jude par Jude

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Roll

My brother Jesse went to Humber College for film. In first year he made a film called The Roll. It is presently featured on YouTube's comedy page. It's got over 85,000 hits so far! Let's bring him over 100 thousand!

Friday, January 26, 2007

This is the letter I got back from the owner of Lettuce Eatery:

Dear Julia,

Thank you for your email. We appreciate your constructive criticism, as well as your kind words and favorable ratings. Naturally, we’re disappointed to hear that you’re going to stop eating at Lettuce Eatery.

I’d like to try and respond to some of your specific frustrations.

1. The Health and Safety Procedures around covering items in the refrigerator and using new containers for every order are policies dictated by Toronto Public Health, which we follow, as responsible restaurant operators.

2. You’re right – you shouldn’t be forced to take a bag/fork/napkin if you don’t want one. We’ll make our team more sensitive to this.

3. We currently use the salad lid and ticket system as our most operationally efficient way of documenting an order and keeping the line flowing, however, are currently working on paper/pen free options to be launched and tested at our 5th location (opening this spring). If it’s successful, we’ll be rolling it out company wide.

4. As you’ve mentioned, other companies do produce more waste than Lettuce Eatery, however, we are constantly looking for ways to minimize ours, and your email has provided some great suggestions. I would welcome an opportunity to meet you and discuss “greener” solutions more extensively, as this clearly seems to be an area you are passionate about.

5. Our new shaking method is based on 6 months of research at one of our other locations, where we use significantly less dish soup and water waste compared to stores that still toss salads with a bowl and tong. Since this point wasn’t clear to you, it may not be clear to others, and we’ll post a note in the restaurant with a better explanation around this new process.

We hope you will continue to monitor our progress as we set goals for our company. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly, should you have any other thoughts/suggestions.

All the best,
Matthew Corrin

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lettuce Eatery, I am disappointed.

I sent the following to one of my fave lunch spots, Lettuce Eatery, today:

In the past I have always enjoy my Lettuce Eatery salads and have recommended them to many of my friends. Today I am afraid that this will have to stop.

I have always been a little sensitive about the fact that Lettuce uses so much plastic and produces so much waste in salad production. Every salad regardless of eat-in or take-out status comes in a disposable container and lid. This is unnecessary! Why do I not have the option of an eat-in reusable bowl? Why do I need a lid to carry my food for three feet to a table? I understand that the staff uses the lid to keep track of the order, but they ALSO use a sheet of paper for the same task. This paper is then tossed in the garbage can instead of a small recycling receptacle. When I take lunch late and arrive when the staff is refilling the veggie trays I’m a little saddened when I see that each container is filled in advance and then sealed with plastic wrap which goes into the trash. On several occasions I have met with confusion when I refuse a bag and a plastic fork at the cash. Once I was told “Oh, it’s ok.” No, it’s not ok! Many companies have instituted a “Do you need a bag?” question as part of the cashier’s lingo. Perhaps you'll consider this? Don’t get me wrong. I reuse my Lettuce bags and containers all the time. My husband and I have quite a little collection going! They’re wonderful. We reuse them over and over again. When they start to get misshapen they go in the recycling. I am pleased that they are code 1. I don’t often remember to bring them back to the store, though. Many companies offer a small discount (10 cents usually) to customers who bring their own bags or coffee cups, etc. Perhaps a similar incentive would help lower your costs and aid in your waste reduction?

All of this leads up to my experience today. I ordered my salad and then while waiting to pay I noticed that the staff was foregoing the mixing bowls and was now tossing each salad in a PLASTIC BAG!! Every salad (most customers are take-out l believe) now creates:
-a large plastic bowl
-a plastic lid
-a sheet of paper which goes into the garbage
-a plastic bag for tossing
-a plastic bag for carrying
-a plastic fork
and a thermal paper receipt (thermal paper is generally non-recyclable, but at the location I visit it goes into the garbage anyway.)

I find this unacceptable.

I know your company does not make any comments towards being “green”, but after wearing skirts into mid-January I am finding myself more and more conscious not only of my choices but of the choices made by companies that I have put my money into or who’s praises I have sung in the past.

Yes, I am aware that there are many other companies that produce more waste than Lettuce. Yes, I am aware that if I take my bowl home I can recycle it (the containers used by eat-in diners end up in the garbage along with napkins, forks and food stuffs.) I am not looking for any explanations about why you do any of these things. I just wanted to point it out and I wanted to voice my disappointment in a company that I have come to love so very much.

I hope that in the future there will be more green options offered by Lettuce. Paper bags, reusable eat-in bowls and a more rigorous cash desk recycling program are just a few easy ways to start.

Thank you for listening to my rant, I’ll climb down off of my environmental soap box and eat what I think will have to be my last Lettuce Eatery salad. :(

Thank you,
-Julia MacMillan

Was that too preachy? I tried to sound fair and rational. I pretty much stood in horror watching them throw out bag after bag after bag while making salads. When I got to the cash I was so frazzled that I tried to hand the cashier my gloves instead of my debit card. Yeesh! WAKE UP PEOPLE! We all have to make better choices both at home and at work. Using energy efficient bulbs is one thing, but we also have to get the companies we do business with to step up to the plate!!