As the world progresses, millions of people have now become more aware of the environment, and are looking towards eco-friendly alternatives for their homes and businesses. Among those businesses are restaurants, who have started taking more sustainable actions for the future.
If you own a restaurant, chances are you too are looking to switch to a greener way of carrying out your business. Many of us don’t know where to start and end up doing a lot more than what we can handle and end up creating a mess for ourselves. Remember, it’s the little things that count. Here are some ways how you can make your restaurant eco friendly.
Reduce All Kinds Of Waste
No, we don’t mean the eggshells or the peels of vegetables, but the tons of leftover food that restaurants send to the trash every single day. Just because half of your day’s special soup was leftover, doesn’t mean you throw it away.
- You should always prepare food according to your daily requirements instead of creating huge batches during the start of the day and then throwing it away at the end.
- If you still must create huge batches for whatever reason, why not donate it to the poor people instead of throwing it in the trash?
- Instead of wasting thousands of pounds of good food every year, why not contact a trust that would distribute your food to the needy.
- It helps reduce the food wasted, lowers the number of peels and eggshells you throw out, and fills the stomachs of potentially hundreds of poor families.
A no-brainer for anyone, saving water is one of the main ways to make your restaurant eco friendly. Restaurants use a lot of water, whether it is for cooking, cleaning, washing, or even in restrooms, so it’s pretty easy to start wasting water if you’re not careful, and the costs start to add up pretty quickly, both environmentally and financially.
To save water from being wasted, start by:
- fixing any leakages you might see around the restaurant. You should have someone professionally take care of it for you instead of trying to fix it yourself.
- Install water-saving faucets especially in restrooms for guests, where you might not have any control over water usage.
- You could also install an internal filtration system to re-use some of the water, which could not only save water but hundreds of dollars worth of utility bills.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Cleanliness is the key to any restaurant, and often restaurants are seen buying industrial-sized containers filled with cleaning solutions. However, what we save in our cost isn’t necessarily safe for the environment. Many of the industrial cleaning solutions made today are filled with harmful chemicals, some of which even emit fumes that are very dangerous if inhaled.
To start off:
- It’s better to cut back on as many chemical cleaners as possible.
- Always know what you’re buying, and be sure to contact your supplier to know about what’s actually inside your cleaning products.
- Once you cut back on chemicals, start buying natural, organic cleaning products.
- There are tons of green cleaning products you can use at your house, and the same can be used for the restaurants too! All you need is the same products in an industrial size, or you could always buy in bulk and save money.
Grow Your Own Produce
Many traditional restaurants make partnerships with major supermarkets to bring them vegetables and fruits at a lower price. However, the way in which these fruits and vegetables are processed is usually pretty harmful to the environment. Apart from this, the transportation used to carry the produce to your restaurant isn’t doing any good for the environment either. It’s time to seriously consider whether it’s worth getting your “fresh” produce this way.
You have two options here; either buy from the local market or grow it yourself:
- If you have a large area to spare you could grow your own vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, and cauliflower.
- However, most of the restaurants are pretty busy serving the food, so it’s actually better to buy it from the local market.
- Not only is it cheap but it also reduces your carbon footprint and helps the local economy in the process.
Use Recycled Material As Much As Possible
From toilet paper to kitchen utensils, there is simply nothing you can’t replace with re-usable items to make your restaurant greener:
- Instead of using styrofoam boxes for takeout, why not use boxes made from recycled paper and card that would do the job equally as well.
- Using recyclable items shouldn’t stop there. Start using recyclable material for your decor as well.
- Start thinking of re-using the stuff you no longer need for other purposes.
- There are hundreds of types of recyclable furniture available online, and it looks great too!
As time moves on, most of the things we use are being replaced by technology and the restaurants are no exception. There are several changes we can make to help switch to a greener way of business:
- Instead of using a traditional notepad to take orders, use a tablet or any other digital device.
- Stop using long registers to keep track of your sales, but instead migrate them to a spreadsheet software on your computer.
- You’ll save a huge amount of paper this way, and you can even create as many backups as you want with just a push of a button.
- Instead of using a traditional method of noting down the order via the telephone, have your website created online so that people can order whatever they want whenever they want without the need to wait in queue for giving their orders.
- These days, creating your own website is super cheap, and you can put the cherry on top by choosing a hosting service that offers environment-friendly hosting plans, like GreenGeeks
Install Energy Saving Equipment
Stop using high voltage lamps and huge inefficient gas ovens at your restaurant. Not only do they consume a huge amount of fossil fuels, but they also create tons of pollution, not to mention taking a toll on your gas and electricity bill!
Start off by:
- Recycling all outdated equipment including lighting, machinery, and cooking/baking equipment.
- Replace these using newer, more energy-efficient equipment.
- Use LED bulbs for lighting, which not only gives almost the same amount of lighting as your traditional bulbs but also keeps your electricity costs low.
- Unless necessary, replace your old gas ovens with more energy-efficient electric ovens.
- If your budget allows, try to switch to a renewable source of energy such as wind, solar, or even geothermal, and your energy bills will practically be at their all-time low since you started the business.
Cook Seasonal Food
Instead of having the same menu all year round, having a seasonal menu would have several benefits:
- Adding a seasonal menu to your restaurant attracts a huge amount of new customers, as well as keeps your costs low.
- Food that is in season will always be cheaper than the rest of the year, so keeping everything dynamic would help you manage your expenses too.
- Although it might take a while to get the hang of changing menus, it’s something that will reap good rewards if done properly.
Again, use the local market to get a better deal for your fruits and vegetables.
Reduce Pollution Whenever Possible
One of the most iconic ways to make your restaurant eco friendly is to control the pollution coming out of it. Whether it be trash, fumes, wastewater, or anything else, minimizing and re-using as much as you can is the key to a greener, more economical restaurant.
As the world starts to understand more about why it’s important to go green, people are more inclined towards minimalism, and your restaurant reflecting exactly that is the best attraction for new and returning customers. You’re helping the environment, keeping your costs low, and increasing your orders every day!