Running a restaurant, like any other business, is more or less about the bottom line. If you’re running a successful business, it may seem foolish to change anything you’re doing in favor of helping the environment, but running an environmentally friendly restaurant can mean a lot to Mother Nature and Earth-conscious patrons. Using renewable solar energy for power, minimizing unrecyclable waste by converting to sustainable packaging, and getting your meat from humane origins are each ways you can run a green kitchen.
Use Renewable Resources as a Power Source
Your restaurant is going to use its fair share of power, so if this is an inescapable truth, it would be better for the environment if you got your power from a renewable resource. Converting your restaurant to solar power can be a great way to not only minimize your carbon footprint, but also lower your monthly costs by getting rid of costly gas or oil prices. The installation of the solar panels will cost you some initial installation charges, but you’ll be noticing a change in your ledger in no time at all.
Minimize Unrecyclable Waste
One of the biggest ways to make your restaurant Earth-conscious is to monitor the waste that goes into your day-to-day operations and make sure that you are using recyclable materials where applicable. Sustainable packaging is made from recyclable materials; some of which are already made from 100% recycled paper. You will definitely want to make the change if you are currently using Styrofoam. Styrofoam can be harmful to the environment, as it doesn’t biodegrade well. Beyond ditching Styrofoam, you can do wonders for your waste by simply converting from paper, disposable napkins to cloth napkins.
Think of the Animals
The environment just doesn’t mean getting rid of products that are not biodegradable. It can also mean changing your supplier of meat if your current one has inhumane practices. For example, if you serve chicken in your restaurant, you may want to look into a supplier that only deals with cage free, farm fresh chickens. Any other animal meat that you receive from suppliers should also be researched to see the conditions that the animals were kept in. The difference is not only a moral issue; it can also affect the quality of the meat.
If we each do our part to help the environment, there’s no telling how big an effect our measures can have. But it all starts with a small step and that step can be your restaurant.
Tony has helped several restaurants that he has worked in adopt a more environmentally friendley approach to serving their customers food. Image source