sustainability.: Batches of Light

here a batch, there a batch

What do you do, when what you want doesn’t exist? Or, when what you have, needs an improvement?

Have a light bulb moment? Thomas Edison did when he realized that subdividing incandescent light through a long lasting electric lamp would be the power-switch: literally. (1883)

Curve instead of going straight?  Sarah Boone, curved a wooden block, known as an ironing board, empowering the world to perform the everyday task of ironing. (1892)

So, what do you do when you need something and it doesn’t exist?

You improve upon the creation.

When Boboak Roshan of Cafè Demitasse wanted better and sustainable filters for his Los Angeles coffee shops, he looked for existing ones on the market that could batch brew without the process being a single use liability.

Simply put, coffee filters are an everyday and necessary item for a coffee shop. The coffee- brewing utensil that traps coffee grounds is usually disposed of as after initial use.

Now, there are alternative options to single serve and batch filters. But what about if you’re not just making a single serve cup of coffee but mumtioke

batches throughout the day.   Could this necessary, everyday item be improved upon?

Roshan thought so. He documented his journey down this path in an August 21st blog post of a year long effort to eliminate waste. I was fortunate enough to coincidentally be in the Little a Tokyo store when a delivery of big brown boxes lined the cafe bar.

Roshan opened them in front of me as if they were brand new toys. Well, they kind of were. Toys of the everyday necessity that he and his staff could now use as reusable, multiple use metal filters.

reusable batch brewer

Here they were, an idea drawn and measured from his aha moment to fabricate metal filters based off of his brew baskets. It was that simple and also that complex. After some trial and error,  the issue of disposing single use batch filters was solved for him, by him.

What is heartwarming about this improved upon ‘invention’ is that light bulb moments to sustainability within our business practices are often just a small thought away.