Organic, sustainable, local and fresh- Humber’s newest eatery leaves plenty for students to chew on.Tucked away in the corner of the first floor of the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (CTI) building, Humber North’s new café, The Spot, seems unassuming at first glance; however, the staff is hopeful that the eatery will lead sustainable and local food choices on campus.
Manhar Kapoor, the manager of The Spot, said his mission is to run the cafè in a more sustainable way- starting with a plan to remove as much plastic and paper waste as possible. He claims the shop is the “first of its own kind,” on campus.
The Spot, is small and cozy- hidden behind the grand set of stairs inside the CTI building. According to Kapoor, the cafè seats around 30 people.
Quiet and intimate- Kapoor said it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat, socialize or study. Students have the option to either dine-in using real cutlery or take their food out in biodegradable containers and recyclable glass-bottled beverages.
He said the menu changes daily; The Spot offers a vegan, vegetarian and meat option to accommodate everyone’s food preferences. According to Kapoor, the produce is all organic and local, sometimes sourced right from the Humber Arboretum.
Tayler Buchanan, Humber’s sustainability communications and events coordinator, said she wants to see a zero-waste campus; however, she admitted the idea is quite ambitious and would take the cooperation of the entire school and students.
Buchanan said the Office of Sustainability’s goal is to “encourage students to be aware of what they’re doing on a daily basis,” in order to reflect on their own environmental impact.
“This is a youth-led movement that has the power to change minds and make a difference,” she said.
According to Buchanan, simple changes such as using a reusable water bottle is what will eventually lead to a larger impact and spark action for climate change and environmental issues. Buchanan said she fully supports the initiative at The Spot, hoping that food establishments across campus will follow suit.
Simran Mehmi is an environmental science major from the University of Toronto and a fierce sustainability advocate. Mehmi said nature is her biggest inspiration- she works with other like-minded individuals to educate others on different ways to live more eco-friendly lives. Mehmi said she was impressed with the concept behind Humber’s new eatery and wants to see it being replicated at other schools.
According to Mehmi, the biggest obstacle facing any movement is simply getting people to care. She said sustainability is about ensuring posterity, and that all generations of people are being affected- so she’s unsure why people are choosing to ignore it.
“We are not detached from the environment…we are the environment. It’s a part of us and we are actively choosing to kill ourselves.”
Steve Lee, a policy advocate to the United Nations and executive director of the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship– a youth-led, youth-serving sustainable development organization- said the rise of social media has made it much easier for anyone to start making big differences in this world. Lee stressed that everyone has to live within sustainable concepts and development, otherwise, humanity risks catastrophic changes.
“We’ve never lived in an age where we are more God-like,” said Lee. “Everyone has the potential to create an influence.”