How Green Is Your Eating Establishment?
Diners who have any sensitivity whatsoever to the environment will all attest to the fact that yes, a great meal in terms of taste is important, but more than that, a great meal served by an eco-friendly dining establishment is even better. We all share the planet, and its limited resources are certainly strained when it comes to eating. While there are obvious versions of this idea in situations like the clearing of the Amazon to provide for ranch land for inexpensive beef to find its way into fast food chains, there are also “smaller” but not insignificant things to consider, as well.
What about the air quality inside the restaurant? Is the quality of the air being aided by the presence of live plants, rather than an air conditioning system that taxes the power grid while releasing harmful toxins into the environment? What about the cleaning solutions that the restaurant uses? Packaging? You see what we’re talking about here when you just begin to scratch the surface of what goes into running a restaurant. There are always plenty of opportunities to be more thoughtful when it comes to the health of the planet.
A Few Ways for Restaurants to Go Green and Up Their Environmental Profile
Perhaps the number one way that a restaurant can become more environmentally responsible happens with the cleaning solutions they opt for, and where they dispose of things like oil, grease, dirty water, and leftover food. Putting into place a robust composting program, recycling oils in the kitchen and sending them off to a facility that can sell the material to people who own bio-diesel cars, properly disposing of dirty water and grease in an environmentally responsible way, and opting for eco-sensitive cleaning solutions, even things like apple cider vinegar and water, all conspire to create a restaurant that is very mindful of its place on the planet.
What else? Let’s look at packaging materials, and paper use. Consider opting for menus that are made of recycled materials, and using anti-microbial menu covers at the tables of your restaurant. Often, these kinds of things seem small in nature, but proper material use in things like your menus means a reduction in the germs and bacteria for items that pass through many hands, and the use of eco-friendly materials complements your environmental profile.
Things like sustainable food purchasing and dining facility operation can include opting for a seasonally inspired menu, offering coffee and tea that have been sourced via fair trade, adopting a bike or walk policy when hiring employees who live close by, purchasing energy efficient equipment for the kitchen, and more. Here’s a great list for the restaurant and dining industry, comprised of elements to consider when trying to accelerate the pace of your business’s environmental innovation.
[Photo Via: chinabestpower.com]