Monday, April 22 is Earth Day. This day is set aside for people to think about and honor our planet, and to consider all we can do to protect it. These thoughts should not just center on our personal lives; they should include our public and business lives as well.
For many reasons, the practices of a particular restaurant can have a large influence on the surrounding world. Buying and preparing large quantities of food means that restaurateurs are in contact with people in many industries, including growers and distributors. Choosing how and when to use these services can affect our carbon footprint. So, it is important to choose Earth-friendly practices that can lessen the negative impact on the world. Here are some ways you can go green this Earth Day.
One of the most impactful ways you can make your restaurant more Earth-friendly is change the way you buy your food. Buying your food and materials from far-away places sets up a chain of events that requires a large amount of time, energy and resources to get your items to your door. Instead, buying locally can help reduce your dependence on fossil fuels for delivery, while at the same time ensuring fresher, healthier menu items that connect your customers to the local community.
Make the move to buying from vendors who use sustainable practices. “Sustainable” means that the natural resources in a given area or industry are not being overused to produce that food. For example, a fishery or farm needs to be responsible for acting in a way that does not deplete an area of its nutrients, water and other elements required to maintain a specific ecology. In other words, choose growers who are not harming their area by engaging in poor growing practices that exploit the resources without giving back to that area.
Take a look at the packaging you use for your take-out and delivery orders. If they are not Earth-friendly, look into making a change. There are many new options available that are not created from harmful materials such as styrofoam or plastic. Paper straws, cardboard containers and other biodegradable packaging help to ensure that, no matter what the customers do with them after their meals, your products will not pile up in a landfill somewhere for the next few centuries.
Be mindful of how you dispose of your trash and other various waste products. Many restaurants end the day with a large amount of leftover food that they simply throw out. A better option is to start a composting program and use the compost yourself or donate it to a local farm. Also, pay close attention to your non-food trash as well. Reusing or recycling whatever you can is a crucial step on the way to becoming a more Earth-friendly establishment.
Examine the equipment you use in your restaurant. If it is old and outdated it is likely not energy-efficient. So, there is a good chance it is time to update your equipment. Although there is an initial investment to get new energy-efficient equipment, you will ultimately save money by conserving energy and fuel. So, it will end up paying for itself in the long run.
Many of the commercial cleaning products available today contain harsh, environmentally-damaging chemicals. These chemicals flow into the drainage systems or leach into the soil and become hazardous problems that can affect local water sources.
Look for cleaning products that have been made with the Earth in mind. Choosing products that are given the Green Seal label, Environmental Choice Program label, Greenguard label or the Chlorine-Free Products Association label, for example, can help avoid these issues.
There are many ways you can use your restaurant to celebrate the planet this Earth Day. By instituting some of these practices, you can help turn your establishment into an environmentally-responsible destination that many of your customers will appreciate. The trick, though, is to continue these practices once Earth Day is past.
If you need help using your website or mobile app to promote your Earth Day efforts or if you want to make sure your online ordering system is Earth-friendly, contact Orders2me today. We can keep you on the right track.