The call to contribute to saving the environment has grown louder in recent years. As one of the industries with the most significant impact on environmental destruction, the food industry is long overdue for an answer.
If you own a restaurant, consider this a challenge that will eventually bear good fruit for you and your clientele. Going green will support eco-friendly objectives and contribute significantly to building a positive brand image.
This post will share several ways to help you achieve that. Remember, you don’t have to take drastic measures actions. Even small steps can bring much change.
If you plan to take bigger ones, like configuring your space to be more energy-efficient by upgrading your HVAC and installing SMART technology, consider hiring experts. You can hire Budderfly and other companies that specialize in this.
Now here are ways your restaurant can go green:
1. Reduce Food Waste
Despite many people going hungry because of poverty, especially in Third World countries, food waste is still a big issue. In 2018, around 63.1 million tons of food waste from the institutional, commercial, and residential sectors were generated in the United States alone.
Restaurants can help reduce this by doing the following:
- Plan menus well and order ingredients appropriately.
- Use smaller plates and portions. Yes, big plates can be a magnet for customers, but most of the time, they don’t consume all the food. It’s best to study your consumer behavior to have reliable data on which to base your decision.
- If you have excess food, instead of throwing it away, donate it to local charities or food banks.
- Provide a standard of preparation for your menu so your cooks can follow specific measurements to reduce waste.
These seem small initially, but they go a long way in keeping food waste down as much as possible.
2. Use Sustainable Ingredients
Sustainable ingredients are those harvested by farms that follow strict environmental practices. Most of them come from local farmers and suppliers. You’re promoting sustainability and supporting the local economy by choosing them.
Likewise, if you serve seafood, try getting ingredients from sustainable fisheries that protect marine ecosystems.
You may also grow your ingredients! Your customers will be happier to know they’re eating organic produce that does not contain pesticide chemicals.
3. Switch To Energy-Efficient Appliances
Restaurants use a lot of energy daily, from cooking food to maintaining climate control. Switching appliances to energy-efficient ones can bring tremendous results.
Energy-efficient appliances like LED lights and those controlled by SMART technology can help you reduce your environmental impact and, at the same time, save on energy costs.
It’s best to look for Energy Star-rated appliances. These have been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants that contribute to climate change.
You may also invest in high-efficiency cooking equipment such as convection ovens, pressure cookers, and induction cooktops. These pieces of equipment can make your kitchen more efficient and highly sustainable.
4. Use Reusable Or Compostable Packaging
The restaurant industry is one of the most significant contributors to plastic waste from takeouts. You can easily see this in landfills with restaurant logos littering the place.
To address this, consider utilizing reusable packaging for takeouts. These containers can be used repeatedly, which is excellent for the environment.
Furthermore, you can use compostable packaging. These are made from plant-based materials, such as cornstarch, sugarcane, or bamboo, and can break down into compost within months. They’re also sturdy and can be used for hot and cold food items.
This revolutionary material is called bioplastic or polylactic acid (PLA). It’s a more sustainable alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics.
5. Install Low-Flow Water Fixtures
Restaurants use significant amounts of water daily for cooking and cleaning. Bathrooms are also big culprits.
Using low-flow water fixtures can help reduce your water consumption and cut utility bills. To do this, you can:
- Replace standard faucets with low-flow models.
- Install low-flow toilets and urinals, which use less water per flush than traditional models.
- Switch to pre-rinse spray valves for the dishwasher.
By utilizing these low-flow water fixtures, you can cut your consumption significantly. This is a crucial step as water availability is now a problem in many parts of the world.
6. Avoid Simply Throwing Everything
Regarding problems, landfills are becoming harder to maintain at the rate we’re going. Imagine a world with more landfills than land available to live on. That’s a grim idea everyone must face unless people act now and do their part.
In your restaurant, you can do the following:
- Provide recycling bins for customers and staff.
- Partner with companies that recycle food scraps for compost.
- As mentioned, use compostable packaging.
Small actions like these can significantly reduce the amount of garbage you pile in landfills.
7. Encourage Sustainable Transportation
According to reports, 2022 is the second warmest year on record. If this continues, it will be catastrophic in many places, with the rising temperature bringing about devastating storms and rising sea levels.
Greenhouse gas emissions are the primary culprit for this. Restaurants can help reduce their carbon footprint and encourage others to do the same by doing the following:
- Provide bike racks and parking spots for bicycles.
- Offer discounts to customers who bring their bikes.
- Utilize delivery services that promote sustainability.
- Make your ordering efficient to cut fuel consumption.
Doing these can help lessen the number of vehicles on the road and reduce your emissions.
Easier, Smarter, Greener
Going green is not just a trend. Today, more than ever, everyone must actively save this planet we call home. Following these tips should help your restaurant take part in that conscious effort.
Don’t wait. Start now!