As the son of a fourth generation Dutch tulip grower, Bakker may have always been destined to love nature, which is reflected in his many careers to date, which include building sculptures from waste. , the sale of boxes of worms to biodynamic farms and the opening of a zero waste system. soup kitchen where discarded bones from upscale restaurants were used for the broth.
His vision of a world without litter and with urban farms and cities that sustain themselves may seem radical, but Bakker is adamant that this new future is on the horizon. His current creative project, Future Food System is a productive zero waste home that is open to the public to visit or reserve for dinner or lunch. Located right in the center of Melbourne, it grows all the food its people – two local chefs – cook, eat and serve, as well as generate its own energy. By showing people solutions, he hopes he can convince them that this way of life is not only achievable, but also ambitious.
We recently caught up with Bakker to learn more about sustainable living, how he was influenced by the Netherlands and Australia, and how long he thinks it will take the world to catch up with his vision for the future.
Q: You have been described as “one of the most provocative advocates of sustainable development”. Why is it important to be so forthright about the subject, and why is it particularly important at this time?
My whole life story revolves around waste and zero waste, and I believe that humans need to embrace what the rest of the planet is already using, which is a zero waste approach. We are the only species not to do this.
But I have never been someone who speaks out. I don’t go out to talk and I say, “this is what we should be doing”. Instead, I am a big believer in physical projects. For me, it was always about showing rather than saying. I think a living and breathing example is the best way to educate people, and that’s why Silo, the world’s first zero waste cafe that I opened in Melbourne in 2012, was so successful.