5 Ways To Make Your Restaurant More Green

As a restaurant owner, you may be concerned about your carbon footprint. Restaurants and other foodservice facilities tend to use three times as much energy as other commercial buildings. In order to help offset this tendency, become more green, and even be able to label your restaurant as green or eco-friendly (which can be an effective marketing tactic), just implement these five easy tips:

Recycle Your Grease

Many restaurant owners aren't aware that they can recycle the grease from their grease traps. Grease removal companies like Tierra Environmental & Industrial Services will come collect the grease at pre-scheduled times, clean your grease traps for you, and then recycle the grease into methane gas which is used for sustainable power for businesses. This takes one of the least green and most unpleasant aspects of many restaurants and turns it into something great for the environment while also crossing an unpopular chore off of your staff's to-do list.

Repair or Upgrade Your Appliances

Outdated and inefficient appliances waste a ton of energy. Your refrigerator, stove, HVAC systems and other appliances get much more use than residential appliances and therefore need to be efficient, powerful, restaurant grade models. Having your appliances inspected on a scheduled basis a couple of times a year will ensure that inefficiencies and needed repairs are noticed and repaired before they become more serious and cost you more money.

Repairing or replacing appliances when needed is an up-front cost that saves you money on energy bills in the long-term, while making your restaurant more green in the process.

Start Composting

An easy and fun way to make your restaurant more green is to begin composting. This can begin as simply as setting out a bin in the kitchen for compostable kitchen scraps, including egg shells, coffee grounds, and fruit and vegetable peels. You can buy a compost bin online, at any major home improvement store, or even make your own as a fun project with your staff. Once those restaurant scraps turn into rich soil, it's time to start your own kitchen garden.

Your customers will love knowing some of the ingredients in their meals were grown right in your own on-site garden. Restaurant gardens are becoming increasingly popular even at urban restaurants as a way to reduce your restaurant's carbon footprint and ensure the freshness and quality of your produce.

Recycle And Use Recycled Materials

Setting up a more robust recycling system for your restaurant is another excellent way to go green. You should have as many recycling bins as trash cans in your kitchen and behind the bar. To make things easy, consider switching to two-sided trash bins that are clearly labeled with "trash" on one side and "recycling" on the other. Train your staff on recycling bottles, cans, and paper products. To boost your green cred even more, opt for recycled and/or compostable materials for things like take-out boxes and paper products in the restrooms.

Buy Local Ingredients

Another major source of wasted resources and energy in the restaurant industry is ordering ingredients that have to be trucked or shipped to your location from far away. A much more sustainable approach is to source as many of your ingredients locally as possible. In addition to using local dairy products, meat, and produce, you can also purchase artwork and furnishings from local artisans. This is not only more green, but helps to forge deeper connections and boost customer loyalty in your local community.

By spending a bit of time planning a green strategy for your restaurant, you can easily reduce your restaurant's carbon footprint, benefitting the environment and attracting new, socially conscious customers.