6 Ways Restaurants Can Improve Their Impact on the Planet

It is crucial for restaurants to adjust since customers are becoming more and more concerned about environmental issues. Going green can help your business save money on utilities and food while also appealing to your customers. Even while becoming green in your company may seem like a daunting endeavor, there are numerous simple improvements that your restaurant can undertake to lessen its impact on the environment.

Your company can take a variety of quick and simple steps to lessen its environmental effect and guarantee that the planet’s natural resources will be available for present and future generations. Here are six ways your restaurant may go green, whether your New Year’s resolution is to be more environmentally conscious or you want to cut waste for Earth Day.

1. No Plastic Straws

Plastic straws have become ubiquitous at restaurants across America. In fact, they’re so popular that Starbucks has recently announced its intention to phase out single-use plastic straws globally by 2020. To put this announcement in context, this year alone, Americans consumed over 600 million pounds of plastic straws! But while we may be less likely to use them now than we were a few years ago, the truth remains unchanged: plastic straws are bad news for our planet. And unlike food containers, paper plates, reusable cups, and cutlery, plastic straws don’t break down after just a couple uses. Instead, once discarded, plastic straws end up polluting oceans, waterways, and landfills.

2. Use Reusable Packaging Materials

Restaurants that take sustainability seriously often have menus printed on recycled paper, and use compostable bags, and biodegradable dishware. While these practices are great ways to reduce their environmental impact, they’re not enough if you’re still using disposable packaging materials. Thankfully, there are many options available today that make it easier than ever to create a zero-waste dining experience. One option worth considering is compostable packaging. Compostable packaging is designed specifically to decompose naturally in a commercial kitchen’s composting bin. Because waste is converted into valuable fertilizer rather than garbage, using compostable packaging reduces the amount of trash going to landfills and helps limit greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaners

When cleaning up after a meal, restaurant patrons frequently rely on harsh chemical cleaners meant to scrub away any lingering residue. Unfortunately, these chemicals aren’t kind to human skin or the environment. Not only do they contribute to water pollution, but they’ve been linked to respiratory difficulties and even cancer. Consider switching to eco-friendly alternatives including dish soap, hand sanitizer, and all purpose cleaner. These products are available in a wide variety of natural formulas like baking soda, vinegar, and lemons to get rid of tough messes without leaving behind harmful toxins.

4. Use Local Ingredients

Use locally grown produce where possible. If you want to use imported produce, ask if they have been grown using methods that reduce pollution or conserve water. Use sustainably sourced meats, fish, dairy products and eggs and do not serve meat that is treated with antibiotics. Local growers are often producing their food organically too, so when you make these choices, you’re supporting our local farmers.

5. Serve Seasonal Foods

It makes sense to serve seasonal produce. Using fresh fruit and vegetables helps to reduce food miles and minimizes wastage. In addition, the flavor of seasonal fruits and vegetables is much more intense than winter varieties – so enjoy them while they last!

6. Reduce Food Wastage

Customers may find up throwing away a lot of food if your quantities are overly big. Furthermore, if you don’t manage your inventory wisely, your food may go bad before you utilize it, leading to food waste. The First In, First Out (FIFO) method, a food waste audit, or the usage of portion control tools can all be used to reduce food waste. You may use food scraps and overripe items in a variety of inventive ways to reduce food waste. For instance, you can make a great handmade vegetable broth from vegetable waste. Many overripe fruits also have the ideal sweetness and texture for baking.

Going green at your restaurant might be difficult, but doing your part to employ eco-friendly techniques and products can not only lessen your influence on the environment but also lower your food expenses and electricity expenditures.

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