An article written by Guillaume Duckerts.
Today, we talk with Andrea Drottholm, one of the founder of Samadi, an organic café, yoga & wellness center located in Canggu, Bali.
The first thing to notice is the work in progress going on in Samadi, right next to the entrance of the shop: a new project is coming up! Soon, a new cooperative shop for organic farmers to sell their products will open its doors. This will provide the farmers with additional opportunities to display their goods, besides the so-called Sunday Market. The new venue will also serve as an educational platform.
“We live sustainably, and we want to inspire others to do the same.”
The journey of Samadi towards sustainability started with yoga. In Andrea’s words, yoga is “a holistic practice, one of the components of taking good care of ourselves”. In this line of idea, it’s just a step away to eat healthy and organic food.
Let’s talk more about the menu. All dishes are vegetarian, a strategic choice for the owners. They want to prove that a vegetarian diet is healthy, bringing all the nutrients necessary to one’s body. We tried the protein bowl: a delicious mix of spinach, eggs, kale, quinoa, grilled tempeh and asparagus, all organic and very tasty.
In today’s society, people depend a lot of crops like rice and wheat, and knowing how to feed oneself with other types of plants is definitely an empowering experience.
Why all vegetarian? It’s first about the well-being of humans, avoiding chemicals and antibiotics used in industrial cattle farms. Then, it is also an issue of animal welfare. Finally, it’s about avoiding the disastrous impact of raising cattle on lands that could provide plant-based products for the masses otherwise. To build the menu, help from a specialist chef was sought.
Small initiatives to make a big impact.
Samadi is a place where many small initiatives are taken, that together have a big impact. First, you can find many messages all over the place, about the importance of recycling or the importance of boycotting palm oil, responsible for environmental tragedies in Borneo and Malaysia. On the tables, you will find recycled glass jars and flower pots. When it comes to the ingredients, everything is made fresh, bought without plastic containers and pre-processed food is avoided altogether. The jars containing breakfast jams are refilled rather than bought in new containers.
The organic waste is given away to the local Banjar for the compost facility. The bottles are processed to make the pots on the tables by Olivier, an artisan. Finally, the remaining trash is taken away by the waste management company Eco-Bali. When the local government announced the ban on single-use plastic items, Samadi had anticipated it for a long time, having had bamboo straws and recyclable take-away boxes from the beginning.
In short, after doing everything possible to avoid waste, everything, including paper, is reused as much as possible before being disposed of in the best way possible. This falls in line with the 5R’s method of managing waste: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.
Samadi provides training for its staff members in the field of sustainable practices. In addition to that, the new shop will be used as a way to educate both customers and traders on better agricultural approaches, using less chemicals and generating less waste. Finally, as one of the organizers of the Sunday Market in Canggu, Samadi has played a role in triggering the decrease of single-use plastic packaging. That’s an issue of importance, since giving away plastic packaging is often seen as a gesture of kindness by the inhabitants.
At the entrance of the restaurant, you will see a donation box. Another great idea on how restaurants and hospitality centers can easily help contribute to alleviate poverty by cooperating with grassroots NGOs. The profits here go to Ibu Ibu, check out their facebook account to see some of the amazing work they do.
A multi-purpose pond: smart design in action
Right behind the restaurant is the main yoga venue. And right under it, there is a particularly interesting pound, serving multiple purposes here. First of all, it’s a natural cooling system, which reduces the need for AC in the large room. Furthermore, it serves as a natural way to prevent mosquitos, eaten by the fish. When it comes to the buildings themselves, all lightbulbs are LED, recycled material is used as widely as possible and recycled wood is the building material of choice. As Andrea pointed out, sustainable design from scratch is the best way to achieve energy savings or efficient ventilation system. Nonetheless, the most important thing is to start and then fine tune.
The next biggest project is the above mentioned cooperative shop. This shop will welcome between 5 and 10 participants, offering products ranging from fruits and vegetables to honey, tempeh and jamu, all of it while minimizing waste. Beside that, there’s a potential upcoming project for rainwater collection taking advantage of the roofs of the buildings. In the future, Samadi hopes to continue to share a sustainable philosophy and also bring more locals to exchange ideas about it.
“There is a lot of changes happening, a lot of awareness. We can’t become perfect in seconds, but we keep thinking positive. We look forward to the future and see how we can contribute rather than waiting for change to happen.”
Being part of the BGreener community allows Andrea and her cofounders to share and widen their knowledge when it comes to sustainability. For instance, adopting more sustainable practices for the Sunday market. Also, they benefitted from useful insights on different topics on effective communication about their actions, etc.
If sustainability means the world to you, if you enjoy meeting fellow yoga practitioners and want to learn to prepare mouth-watering vegetarian food, visit their website or pay them a visit! If you want to discuss any ideas from this article, feel free to reach out to Andrea via the contact form!
Andrea, Damien and Abdi are part of the community of like-minded entrepreneurs and change makers of BGreener.
Guillaume Duckerts is a French writer and open-minded traveler. Read more about his work here.