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With starting Mission roots, we hoped to engage our peers in creating a change for the betterment of the world. Also to unite our school by creating a student run initiative, that everyone can feel good about from our volunteers to the customers. Since we had been greatly inspired by other youth taking action about what they care about, we wanted to do the same within our own community. Our main goals are to educate the student body about important issues relating to sustainability, social justice and the Sustainable Development goals in addition to creating a warm, welcoming environment and a sense of community in our school. We aim to make a difference in the world and show students that they can do the same. We hope to inspire youth to take action on issues that matter to them, as we believe that the choices and actions we make can cause ripples of change that are felt across the world.
In summary, Mission Roots Cafe is a sustainably conscious, not-for-profit cafe at Okanagan Mission Secondary School. All profits generated through our cafe go towards various charities, carefully selected based on their transparency and traceable impact. We believe that the choices we make as individuals and consumers have immense power and demonstrate this through our ‘choose-your-charity’ system. With each purchase, customers are given the opportunity to directly choose the cause that their money will go to, and therefore the kind of impact they want to have. This creates an atmosphere of active decision making and meaningful conversation, while also leaving the customer inspired and empowered with the choice they’ve made. Additionally, where ever possible, the cafe displays techniques used to maximize it’s zero waste potential and minimize our ecological footprint. In addition to using biodegradable cups and sleeves and composting our coffee grounds and filters, we have also swapped traditional plastic stir sticks for spaghetti as an eco-friendly alternative and a great conversation starter! We also aim to promote sustainable habits through our free loyalty card system that encourages customers to bring a reusable coffee mug and reduce single-use waste. Currently, in less than six months, Mission Roots has collected approximately $5000 in revenue, and has donated close to 50% of this to a variety of local and global charities.
Reflection & Celebration
Through the startup process of Mission Roots, we’ve had the opportunity to work alongside incredible charity organizers, business owners, and students, leading to the realisation of the true importance of impactful action at a grassroots level. Whilst working through he struggles related to running a business, as well as balancing school and personal life, we hope to continue our humble journey in the large world of philanthropy and environmentalism. Finally, we plan to maintain Mission Roots within our school, by continuing to encourage younger students to get involved, volunteer and be a part of this team working to create ripples of change in the world.