by The Urban Grocer in New Eco on Friday 18 February 2011

In a world of Styrofoam take-out containers, disposable plastic forks, and overflowing landfills, one man has taken a stand. His name is Joost Bakker, and he’s created what most people would call impossible: a 100 percent waste-free restaurant.

The Greenhouse by Joost, a temporary eatery in Sydney’s The Rocks district, inhabits an old shipping container that literally has a garden growing on its walls. Inside, the chairs are built out of old irrigation pipes, the flooring is made of recycled industrial conveyor belts, and the drinking glasses are fashioned from sawn-off beer bottles. And what about those leftover bread crusts and vegetable peels? All of the restaurant’s food waste is composted and used to fertilize its rooftop garden, which grows herbs and veggies that stock the kitchen. You can’t get much more sustainable than that.

The restaurant is an ecologist’s dream, that’s for sure, but thanks to the involvement of Matt Stone – one of Australia’s hottest young chefs – it also promises to cater to Sydney’s discriminating foodies. Check out the Greenhouse’s pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches, all of which are made from flour that’s stone ground right there in the restaurant.

The Greenhouse officially opened last week, and it will only be around until the end of March. But treehuggers, don’t despair. Joost and his recycled accessories are kicking off a world tour, and they could be coming to your neighborhood sometime soon. So get inspired, and stay tuned.