Going Green. It’s more than just a buzzword. Businesses, small and large, are taking steps to go green. Not only is it good for the environment, going green can save restaurants hundreds and thousands of dollars each year. There are many ways restaurants can go green and save money. Energy efficient appliances, low flow toilets, and recycled paper goods are just a few ways to be more environmentally friendly.
Understand Energy Efficient Appliances
According to the Energy Star website, the commercial food sector uses $10 billion (yes, billion) dollars worth of energy. Up to 80% of that energy is wasted through excess heat and noise by inefficient kitchen appliances. Many commercial restaurant equipment is classified as energy efficient. Look for the Energy Star logo, when looking at new restaurant equipment. Energy efficient equipment includes dishwashers, coolers, fryers, stove ranges, and ovens. Many states, like California, offer hefty rebate programs for restaurants that purchase Energy Star equipment. The rebates, coupled with energy cost savings make energy efficient appliances even more affordable.
Take Simple Steps to Save Money and the Environment
There are lots of small steps restaurant owners and managers can take to save hundreds of dollars a year. Savings from low-flow toilets and faucets and energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs add up to a substantial amount over time. These steps save energy and water and help reduce wastes, making them perfect for a restaurant looking to go green without breaking the bank.
Local Foods to Protect the Environment
Local food is currently one of the biggest food trends in the United States. Check out these 10 reasons that restaurants should buy local foods. Tree hugging aside, local foods are generally easier on the environment than large-scale farms. They use less energy for harvesting and transportation and many small farms are organic (but not all) and don’t use pesticides, hormones or other chemicals. It also helps promote local business and offer healthier, tastier and fresher products for your restaurant menu. Check out the complete guide to Going Green at your restaurant. This handy guide shows you how to go green at your restaurant, from small steps, such as switching from Styrofoam to recycled papers goods and larger steps, such as installing energy efficient ventilation.
Finally, be sure to check out the Green Restaurant Association website. Here you can find out how to become an official “Green” restaurant. They have plenty of resources for recycling, composting, reducing energy use and much more.