6 Ways Every Restaurant Can Be a Part of Earth Day
As Earth Day is finally upon us, we thought it would be fun to brainstorm some innovative and entertaining ways that your restaurant or food establishment can participate, while also raising awareness to this global environmental movement.
- Shop Locally
Support local shops and farmers markets that you don’t usually shop at. No farmers market around you to visit just yet? Many local farms look to deliver in the seasons that do not have the opportunity to set up at local markets weekly. There are various companies that now make it easy for restaurants and grocery stores to buy directly from their local farms. You may find you get better deals and better products shopping locally. Maybe bringing farm-to-fork is the way you want to go!
One of the easiest habits you as a restaurant owner can start adopting. While “composting” has become easier to do in the house, many restaurants don’t compost because it is a much bigger task than simply composting for a family of 4. While it is an extra step, it tends not to cost as much as people would think because it dramatically decreases the amount of trash pickups needed. Most people would be shocked to see the amount of organic waste thrown out daily by restaurants and food establishments. Set up a couple compost bins near your food prep and line cooks to make it easy to compost at every stage of execution! The easiest part? Having a compost bin in your dishwashing station means simply emptying the finished dishes into the bin, rather than the garbage can! Not only is this task one of the simplest, it simultaneously helps to save our ozone layer! Everyone wins.
- Three R’s
Reduce, reuse, and recycle! Burned into our minds in kindergarten, we sometimes forget how easy it is to get in the habit of recycling on a day-to-day basis! Once again, recycling is much easier when you are only in charge of a small household. From delivery cartons to beer bottles, you will be surprised at how seldom you have to take out your garbage!
- Set the Mood
Commercial kitchens use large, energy burning equipment and appliances daily from open to close. While this is unavoidable for the most part, there are a number of different ways to make up for that! Candles are a restaurant favourite—if not for the main source of light, a welcome alternative. Many restaurants are able to dim their lights at dinnertime, which makes the establishment more comfortable and relaxing. Is your establishment gifted with natural light? Take advantage of that in your dining area by turning off your lights when you don’t need them. Not only will this cut down energy costs, but also it will give a more natural feel to your establishment, which is a welcome change, especially with the upcoming summer months ahead!
- Green > White Linen
Linen is a difficult product to have in your restaurant because it is prone to mess, spillage, crayon, etc. On top of that, white linen is a restaurant favourite, as it goes with almost any décor or any restaurant and can be cleaned countless times without losing the colour. Unfortunately, some linen will only make it through one meal before having to be thrown back in the wash. In a more casual venue or for certain meals, why not switch it up and use a tablecloth that can be wiped clean to limit costs, water, electricity, and the amount of chemicals being used to wash them daily?
Though it has been a global movement for 45 years, it tends to be forgotten until the day of. Spread awareness this Earth Day by offering special menu items to choose from. Give the daily specials fun and interesting names to promote Earth Day or see if your bartender can whip up a fun “green” cocktail for the occasion. While it may seem daunting to have to change the ways in which your restaurant is run and the products/produce used, every step taken to make a small change is a big step in the large scheme of things. While not every restaurant will be able or willing to change every aspect of their business for the “greener”, you may find you can find your own unique ways of making your business more aware of this important issue. Let Zanduco know the ways in which your restaurant or household went green this year!
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