I like to believe that we’re all looking for ways to reduce our impact on our planet. So today I thought we’d explore ways that restaurants can reduce their effect on our environment, and possibly put some money back in their pocket.
Zero Waste is Possible
I recently read an article about a Chicago restaurant that has reduced the waste it produces to virtually zero. The owner set out to design an eatery that produced as little trash possible, and he implemented processes that decreased the amount of waste his restaurant creates to virtually nothing. Although the zero waste business model may not work for every eatery, each restaurant can use at least some of these strategies to decrease the amount of waste that ends up in the can.
$$ Saver: Reducing your trash means you can use a smaller dumpster and pay less to have it hauled away!
Say No to Packaging
Processed foods usually come with tons of packaging. When we minimize, or better yet eliminate the use of goods that come wrapped in plastic and stuffed in a box, we reduce the amount of garbage we throw away.
Most communities have recycling programs, yet many restaurants don’t bother to sort their trash. Installing recycling bins in your kitchen, and teaching your staff what can be recycled is an inexpensive way to reduce waste.
There are state and regional programs that will take your organic waste and turn it into garden compost. Check out the EPA site for information about composting in your area. If they don’t have a program in your area, then why not start one? It’s an awesome way to become involved with your community, and draw attention to your restaurant!
Out Go the Lights
I’m not suggesting you turn off all the lights and ask patrons to sit in the dark, unless that’s your business model. However, you can reduce your power consumption and save money just by replacing your lights with energy efficient bulbs.
$$ Saver: Replacing one 75 watt incandescent bulb with a 9 watt LED can save you over $20 per year!
Reduce your restaurants carbon footprint by buying your meats and produce from local farms. Sourcing locally grown or raised food for your eatery is also an excellent way to get connected to your community.
$$ Saver: Locally produced food is often fresher than products that have been shipped, which means it lasts longer and you waste less.