Saturday, July 24, 2021

High-tech Saudi cafe uses solar power and recycles food to usher in an eco-friendly dawn

The drastic changes in the world as we know it due to climate change have led to an increased awareness about the need to go green. Among firms from different sectors that are initiating policies and innovation to reduce their carbon footprint, Amazon and IKEA have started off with adoption of solar power and clean fuels in the Middle East.

As Dubai creates energy from trash, researchers in the region have also come up with methods to create plastic substitutes by recycling leftovers to prevent wastage. As part of a relatively smaller yet important initiative, a cafe in Saudi Arabia is using solar panels, EV chargers and compost machines to become part of the eco-friendly revolution.

The eatery in Riyadh is aptly named Respire Lounge, and it recharges electric cars via Tesla chargers, while visitors get rejuvenated with coffee. The establishment that gives a whole new meaning to guilt-free snacking, also provides free beverages via coupons to customers who responsibly dispose of their plastic bottles for recycling.

Solar panels have been installed at the cafe, which has gained popularity via videos on social media, and profits will be injected back into harnessing more energy from the sun. The food which is left behind, enters a cycle where the compost machine turns it into fertiliser for cultivating greenery in the premises.

On top of saving the planet, Respire Lounge is also generating jobs for locals, by participating in the Saudisation program that requires businesses to hire citizens of the kingdom in most positions.

Apart from this eatery that took the high-tech route during the pandemic, the country has also witnessed popularity of robots that serve consumers at the cafe. As precursors to the development of smart initiatives like NEOM and the Red Sea Project, these smaller steps are preparing the country for a sustainable future.

To further boost recycling and cut down emissions, Saudi’s oil powerhouse Aramco is working on capturing carbon dioxide from vehicles, to extract energy from it.

Image: Shutterstock

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