Mill Valley resident Chelsea Hutchison, owner of the BŌL superfood cafe in the Mill Valley Lumber Yard, is a realist.

“With two kids, a partner and a healthy coffee obsession we are far from a 100 percent reusable family, but by golly, we are trying,” she says of her desire to make a positive impact on the climate crisis. “Some days I imagine my girls asking me why we didn’t do more for the environment when we had the chance. Why a single use container for a coffee, a water, a soup, a salad was more important than their future.”

Hutchison says she chats regularly with Molly de Vries’ Ambatalia, the MVLY-based designer and maker of “modern ecological textiles to support a non-disposable life,” about the complicated compost and recycling landscape. Those chats helped her arrive at some clarity: “You know what isn’t complicated? Reusables,” she says.

For the past few months, BŌL has been participating in an international movement called #plasticfreefridays and providing mason jars for all beverages leaving BŌL. No plastic leaves the premises. Everything is either 100 percent compostable in Marin or reusable. BŌL charges a $2 deposit for the glass and have UKonserve stainless steel bowls for purchase, with customers getting a 50-cent discount off a beverage or $1 off a bol if they bring their own reusable container (they must be clean). 

“So far it’s been a great success and having Molly’s blessing gives us great hope for the future of #zerowastemarin!” Hutchison says. “Small steps. Big impact.”

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