7 smart ways your restaurant can go green
Updated: Feb 7
1.Compost food waste
Restaurants send large amount food waste to landfills/ dumpsites producing the green house gas methane, 70 times more potent in trapping heat than carbon dioxide during decomposition. If you are looking to reduce your greenhouse emissions as well as food waste, composting is the answer. It reduces emissions but also creates valuable soil amendment that 🌱restores depleted soils, prevents erosion, substitutes synthetic fertilisers and helps soil retain water- all essential for reducing climate change.
Sustainable Composting Tip
By simply keeping a separate bin in your kitchen, for only food waste🦴, that can be emptied when full into a larger food waste bin outside. The key is to use plant based bin liners that will compost or breakdown quickly and easily along with food, in order to save time & other resources. Plant based bin liners are made from bio polymers from third grade corn crops (not considered suitable for eating) instead of oil, leaving no toxicity in the soil when they break down into compost.
Join other sustainable restaurants and sign up for our free compost pick up service* if you are in Harare. For your convenience, corn starch bin liners will be replenished as required during collections.
* Terms and conditions apply
2.Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
After food waste, packaging is another problematic source of waste from restaurants. Make huge strides in sustainability by adopting the “3 R’s”, a mantra for the environmentally sustainable businesses by reducing waste, reusing containers and recycling materials where possible. This will not only reduce waste but also save you money. The key is to have recycling stations set up in all areas of the restaurant including the kitchen, wait station, bar, and office. After establishing your recycling bins everywhere, inform staff to separate waste and put up signage♻️ in your recycling station to show off your efforts and also encourage customers to recycle. This will go a long way towards achieving your goals to go green.
Here are a few tips to get you started on the “3 R’s.
Reduce the amount of packaging from your suppliers to reduce landfill by:
1.Only buying what you need.
2.Offering doggy bags for left-over food in compostable packaging.
3. By checking your storage temperatures and using air-tight containers for perishables.
4.Using the first-in first-out system when dealing with perishables.
5.Reuse packaging by asking your supplier to either deliver in reusable packaging or take back the used packaging used to deliver the goods.
6. Reuse containers like plastic bottles and ice cream containers to store produce or convert them into food waste bins.
7.Recycle wood boxes, glass bottles, and cardboard. Sign up today if you are in Harare and join other sustainable restaurants for our free recycling pick up service.
8.Buy recycled hand towels, food grade recycled containers and print your menus on recycled paper.
3.Eco-friendly Compostable Packaging
Serving up on-the-go take away food and customer left-overs in compostable packaging, instead of plastic, is good for the environment💚. This is because compostable packaging does not remain in the environment for longer that 90 days, compared to decades in the case of plastic.
Sustainable Packaging Tip
Take-out containers made from bagasse are ideal for take-away or left over food consumed a little later than when prepared because they are microwave and oven safe and can be composted at home along with food waste after use. All this without releasing any toxins into the body or soil or losing shape or form during re-heating.
4.Reduce Water Waste
Droughts are becoming more frequent than ever and so conserving water🚰 is more essential than ever in the journey of becoming a sustainable restaurant. Saving water can also help your bottom line by reducing energy cost📉.
Sustainable Water Saving Tips
Consider water-saving toilets to reduce the amount of water per flush.
Replace bottled water to an in-house filtration system.
Install devices such as flow restrictors on faucets to limit the amount of water used in bathroom and kitchen sinks.
5.Reduce Energy Waste
Reducing energy consumption🔌 will make your restaurant more eco-friendly .
Not only will you reduce carbon emissions and resource depletion, but you can also save money!
Sustainable Energy Saving Tips
Try substituting appliances such as fryers, griddles, boilers, steamers, ovens, freezers for those that are less energy intensive, without compromising performance.
6.Tell Your Customers
Going green is good and benefits the whole planet, so let your customers know so that they can support you. Because most green practices are not easily visible to the customer, you will need to communicate with them using things like your website, table talkers, pamphlets or posters.
You can also use social media to speak about your eco-practices particularly during global or local environmental events such as Earth Day, giving yet another opportunity to attract more customers
Use these tips to start your green restaurant journey and reduce environmental impact, while leveraging sustainability to improve your bottom line.