Olivia Morland: Eco-Warrior and Foodie | Gourmet & Gourmet | Gourmand and Gourmet

Trash Talk with Olivia Morland

No Brisbane, we’re not here to talk about the Jordyn Woods affair (although the topic of conversation does revolve around keeping woods alive – best of luck Jords!)

In bigger trash talk news, we sat down with the Amazonian of eco-warriors, and owner of suburban café favourites Goodness Gracious and Hyde Away Café, Olivia Morland, to talk about the ins and outs of sustainability at her venues.

Covering everything from no-waste policies to trending issues such as bio straws, keep cups, and the future of the hospitality industry, Olivia gave G&G the ultimate (biodegradable) breakdown on what it means to be an environmentally-friendly café in the Brisbane’s foodie scene.


Every Sustainability Measure Counts 

“Both Goodness Gracious and Hyde Away cafés undertake a number of sustainability measures, the biggest being composting of all of our food scraps, coffee grinds and even some of our paper products.”

Olivia loves to mingle, but when it comes to trash, she keeps things separate using three different bins to make for easy recycling – a carboard bin, a milk bottle/glass/tin/hard plastic bin, and one for general waste.

At both her cafés, every sustainability measure counts, which is why everything, from coffee lids to the toilet paper in bathrooms, is environmentally-friendly.

“We use bio cups and lids for our take-away drinks, cardboard food trays, paper bags… we also use Who Gives a Crap toilet paper and sell our ceramic keep cups sourced from various local artists in Queensland, including a free coffee with their purchase of one to encourage people to use them.”

“We now also use “Bio Straws” paper straws that are environmentally friendly compared to their plastic counterparts that wreak havoc on our local environment and wildlife.”


The Menu

Starting from the ground up, Olivia doesn’t mince around – all the meat her cooks use is sourced locally, such as divine bacon from the Darling Downs regions. Seasonal dining is also king, with fresh fruits and veggies sourced straight from the producers at Rocklea markets, with the help of Providore Princess

“We love to approach our menus with a ‘no waste’ policy. Every item that is on the menu must be used completely, otherwise it doesn’t make the cut.”

At Olivia’s café’s, no scrap is left behind.

“If there’s a part of a fruit or vegetable not used completely, we have the opportunity to showcase it in a new light. For example, our chefs may use lychees in our açaí bowls, and rather than waste the lychee syrup, we will use that to whip up a delicious iced tea or add it to a smoothie special.”

“We also create daily power salads. If something doesn’t have as long of a life as we thought or there’s ingredients left over, we will whip up an inventive, delicious, daily salad in the cabinet to minimise wastage.”


The Economics behind being eco-friendly

“I definitely think there’s a social pressure now to be aware of the environment we live in,” says Olivia.

“Our customers appreciate that we are helping them make more conscious decisions, and they don’t miss a beat when we introduce a new scheme into the cafe, nothing goes unnoticed.”

Turns out being sustainable defines success in more ways than one – Olivia says that the emphasis on being environmentally-conscious is key to her café’s popularity in the suburbs.

“Customers are seeking the cafes who have taken into account the effect that they have on a community. If it makes a difference to our customers, we can only hope we are paving the way for best practise in the industry.”


The Future of Sustainability?

According to Olivia, the future of sustainable practices in the hospitality industry can be kick-started through the simply act of recycling.

“Recycling and composting would make a HUGE difference. Over the years, we’ve been involved in composting and in the process saved over eight tonnes of food waste from going to landfill.”

“We’re only two cafes! Imagine what the hotels, pubs, restaurants could save if they committed to recycling and composting. This would be a massive game changer.”

“We can’t always avoid waste from someone’s plate, but we can put it to good use.”

We couldn’t agree more Olivia.

Words by Jacqueline Pon
- the gourmand planting herself at all of Brisbane’s best eco-friendly cafés