Simple Ways to Become a Green Restaurant
A green restaurant is one whose operations are environmentally-friendly. Running a green business can take time and money—but it doesn’t have to. Even small and simple tweaks in your operations can make a world of difference.
So, how can you quickly become a green restaurant? Here are four innovative ways to accomplish it.
1. Invest in energy-efficient appliances
How much energy does your restaurant use per month? The best way to find out is to conduct an energy audit. If you find that your energy usage is very high, consider replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs which are more efficient and a low-cost solution.
Another way to conserve energy is to inspect your windows to ensure there is no air leakage. Leaking air duct joints can quickly be sealed with duct tape. Running this simple inspection can reduce your restaurant’s heating costs by as much as 10%.
If you’re interested in purchasing new green equipment for your restaurant, search for ENERGY STAR certified appliances. Some of the most well-known energy-efficient appliances you can find include air purifiers and solar water heaters.
2. Conserve water
The average sit-down restaurant uses at least 3,000 to 7,000 gallons of water each day. The EPA has written extensively on ways restaurants in the U.S. can employ best practices to cut back on water consumption in their establishments. So where is water used the most in restaurants?
- 52% in the kitchen and for dishwashing
- 31% for domestic and restroom use
- 4% for landscaping
- 1% for cooling and heating
- 12% in varied uses
Looking at these figures can help you audit your water usage easily and find ways to reduce consumption. For example, restroom toilets can be replaced with water-saving utilities such as low-flow toilets which only use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, compared to traditional toilets which use 3.5 gallons of water per flush.
3. Reduce food waste
The Food Waste Reduction Alliance carried out a study and found that 84.3% of food not consumed in restaurants across the country ends up in the garbage. Only a fraction 14.3% is recycled, and just 1.4% is donated. It’s clear to see that restaurants have a long way to go in terms of helping to reduce food waste.
As a restaurateur, one of the best ways you can reduce food waste is by identifying organizations in your local area to donate left-over food to every week. Soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless and religious organizations are all good places to start when donating food.
4. Use sustainable packaging for take-out
Two million trees are cut down each day to provide the paper demand of the U.S. alone. Restaurants can reduce the number of trees cut down each year by getting restaurant packaging manufactured by companies that use recycled materials. Efforts to promote green efforts should also include reducing the use of plastic in our businesses, considering 2.4 million tons of PET plastic bottles are disposed of each year in the U.S. alone.
You can seek sustainable packaging for yourself or you can partner with Grubhub. We’ve teamed up with a partner to offer environmentally friendly packaging solutions that ensure food quality and presentation. From tamper-evident delivery bags to insulated half-gallon containers, all of Grubhub’s sustainable packaging is made up of 75% recycled materials. To get more information on this packaging, sign up for Grubhub or reach out to your account advisor if you’re an existing restaurant partner.
Keen to learn more about restaurant packaging? Here are 4 Common Takeout Packaging Mistakes to Avoid.