Our goal was to create a business model that reflected our personal values. We wanted to own stake in, to contribute to, and to be a steward of the greater good. So we did a little thinking and came to the decision that long work weeks with little compensation and less sleep paved the road to something greater than ourselves. 2016 offered up its fair share of obstacles and triumphs, and we have come to the understanding that now, more than ever, building a business model on the principals of sustainability is crucial to contributing to the world in which we live. That's why we are continuing our effort to make a significant and positive contribution to the earth, and our home state of Arkansas.
Building a responsible business - one that is intrinsically ethical - isn't the easiest dream to assemble. However, we believe that one day, when our own children inquire about our contributions to the natural world and the world of economics, we'll be able to say: "Momma Tried," or something of the sort. That's what motivates us the most... the legacy that we leave behind is the absolute most important component of our business. We are proud to be able to say: "We give a care."
So, this year, we are doing more than ever to ensure that the mark we leave on this world is one that honors our children and the world that we leave behind for them. How we are doing that, you might wonder as you read this...
:::First, we compost.
Composting is simply the process of turning organic matter into really good dirt. Basically, organic materials like vegetable matter, garden refuse, eggshells, coffee grinds, tea bags, and our compostable plates are placed in our compost piles to decompose. Over time, these materials turn into a nutrient rich form of soil that is absolutely chock-full of vitamins and will nurture our own gardens. Amazingly, compost can also have the power to ward off harmful pests. In other words, healthy soil yields healthy plants, and really delicious fruits and vegetables... and we are all about those wonderful Arkansas Tomatoes you've been dreaming about all winter long.
:::Second, we are committed to using compostable dishes.
Using compostable and biodegradable dishes ensures that our contribution to our overflowing landfills is minimal. It's not cost effective, and it's not making our lives any easier... but we're pretty darn proud of this decision and the effort we're putting forth in order to make this initiative happen. We are dead set on reducing the amount plastics and non-biodegradable products that we use simply because we know that they're not going anywhere anytime soon, and we don't want to leave our kids with a trashy world, right? So, we've started with compostable plates and bowls, and we are making every effort to expand that to the way that we source our utensils and cups.
For more information as to why you should kick styrofoam to the curb (figuratively, of course), check this link out:
:::Third, we microwave NOTHING
To be completely forthcoming, we'd love to have a microwave on The WunderBus. It would lessen the time between the order window and the service window, reduce the amount of work we put into assembling and heating our dishes, and it would be easier on us in just about every way one could imagine. Alas, the thought of having a microwave on board gives us the here jeebies. Here's why: http://www.mercola.com/article/microwave/hazards2.htm
So now that we've scared you...
:::Fourth, we contribute to non-profits that work to protect the environment.
One of our most precious assets, and truly the most necessary resource to which we have access, is water. Our nation's water supply is billions of years in the making, and vital to our existence. Every aspect of our lives - our own water consumption, the beer, coffee and other luxury beverages we consume, the food we eat, the flowers we enjoy - is dependent upon the quality of our water. Water that contains high levels of toxins is directly related to a slew of illnesses and learning disabilities. So it is of the utmost importance that we do everything in our power to protect this resource and we are committed to contributing to groups that are fighting for the right of every Arkansan to fresh, clean water!
For more information about those fighting the Diamond Pipeline, check out: http://www.arkansasrising.net
:::Fifth, we recycle, Ya'll!
This comes right back to the issue of our overflowing landfills and that pile of trash in the ocean. And while it's time consuming, thankless work, we feel that it's really the right thing to do.
::: Six, we support local agriculture.
From the very beginning, our first priority was to support local and sustainable farming practices. In doing so, we are able to develop relationships with local farmers and their families, contribute to their prosperity (if only a little), feed our children really healthy food, and reduce our dependance on the mass agriculture machine. Yes, it's more expensive, and yes... it is worth every dime! One of the motivating factors behind this decision was what we came to understand about the way the mass agriculture functioned in our society, and how it has impacted our health and our environment. If you don't know much about those huge chicken, pig, and cattle farms you're passing on the highway, perhaps it's time to do a little digging. We're certain that the more you learn about their reckless and cruel practices and the way that those practices affect the natural world, the more you'll be ready to invest in local and sustainable farms.
Here's just a few resources to get you started on this eye-opening journey:
::: Seven, kind of healthy junk food.
Tying this all together, one of our goals was to create dishes and menus that featured locally and sustainably sourced products that appealed to those looking for the "food truck experience." Many associate food trucks with the widely used term, "Roach Coach." This can best be described as "A barf buggy. An industrial catering truck." (Taken from Urbandictionary.com) Simply put, that's a business that prepares nasty food in a less than sanitary environment. We can keep a kitchen clean, we know that much, but the challenge is always to create food that appeals to the American diet while remaining steadfast and true to our values in terms of quality and taste. It's a fine line to walk, but we think it's worth our trouble.
To sum it all up, our children are really important to us, and we have every intention of doing what is right for them... and that's why we're in this business.