At Help Yourself, we believe our lifestyle choices are as important as our food choices, hence our slogan "Green Inside and Out". We also believe that if we each, as individuals or businesses, take responsibility for being environmentally aware in our own lives and communities, collectively we can make a difference on a much larger scale.
We know from experience that taking the steps to become environmentally friendly can be daunting and takes a fair amount of dedication and work to change old habits. That’s why we believe in working together as a community helping each other help ourselves. We can all learn from other examples, act and then lead by our own example.
There are many more things we would like to be doing and aspire to do. For all of us, it is a continuous work in progress. Below are listed some of the things we are currently doing and we would love to hear what you are doing...
All of our cups, clear containers, straws, knives, forks, spoons and carry out bags are made out of corn not plastic. This means they are biodegradable and compostable. All other to-go boxes and utensils are made from recycled cardboard or can be recycled.
We recycle all our paper, plastic and glass from inside the restaurant. We built the recycling station outside so we can also encourage customers to recycle what leaves the restaurant.
Every day, from inside the restaurant, we collect about 15 gallons of food scraps. This includes all the peelings from vegetables, skins and stalks we don’t use in our dishes. This gets used in our own composter or collected by other individuals who use it in their composters. That means we are not filling our trash up with unnecessary food waste but are converting into fertilizer that can be put back in the earth.
Ethical Sourcing/Local ingredients
We buy and sell products from companies with similar values to us. We will always support a small company that is trying to make a difference in the world wherever possible. For example the company that makes the Whale Tail chips we sell was started because some surfers were looking for a healthy snack and wanted to give something back to the ocean. Their ingredients are great and they donate 10% of their sales to save the Whales. Our Tempeh is hand made in Florida by a man who is very passionate and believes strongly in the health benefits of Tempeh.
Our Sunday Farmers Market supports local organic farmers and our use of coconuts instead of cows milk in our ice cream and yoghurt means we utilize local ingredients (You ever seen a cow in Key West?!)
Though it doesn’t rain a ton in Key West we have our rain barrel set up to catch it when it does! This water then gets used to water our plants and herb garden.
T-shirts and Menus
All our t-shirts are made of organic cotton and printed with organic vegetable based inks. Our menus are printed on 100% recycled paper.
We use recycled paper for all our printing needs, we refill our printer ink cartridges rather than buy new ones. We do as much banking and accounting online to prevent excess paper and all waste paper we do produce we recycle.