Earth Friendly Updates at Your Business
This Earth Day, consider ways to improve your Sustainability Practices.
Earth Day is here and while we celebrate our mother planet and all that it provides for us, its time to really take a look at how to integrate sustainable practices at your restaurant.
Its proven that brands and businesses that make it a part of their branding or mission to be more sustainable have sales and the loyalty to show for it. Ahem, Patagonia. A 2018 Nielson report says that 66% of Consumers Say They Will Pay More for Sustainable Brands. Check out the full article here. In the meantime, here are some ways to become more sustainable.
Whether its sourcing your restaurant’s ingredients, hiring a window washer or printing up copies of your new menu- it pays to stay local. Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint through reduced driving both for you and your vendors, but you are supporting the local community of entrepreneurs, like yourself.
We all know that plastics are filling up our streams and oceans (we see you plastic straws). Updating your To Go packaging to include items that are compostable, biodegradable or made from recycled materials can be more expensive. However, it is one of the most obvious things customers notice and they will recognize your investment. This change resonates and appreciate what your are doing and are more likely to stay loyal and return.
If you haven’t updated your appliances to become more energy efficient, now is the time to consider doing so. Make it a mission to update one item a year. These are huge expenses but the cost savings over time will pay off. PG&E has an extensive rebate catalog that includes not only kitchen equipment, but also water heating, refrigeration, HVAC and more.
PG&E also provides industry specific tips on ways to reduce energy and costs along with more resources and ways to help upgrade your energy sustainability in your business.
Don’t forget about water efficiency. If you haven’t updated your toilets or faucets, there are many on the market that are low flow and automatic that could greatly assist in saving water. Also address leaky faucets as soon as they happen.
Compost & Food Waste
Composting isn’t just for your home, you can incorporate it at your business. Recology has a great resource of what you can compost (which is unbelievably a lot!) and what your can’t.
Interested in becoming a Zero Waste business? Recology will come out and audit to help you understand the best steps to take you there. In the meantime, when it comes to food waste, organizations like Food Runners, will pick up and relay excess and perishable food to neighborhood food programs. The EPA also has a list of resources on ways or services to reduce your food waste.
Spread the Word
Whether you can make immediate upgrades or not, educate your staff about your focus on sustainability. Make sure they know you are committed to cutting down water and energy. Encourage them to not leave lights on too late, or turning them on too early. Print up Energy Infographics and put them on the walls so they can understand how important this is to your business, the earth and your customers. The more they are informed, the more they will pass on your passion to the customer.