There is a fantastic new restaurant in Bangalore called Go Native. It’s a farm-to-table, zero-waste restaurant and as you walk in you can feel the freshness, including planters that line the entry way where lettuce that may end up in your salad is planted. There’s lots of plant themed decoration around the restaurant, which also seems to use quite a bit of natural materials in its design. The food (which I forgot to photograph because it was so delectable and eaten before I thought about it) was stunning: south Indian cuisine with a fresh twist (a menu can be found here, but as it’s to be a seasonal, local establishment this will likely change with the seasons). On top of all that they seem to be doing whatever they can to produce the least amount of waste. No straws will appear in your drink. There’s no bottled water, but there is delicious fresh water with lemon and mint giving it a lovely, subtle flavour.
There is also a shop, which is quite a spendy one, although they do have beautiful things, including lots of locally produced, fair trade products like Varnam’s gorgeously produced, traditionally made toys from Karnataka. One thing I noticed in this upscale shop is that they are trying to get people to use more traditional items, some of which have been refurbished (think shabby chic), but the prices are rather cost prohibitive. For example, they are selling brass buckets which one can replace plastic buckets with in the bathroom, but the price is out of bounds. They also have some great home and food products, like Common Oxen’s cleaning items and soaps, and there’s even some bulk purchasing available for granola. One hopes there will be more bulk items soon!
The only thing I found missing from the shop, which seems appropriate given the theme, are Daily Dump khambas to encourage customers to compost at home. The khambas would be ideal not only because they are great for composting (because they allow air so the soil you’re creating can breathe), but also because the design is elegant and gives a sustainable livelihood to potters in Andhra Pradesh at a time when this skill and practise is waning (most pots one finds in Bangalore, for example, are concrete and painted to look terra cotta). Since the restaurant promises that it composts its waste (and sends to the farms where it gathers its food from), it would be nice to educate its clientele about this necessary practise. In fact, they have a workshop space above the restaurant (the day I was there they were doing it on traditional crafts), where a composting workshop would be ideal.