By now, you have heard of the phrase “going green.” Improving the air quality, use of electric/hybrid vehicles & recycling are just some of the common methods of going green in our daily lives. How does this translate to a restaurant operation though?
In this article, we’ll define what it means to “go green” & offer up 5 ways that your restaurant can start leading the way. Let’s jump right in.
What Does “Going Green” Mean Exactly?
Although several definitions of the term exist, the most detailed definition is “to pursue knowledge & practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly & ecologically responsible decisions & lifestyles, which can help protect the environment & sustain its natural resources for current & future generations.”
In a nutshell, “going green” is about creating a sustainable & renewable way of living. It requires a new way of thinking & a modified way you look at the world.
Turning Your Restaurant Green
Going green on an individual level does have its challenges, but converting your restaurant into a green business can be even tougher. Luckily, there are 5 major ways to jump start your journey to becoming a fully sustainable eatery:
1. Utilize Stainless Steel for Your Equipment – It may come as a surprise, but stainless steel is the world’s most recycled material. When recycled, stainless steel has no harmful effects on the soil or groundwater. It truly is a 100% eco-friendly material with no extra coatings that can lead to toxic runoff.
Stainless steel also plays a part in reducing fossil fuels & keeping water clean. As a bonus, stainless steel does not rust easily so it is considered a sanitary product as well.
For a complete breakdown of the green characteristics of stainless steel, click here.
2. Use Biodegradable Servingware – It’s a fact that standard plastic disposable servingware such as forks & plates are still in circulation in many eateries today. However, eco-friendly alternatives to these do exist. Compostable materials made of PET/PLA plastic are the most popular.
Plastic straws are also slowly being phased out & replaced with paper straws, which act as a fantastic substitute. Lastly, consider getting rid of traditional plastic bags & replacing them with eco-friendly paper bags.
3. Consider Energy Efficient Equipment – Along with disposable servingware, the equipment you use to prepare your food items can be “green” as well. Let’s face it – the foodservice industry uses a ton of electricity, mainly through the use of appliances. What is the best solution? Consider Energy Star Qualified products for the best way to reduce energy consumption.
4. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products – Restaurants should strive to maintain hygiene & cleanliness on a daily basis. One way of achieving this is by performing regular maintenance using a variety of cleaners & cleaning supplies. Unfortunately, most of the time these cleaning agents contain bleach or harsh chemicals that can damage the environment.
Consider using more environmentally friendly cleaners & degreasers that contain natural, organic, and/or plant-derived ingredients.
5. Reduce Food Waste – All restaurants face the dilemma of customer’s throwing away leftover food from meals. This leads to food being put into trash cans & going to waste. How can this be solved?
You can always consider remaking ingredients to make new dishes or consider a compost pile for food that can no longer be served. Having a waste audit is also a viable way to control potential food waste & track your inventory.
IMC/Teddy is playing its part in “going green” by manufacturing products made of type 300 series stainless steel. As mentioned, stainless steel is one of the most sustainable materials on Earth. On top of being environmentally friendly, stainless steel is also strong & corrosion resistant. To learn more about IMC’s mission, click here.