As one of the largest ocean based towns in East Devon, Exmouth has always been proactive in it’s eco-responsibilities and in recognising the part it has to play in protecting not only the immediate environment but the longer term environmental picture.
With no shortage of eco-news and increasingly unhappy news about our oceans and local waterways, we want to instead champion the local groups and hospitality providers determined to make a difference, however small, to the impact we as a local community and the people that visit our corner of the world, have on it’s survival.
Eco-friendly Cafes, Bars & Restaurant Champions in Exmouth
This café bar and restaurant would prefer you to refuse straws but in case you need one, or would really like one, they offer plant based 100% biodegradable straws on the bar. These might look like green plastic but in fact biodegrade in the normal waste to nothing in the space of just over 12 weeks.
Takeaway hot drinks are offered in 100% plant-based compostable cups, which in industrial composting and food waste recycling, cease to exist in 3 months. Hot drinks can also be popped in your own reusable cup if you ask. Teabags are used, from Brew Tea Company and are 100% plastic and staple free corn-starch bags.
Collect a bucket from behind the bar, return it to them full of beach waste and plastic and you’ll get a free hot drink on them!
The Point Bar & Grill choose as many products as they can – fresh and bar products – that are produced or grown close to home, so it’s really fresh and food miles are kept low. They also carefully consider the origin of their product, and in particular choose outdoor reared pork from Kenniford Farm, and grass-fed meats from Pipers Farm including burgers and their regular pie specials!
Working with Devon Contract Waste, The Point Bar & Grill are using a Zero to Landfill waste collection where the food/compostable element of the waste heads to local Langage Farm to be utilised in their anaerobic digestion facility, providing heat, energy and fertilisers for the farm. In addition, all paper provided in the restaurants amenities is 100% recycled.
Having moved to paper straws in 2017, this season this restaurant would prefer customers to refuse the straw completely but in case one is needed, they offer paper straws when asked.
The restaurant use teabags supplied by Devonshire Tea who offer bespoke blends of high-grade tea from ethical estates, packed in the UK into ‘stitched’ teabags without plastic or staples.
Coffee comes from The Fresh Coffee Company who support Surfers Against Sewage and give a percentage of sales to the charity. The Fresh Coffee Company also do sponsored beach cleans in partnership with customers providing free coffee for all people involved and a raffle prize of nice coffee bits and pieces.
Working with Devon Contract Waste, The River Exe Café recycle all that they return to shore and are using a Zero to Landfill waste collection where the food element of the waste heads to local Langage Farm to be utilised in their anaerobic digestion facility, providing heat, energy and fertilisers for the farm.
This café would prefer you to refuse straws but in case you need one, or would really like one, they have stainless steel straws for your use and for sale.
Takeaway hot drinks are offered in Eco-Cups, 100% plant-based compostable cups – and hot drinks can also be popped in your own reusable cup if you ask, with a discount!
Deb Quine, who is the owner of this café in Manor Gardens is registered, waiting confirmation, as a Community Leader with Surfers Against Sewage and hopes to work towards a plastic free Exmouth working with some of the other groups in town.
Deb’s son, Todd is the ambassador for The Final Straw Devon. To book Todd to come and talk to your school please contact Shaun or Jessie at The Final Straw Devon.
A new venture and sister café at Orcombe Point for Bumble & Bee offering solely compostable packaging and recycled products – with no plastic straws or bottles!
Takeaway hot drinks are offered in eco-cups, 100% plant-based compostable cups – and hot drinks can also be popped in your own reusable cup if you ask, with a discount!
Litter grabbers and buckets available. For a small refundable deposit, grab a bucket and litter picker and return it to the kiosk for free ice cream little ones.
As well as being passionate about health and wellbeing, the Infusion Cafe believe in stewarding the environment with honour and care about sustainability.
All their furniture is re-cycled or up-cycled and they are committed to using eco-friendly products ranging from cleaning fluids to pure essential oils in their air-fresheners and bio-degradable, re-cycled paper/PLA plastic products.
These guys would prefer you to not use a straw but have 100% full biodegradable available should anyone need one.
Takeaway hot drinks are offered in eco-cups, 100% biodegradable and compostable cups – and hot drinks can also be popped in your own reusable cup if you ask, with a discount!.
All other takeaway drinks are in cans, except water which does, at the moment, come in a plastic bottle. However, they have signed up to #RefillDevon.
The chain’s fish in the main comes from the fisheries of the South West. It is considered one of the most well managed fisheries in the UK. Where fish cannot be sourced locally, Rockfish only use MSC fish sourced from Norway so that the fish you are served comes from sustainable sources. To learn more about MSC and sustainability click here.
Rockfish are proud to have joined the #RefillDevon campaign in providing free tap water to all! Rockfish Exmouth’s tap is situated on the front right of the restaurant.
The Proper Fish & Chip Company only use MSC fish meaning the fish you are served comes from sustainable sources.
All of the packaging and wrapping at The Proper Fish & Chip Company is either fully recyclable or biodegradable. Straws are not offered with drinks and all cutlery offered in-house is wooden – not plastic.
Working with Devon Contract Waste, The Proper Fish & Chip Company are using a Zero to Landfill waste collection where the food element of the waste heads to local Langage Farm to be utilised in their anaerobic digestion facility, providing heat, energy and fertilisers for the farm. These guys phased out single use plastic bottle drinks in 2017 too!
This restaurant would prefer you to refuse straws but in case you need one, or would really like one, they do have, when asked, plant based 100% biodegradable straws. All of the packaging and wrapping used by The OddFellows for their Deliveroo deliveries is biodegradable.
The OddFellows choose as many products as they can that are produced and grown close to home, so it’s really fresh and food miles are kept low. They also consider the animal welfare in their products working on the basis that all animals who give up their lives to feed us should be given the care and respect they deserve. A beginning that allows time in the sun and freedom to play and a quick, calm end.
Eco-friendly Groups in Exmouth
The Final Straw Devon
You may see posters around our town and in cafes, restaurants and bars with The Final Straw Devon logo. An Exmouth based action group, and campaigners headed by Shaun and Jessie.
Using Straws at a catalyst the groups objective and vision is to get your every day person thinking more consciously about their use of single use plastic.
As well as offering talks in local schools for children age 5-11, The Final Straw are approaching Exmouth, Exeter and wider Devon establishments to discuss with them the disadvantages of single use plastics in their businesses, ask them to wherever possible stop supplying plastic straws to their customers and offering solutions for alternatives.
They recognize that in some cases people are physically unable to drink without a straw and offer advice and suggestions as to how to handle this situation. The long term aim is to also be able to fund alternatives for school children who need a straw.
The Final Straw also have a local young ambassador Todd Quine, age 11, who as well as regularly doing his own #minibeachclean with friends is supporting both Shaun and Jess in their activities in local schools, presenting information to his peers about single use plastics, the damage they do and what we can all do to help.
Todd was recently nominated as an Every Day Hero in The Happy Newspaper for his work with The Final Straw. There is a copy – or two – in Bumble & Bee Café in Manor Gardens.
If you’d like a Final Straw Devon poster showing your commitment to this initiative – for straws and more – please contact Shaun or Jess via their Facebook page.
Rhubarb & Runner Beans
Local Exmouth blogger with a passion for all things eco with, amongst other things, a goal to reduce her rubbish to almost nothing!
Sarah started off being a regular, mainstream type of parent but began to reflect on what being a parent meant to her and what she felt her role could be. This led her to change some of the things she considered ‘normal’ and challenge herself to push those boundaries.
Forever a keen recycler and lover of the planet she went on to rev it up a gear and became determined to reduce the amount of rubbish her family threw away – and now even takes home the little plastic pots of butter when eating out, just to make sure they are recycled! And before refusing a straw was big news, Sarah was always making sure she asked for no straw when ordering a drink, preferring to carry metal straws for her own use, and ensuring she never left the house without her reusable coffee cup for fear of needing a caffeine fix and being unprepared!
Her blog post How I reduced our rubbish to (almost) nothing (well about a 10th full every 3 weeks, but that’s not so catchy!!) can be found on her website along with other useful links and posts.
The UK wide Transition initiative attempts to provide a blueprint for communities to enable them to make the change from a life dependent on oil to one that functions without, to consider Peak Oil and Climate Change – and works on the basis that if we wait for government to act on issues such as climate change we’ll be waiting until hell freezes over; and if we only act as individuals, that’s too little.
So it’s working together as communities where the real change will happen. Transition is ground up, it’s about people doing the work for themselves. The culture and mindset has to change first.
Transition Exmouth mission statement is “to strengthen the community’s response to climate change, inequality and shrinking supplies of resources, including energy, water and land, by building long-term town resilience and reducing carbon emissions.”
The resulting coordinated range of projects in Exmouth, looks across all areas of life and leads to a collectively designed energy descent pathway and works toconsider and act on two crucial points:
- That we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and that there’s no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope
- If we collectively plan and act early enough there’s every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today.
The group meet regularly on the first Thursday of each month, when a 29 Minute talk is followed by a Green Drinks social evening at the Park Inn on Exeter Road, Exmouth. All welcome.
Organised and co-ordinated by Roger Gibson, this is a project in its early stages with the aim is to rid Exmouth of its litter one street at a time.
You can do this by adopting your own street and, together with neighbours, committing to keeping it as free of litter as possible. For more information and updates see their Facebook page.
Since 2009, Exmouth has been a designated Fairtrade Town, one of 8 in Devon, 9 if you include Brixham which officially falls under the Torbay local authority though not Devon.
This accreditation is given by The Fairtrade Foundation and recognizes the support of the local council, the number of outlets and catering establishments selling and using Fairtrade products, and the work of the local steering Group in support of the work of the Foundation.
The Fairtrade Mark is an internationally recognised sign of an inspection regime and a system for more just trade. Summarised as ‘not charity’ and ‘not conservation’ but a system which results in a fair and sustained price for the commodity or product plus a ‘social premium’ paid annually to the co-operative of the producers, based on the volume of goods traded.
The Fairtrade Foundation and several companies who supply Fairtrade products are working toward #plasticfree packaging and products by the end of 2018, including the Co-Operative stores who are one of the largest stockists of Fairtrade products in Exmouth.
Exmouth Fairtrade’s website which contains information about local stockists, events and how to get involved, can be found here.
Regular beach cleans are run by a group for anyone interested in Exmouth’s beaches. For information and dates about beach cleans, please see their Facebook page. The main contact is Sal Regan.
Surfers Against Sewage
By guest writer Serenity VA
Serenity VA provides business support and marketing services to small businesses and individuals, together with business coaching (including all things eco!) to clients across the UK. Serenity VA is also the sole UK distributor for Koffie Straw, a 100% silicone bendy eco-straw that can be used by all, including the less abled community.
Further general tips and hints about how to reduce plastics in your small business can be found in Alison’s blog which hi-lights just a few Ideas for Reducing Plastic in your Small Business. Alison will be writing guest posts for Visit Exmouth on a regular basis. Please contact her for more information – and any further contributions to Eco-Exmouth.