One of our new Climate Leaders, Robyn Klobusiak, recently won Best Environmental Practice in the Tasmanian Hospitality Awards for Excellence for her popular restaurant, The Ugly Duck Out, on the east coast of Tasmania. Here is her story.
I came to Swansea in 2004 when my son was a toddler and stayed because I lost my wallet. I had no access to cash so got a job there the next day. I loved how welcoming the community was and ended up buying the fish and chip shop to start my own business.
The restuarant caters for those that wish to reduce their environmental footprint with an “ecotarian” menu exploring the link between the food we eat and its source.
We create a unique dining experience by sharing information about sustainable living and waste reduction, and the practical means to achieve it. By introducing ‘mindful’ dining, The Ugly Duck Out encourages an improved, more meaningful lifestyle – with emphasis on creativity and wellbeing.
Our philosophy is to present great food – clean, simply honest preparations – in harmony with the season. The menu allows patrons to reduce their environmental footprint, whilst enjoying a truly Tasmanian dining experience.
There are many things we do to improve our resilience. For example we produce natural yoghurt, using Tassie milk, to save on plastic tubs and freight miles. We also grow a significant proportion of our vegetables, fruits and herbs and have replaced beef steak with wallaby. It is a bit of a gutsy move to take a steak burger off and put on wallaby snitzel, but it opens conversations and shows how our small choices lead to behaviour change. It also gives us lower operation costs and ultimately a great competitive advantage.
In partnership with the community we have supplied reusable stainless steel drink bottles to the district schools. These are a daily reminder of the benefits of reusable bottles rather than disposable containers. We have reduced use of plastic bottles and sugared drinks. To date the project is worth over $11,000 to the region and the move from ‘throw away’ behavior increases the kids perception of self worth and wellbeing.
The diner also initiated the “It's Sorted” project at local schools. Colour coded bins emphasize the importance of sorting waste into recyclables, reusable paper, and organics to minimise landfill. This shows the kids that most things are really a ‘resource’ and encourages a reuse philosophy. We also added ‘Food For Fresh Thought’ think bubbles into weekly community news and regional school newsletters.