Sustainability is on the menu at Zero Waste Bistro, a pop-up dining experience and installation that’s exploring how great design can drastically reduce the problem of restaurant food waste. Launched as part of NYCxDESIGN’s marquee event, WantedDesign Manhattan, the four-day Zero Waste Bistro — open May 19 through May 22, 2018 — is presented by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York. The bistro introduces the philosophy behind Nolla, Finland’s first zero-waste restaurant in Helsinki. Recycled and recyclable elements are featured throughout the laboratory of food and design, from the construction materials to the tasting menu.

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Zero Waste Bistro zero waste food

Zero Waste Bistro food

Co-curated by Finnish designers Harri Koskinen and Linda Bergroth, the Zero Waste Food Bistro is helmed by Nolla chefs who have created a thought-provoking tasting menu. They use local and organic ingredients as well as commonly overlooked food byproducts, such as oyster mushrooms with doenjang miso and spent grain crumble. In addition to a dining experience, the pop-up event also includes workshops and talks centered on healthy materials, the circular economy and zero-waste fashion.

“It’s time to rethink the way we live, the way we eat and the materials we use,” said Kaarina Gould, Executive Director of the Finnish Cultural Institute. “With Zero Waste Bistro, we’re proposing a future that reduces waste and helps to regenerate our natural environment, making it livable for generations to come; a future that’s already here if we make the right choices.”

Zero Waste Bistro table and chairs

Zero Waste Bistro is constructed from high-performance recyclable components, including Durat surfaces and ReWall building materials, made entirely from upcycled packaging and industrial waste. All packaging is plastic-free, from Kotkamills’ takeaway cups made from plastic-free repulpable cartonboard to Sulapac packaging products constructed with sustainably sourced wood from Nordic forests. The bistro also prominently showcases iconic Nordic design with Alvar Aalto stools and lamps and Iittala tableware sourced from the Finnish Design Shop, the world’s largest online store for Nordic design.

Tableware at Zero Waste Bistro

Kotkamills’ takeaway cups

Related: Britain’s first zero-waste store is packaging-free and only sells ethical goods

The Zero Waste Bistro’s tasting menu will be served at brunch, lunch and breakfast during the four-day event, which ends Tuesday. You can see a full listing of talks and workshops here. Reservations for the dining experience must be made in advance.

+ Zero Waste Bistro

Images by Nicholas Calcott