Sustainability awareness and environmental standards have been progressing as our planet has been feeling the
heightening effects of pollutants for centuries. Restaurants contribute to this offset in more ways than one: water
usage, energy usage, food waste, plastic usage, pollution, and garbage waste are the top contributors. As we
continue damaging our planet, the earth's health will continue to feel it to the extremes.
So how can restaurants stop contributing to this spiral and lower their carbon footprint?
Reduce the amount of plastic that you use by replacing plastic with compostable and recyclable alternatives
(e.g. paper straws, paper bags, compostable food containers).
Considering the large amounts of energy used by restaurants, switching to renewable energy sources, such as
wind, solar, geothermal, or hydroelectric, would be very good. Most electricity suppliers offer the option to source
your electricity from alternative sources. Wind energy has the best reputation when considering the effects on
the environment. Not only would wind energy reduce a restaurant's carbon footprint immensely, but it is also abundant,
infinite, and affordable. This makes it a feasible and an extensive alternative to fossil fuels. If the environment's
benefit is not reason enough to make this change, you can also acknowledge the low operating costs. Ask your electric
company about it. It’s simple.
Food waste is another leading cause of the climate crisis. Food is a substance that cannot be reused or kept for a
significant amount of time: it will go bad. This creates obstacles for the environment, both in throwing out the food
and the overwhelming demand for producing more. There are other ways around throwing out tons of food every
night when restaurants close, or even throughout the day when consumers do not eat the entire portion.
Click here to read more about how to reduce food waste.
Restaurants should consider composting. Compositing saves water by helping the soil hold moisture, as well as
reducing water runoff. It benefits the environment by recycling resources while minimizing what is sent to landfills.
A restaurant could also think about having its own garden and using that food for cooking. This is a much more
sustainable and healthy way of distributing food to consumers. If a restaurant does not have the land space for
either of these suggestions, restaurants can donate leftover food to local food shelters and also contract
with composting companies that will pickup your food waste and compost it for you. Throwing out ingredients
and pre-made meals that won't be served the next day is a waste of money and draining for the planet to keep up
with. Click here to read more.
Overall, small changes like those I have suggested are a small step towards a healthier future for our planet. Not
only will your restaurant be minimizing its carbon footprint, but will be erasing its previous ones.