits is another one.