Sustainability is not something we care about only in passing. Starting a business in Sri Lanka is confronting, as many of the best practices are incredibly destructive. To counter that we have so far made the following steps:
separating and managing our waste
We compost waste food and garden waste, send plastics, metals and even cardboards to recycling, and make sure our non-recyclable waste finds its way to legal landfills.
veggie garden & locally sourced products
Choosing local ingredients and creating a beautiful veggie garden. We won’t be the cheapest produce, rather, we buy local, high quality produce to reduce food miles so we know exactly where our food comes from. We even have a veggie garden to grow as much of our own food as possible.
trees and garden
Our site had been decimated before we took over, a big patch of dirt was all that was left of what was once a lush jungle. We are re-greening the site, encouraging mangroves and planting native trees and vegetation. This process will help bring the location back to something wilder, encourage birds and other wildlife, and help keep us all cool.
serving only vegan food
It’s a big commitment to only serve vegan food, and it’ll discourage some potential clients, so why do it? The truth is eating vegan is one of the biggest changes you can make to help the environment. We want to make a stand, but also give an example of how delicious vegan food can be and how this can be a profitable business model that will hopefully be replicated through the south coast and beyond.
working with and training locals
Much of our staff come from our local village and live just a few minutes’ walk away. Before starting with us they were often underappreciated and suffer financial hardships. We chose to employ as many villagers as we could, and then invest in them. To train them, coach them, and give them valuable experience, more than just a paycheck. We also invest in environmental training, so that we can have a positive educational and environmental impact on our local village.
being energy efficient
We do what we can to make Kola efficient. We use natural materials to build where possible, and upcycle all we can. On top of this, we are looking into adding solar power to cover the rest of our energy bill as soon as possible.