Many food industry restaurants are finally coming around to sustainability in ways that we haven’t seen before. Sustainability presents ways in which businesses can run more efficiently, saving them money and time while helping to save the planet. Here is a quick list of the different methods restauranteurs can incorporate into their business to become more sustainable, as well as some chains who have already successfully made the switch.
Lower Energy Waste
This is certainly one of the best ways to start saving money on monthly bills while also being more efficient in the amount of waste that’s produced. Making upgrades to the appliances you already use, as well as fitting in more efficient lighting sources can be a great way to start.
Most states also provide a rebate program for businesses to make changes. Businesses like the Red Stag Supperclub, who became the first business registered with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, has reported that after the switch, their waste has been cut in half.
Serve What’s in Season
Buy your supplies from local farmers and suppliers who bring their products to the market shortly after they’re picked to ensure that the food is produced naturally, without additional energy required. The Plant Café Organic and others take it another level up by using only organic, freshly picked ingredients, and making all of their food from scratch.
Use Recyclable Paper/Plastic Products
Plastic paper and cups create a lot of waste. Take a hint from Busboys and Poets, a Washington D.C. based business that uses 100% recycled paper and plastic products that don’t need to go to the landfill.
Compost Food Scraps
One of the darker aspects of food service is food waste. Instead of throwing away uneaten food, help the environment by composting your food waste and turning it into a valuable resource, rather than simply chucking it into the dumpster to be hauled away to a landfill.
Even better, donate what you do not use to local food kitchens and homeless shelters to feed those who are less fortunate and make an impact on your community.
Recycle Any Used Cooking Oil
Because cooking oil is used to cook so many different types of food, your restaurant probably disposes of copious amounts of it. First, if not disposed of properly, used cooking oil can cause damage and blockage to the sewer pipes near your business, which lead to expensive repairs.
Secondly, it can contaminate the water it comes in contact with because the oil contains toxins and food waste in it. So, rather than simply draining it into the sewer you can hire a local business to collect it and repurpose it. Not only will you be supporting local companies, but you will also rest easy knowing your waste is being recycled into biofuel, which is an environmentally friendly source of energy for machines and generators.
Switching to sustainable practices in your restaurant can help the environment and save you money in the long run, as well as attract new customers who have a mind for helping mother Earth.