Going green becomes a Habit

Coffee shop makes it a policy to be carbon neutral

Habit makes it a policy to be carbon-neutral.

Habit makes it a policy to be carbon-neutral.

Coffee shop makes it a policy to be carbon neutral

In downtown Victoria, you can’t take two steps without passing a coffee house. And while the aroma of fresh roast can easily draw you inside, Habit Coffee hopes their “carbon neutral” policy will also make you feel good about coming back time and again.

It all started after Shane Devereaux opened Habit Coffee’s first location in Chinatown in late 2006.

“We saw how much stuff we were throwing away,” Devereaux says, “and thought that there had to be a way to divert [our garbage].” That’s where Jill Doucette of Synergy Enterprises came in.

Synergy Enterprises is a local consulting firm that specializes in creating viable plans for businesses to become more environmentally friendly.

“We teamed up to create a program to divert as much [waste] as we could and to look at every aspect of our business,” says Devereaux, “and figure out how we can do it with less impact on the environment.”

Habit updated their lighting to compact florescent bulbs, started composting, recycling plastics and reusing boxes, and offering customers porcelain mugs for in-store use instead of paper.

They also switched to a more environmentally-conscious linen company, and even brought Dutch delivery bicycles over from the Netherlands to transport goods between their two downtown locations.

Habit’s second location is in the Atrium, a LEED Gold Shell certified building, meaning the building was designed to improve energy and water efficiency, as well as reduce CO2 emissions while providing a healthier indoor environment.

Floor to ceiling windows provide natural light even in the poorest of weather, and the interior is finished with recycled timber.

Habit Coffee also wants to serve as an example to other businesses that want to reduce their own carbon footprint.

“[We’re] trying to up the ante,” says Devereaux. “We want to say to the business community: ‘Here’s how simple it can be and it doesn’t cost as much as people think’.” M

Habit CoffeeChinatown552 Pandora AveVictoria, BC250-294-1127

Atrium(Now open until 10 pm every night)808 Yates StVictoria, BC250-590-5953

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