Another amazing positive initiative to highlight – this week we feature Sarah Tiu and Cafe Editha about their goals striving to do better and raise awareness for our planet and future generations. Through knowledge sharing, curiosity and putting our egos aside, Sarah was able to find new ideas and later share these ideas with EVERYONE! Truly an inspiration and a story that needs to be heard, so we can all learn
Tell us about yourself
I’m Sarah Tiu, a culinary graduate. After 3 yrs of working abroad. 2009 I decided to come home. My father use to tell me to stay in Cebu and I can only settle in Siargao if I’m married. Staying in Cebu for 9yrs I open a rice in a box business for 2yrs and closed it down. That same year I apply as a teacher in one of the cooking schools in Cebu. My students were kids, It was the best job ever, like hitting two birds with one stone. Since I love kids and cooking.
Open my own restaurant, partnered with healthy cooking delivery and work in Insurance Company.
My job experience taught me a lot. It made me realize the importance of taking care of ones surrounding.
What motivated you to get into the Sustainability field and make a change?
Last Feb 2017, I took over and manage Cafe Editha in Siargao. While taking care of my father because his body was slowly deteriorating and I’m the only one who’s not married then. So wherever he goes, I’m there. He passed away last November 2017 and since then I decided to stay in Siargao to help in my father’s business full time.
That year, Siargao has been gradually booming, a lot of tourist flocking in and problems arise, trash everywhere. I tried to teach my staff what I learned from my previous jobs, to love our beautiful island.
- Gave them tote bag to use in buying stuffs
- Use bottle caps and empty tissue rolls to decorate our cafe (I got all the ideas from pinterest)
- Change the plastic bags to OXO biodegrable
- Encourage our customers to bring their cups when they take out drinks and get P10 (dollar amount) off
- Change straws to Paper straw (it didn’t work), then stainless straws (customers were scared that it might not sterilize, even if we told them we sterilized it everyday.)
- And then came Lukay Straws
How did you learn about Lukay Straws and decide to offer it at your restaurant?
Just recently, me and my family went to one of the neighbouring island in Dapa, its called Brgy. Correigidor. We bought Coconut and we were impressed when they just cut the leaf straight from the coconut tree and make a straw out of it.
We asked them to teach us and a week after We applied it in the Cafe, that was April 24, 2019. The same day I posted it on facebook to inspire other business owners in the island to do the same.
I was overwhelmed mostly with the positive comments. Never did I imagined that a simple post can make a huge impact. I don’t know why I was chosen by God to do this, but I’m super grateful.
Can you tell us a little more about the straws you recently introduced in your café?
Lukay Straw as I called it is by far the best substitute for straws because we make it daily. I specifically instruct our staff to Cut, Clean, Roll and firmly tie the straws.
Customers don’t question if its clean while the straw itself is decomposable and very easy to make.
Have you been successful in passing your knowledge about these straws to other restaurants?
One of my colleague who’s now a head chef in a prestigious hotel in Cebu, told me that their hotel will apply it too. A manager in Vietnam also messaged me that they were inspired to use Lukay Straw from my post.
I guess people are inspired to do the same if we share. It feels nice to be an instrument of change, of positivity.
What kind of reactions did customers and your café have when you saw these straws are extremely environmentally friendly?
So far, tourist drop by to order our drinks to get a feel of the straw and some are not aware of the hype but they said its cool because they tried bamboo and stainless before but this one is better.
What does zero-waste mean to you?
Zero waste for me, means recycling or redesigning something to be used again to avoid throwing it in landfills or oceans.
We still have a lot to change in our cafe and even in what I use daily but if every individual will learn to love their community and make a shift, to use alternative ways to eliminate plastic one step at a time and share the ideas, our world will be a healthier place to live and the future generations will get to enjoy a CLEAN and GREEN home. Be mindful of our planet. We need to PROTECT it because we only have one.
Through all this, we can really see the importance of sharing our knowledge with each other. In today’s world, we protect what we know to form our competitive advantage and succeed in the corporate environment. But we need to realize that a balance needs to be struck. We need to put ur egos and greed aside, and strive to learn from those around us and share knowledge with others.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS WHEN YOU WANT TO LEARN, AND ALWAYS BE OPEN TO SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE FOR THE BETTERMENT OF OUR WORLD!