Zero Carbon Cumbria - Carbon reduction action across the county.


Owen – using renewables for business


What’s this about?

Owen owns a coffee van and has focused his business on renewable energy and minimizing the impact it has on the environment.

What did Owen do?

Owen wanted his business to be quiet and sustainable from its inception. He bought an electric van and runs his coffee machine boiler using liquefied petroleum gas. He also has two large leisure batteries which supply the rest of the van’s facilities and are charged by wind and solar power. On top of this, Owen ensures that he uses biodegradable and compostable packaging, uses glass milk bottles rather than plastic and sources his materials from local suppliers.

What difference has it made to Owen?

He says that after the initial outlay to purchase his solar/wind generators, he saves money because he is producing more power than the van uses to run while business is open. This beats the cost of having to constantly be paying for petrol to run a generator. Owen says that he gets asked questions about his van all the time and enjoys discussing it with people and spreading the word about more sustainable business choices.

What difference has it made to the climate?

Owen’s van, being electric, contributes no harmful tailpipe emissions when on the road and the use of liquefied petroleum gas makes his boiler run more efficiently. This form of fuel burns hotter than more commonly found sources so less is required to heat a piping hot coffee.

The renewable energy sources that power the van mean that no petrol generator is required that would otherwise be producing greenhouse gases. Owen’s use of recyclable materials means that he isn’t contributing to plastic pollution of our beautiful county and the practise of using local suppliers cuts down on the carbon footprint of your coffee as much as is possible.

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