Running an eco-friendly establishment is becoming more and more common, especially in the food industry. The benefits of doing so have convinced a lot of today’s restaurants to implement more sustainable practices.
For one thing, being greener brings in more green. One recent study found that customers were more likely to pay more at restaurants they perceived as being environmentally conscious. Restaurants that prioritize sustainability also save money when it comes to their food and utility costs.
But what’s the best way to become a green restaurant? Whether you’re a restaurant owner who’s ready to make the change or a customer interested in knowing why going green is so great, learning how to become a green restaurant has never been easier with these 4 steps.
1. Watch Your Waste
Food waste is one of the biggest culprits preventing most restaurants from becoming truly green.
According to the USDA, restaurants in the United States waste around 30 to 40 percent of their food supply. The Food Waste Reduction Alliance also discovered that a little over 84 percent of all food waste is thrown out, meaning it often ends up in landfills.
Monitoring your waste is a must when becoming a green restaurant. Try organizing your inventory with methods like First In, First Out (FIFO) so that the food closest to expiring is used first. Tracking your food waste and regulating your meals’ portion sizes will also prove to be helpful down the line.
If you do have to waste food, consider donating your leftovers to those in need. Another great green solution when faced with extra waste is composting. By using composting bags and bins to store uneaten or unused food, you can save money and help save the Earth bit by bit.
2. Buy in Bulk
Although a typical mentality in eco-friendly practices is that less is more, buying in bulk can be a great way to help your restaurant go green.
If you frequently ship food, dining, or kitchen products to your restaurant, purchasing them in less frequent shipments will reduce your carbon footprint.
Bulk buying ultimately lowers fuel emissions, as delivery trucks won’t need to fulfill your orders as frequently. It also decreases the amount of product packaging used and later sent to landfills, which further lessens the impact you have on the environment.
Provided that you use all of the supplies you’ve ordered efficiently, buying in bulk from vendors like ReStockIt.com can also save you and your restaurant money.
3. Start Cleaning Green
Keeping your restaurant clean is incredibly important—doing it in a green way is even more so.
Most conventional cleaning agents used today contain unsafe chemicals. The hazards these harsh chemicals present are toxic enough to cause pollution and even harm wildlife.
There are a number of eco-friendly products out there that will help you clean your green restaurant. Look for products marked with reputable ecolabels or green stickers to ensure they’re safe for the environment.
4. Always Remember The 3 R’s
Fully committing to any of the above three steps in your restaurant’s routine may take some time. When in doubt, the easiest thing you can do to help make your restaurant green is to find small ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. You should definitely try:
- Swapping old light bulbs with LED, CFL, or other energy-efficient lightbulbs
- Offering compostable or biodegradable disposables, such as utensils or takeout containers, to your customers
- Placing recycled paper towels in your kitchen and toilet paper in your restrooms
While you should follow these steps on how to become a green restaurant, you don’t have to complete them in any particular order. If and when you decide to go green, know that you’re making a change for the better, no matter where you start.
Want to keep making choices that help both people and the planet? Check out our blog for other posts on green practices. And if you haven’t already, consider going green with some of sustainable products we offer on our website.