How the waste was won

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  • My friend Becky sent me an email all the way from Seattle in Washington, USA, telling me I should check out an eco-friendly pop-up cafe right here in Melbourne. It struck me as completely mad that someone so far away who has never visited this city would know of a cool new place to check out, but in her honor I decided to do just that.

    The Greenhouse café, bar and restaurant is a temporary structure that has ‘popped up’ for the duration of the cities Food & Wine festival. It’s brainchild of a Dutch born artist and environmental designer, Joost Bakker (pronounced “Yoast”), who quite literally is taking the piss when it comes to his patrons.

    In carefully controlled and engineered ways that any Eau de Hippie wearing tree hugger would be delighted with, urine is collected from the pop-ups toilets and is then used to fertilise soybean and canola crops. Electricity in the building is then generated and fueled by pure, unrefined canola oil, so in some ways the pee is powering the pop-up!

    Bakker’s has designed the pop-up using sustainable and recycled, natural and non-toxic ideas in every aspect of the building, from food production and sourcing, through to building materials and furniture design.

    He has used conveyor belting for floors and irrigation pipes as chairs. Recycled bottles and jam jars are glasses and the cutlery is made from mulchable wood. There are also no rubbish bins as all waste is composted.

    I’ve visited the Greenhouse a few times since Becky told me about it. The sun has been the main attraction if I’m honest, but it’s fair to say that I’m also rather partial to their cider pressed from locally grown apples and pears.

  • 2 comments on “How the waste was won

    1. Wow, Simon. These pics are beautiful and I’m pleased as punch (what about that saying? I mean, pleased as punch?! What does that even mean?) that you went to that cafe on my hopeful request.

      I’m sad I missed a lot of your travels, but I’m glad these pictures exist so that I can take a picture walk and enjoy things that you thought of enough to share. 🙂

      • Thanks Becky! It’s a fun project doing this and in a few minutes time Will and I are going to a huge electronics mall here in Kuala Lumpur to buy a new camera for me. The one I am using is SOOO wrecked! (Hence the smudge you see on a lot of the pictures left sides.)

        You can sign up to get the posts by email too if you like. You’re very tech savvy so I guess you figured that anyhow, so really I am just writing this for anyone who might not know that not only do I take a picture every day, I write something every day also!

        Anyway, I am glad you told me about the Greenhouse. It was cool!

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