Why Go Green?
Becoming a greener foodservice establishment is rewarding. Saving money by reducing the use of energy and water is one of several rewards. On average, restaurants can reduce their energy and water bills by as much as 30 percent.
Having a green attitude toward the environment not only benefits restaurants financially by reducing overall operating cost, but also increases profits by creating healthy dining and work environments.
Being recognized as “Green” can increase a restaurant’s business by eco-friendly minded diners. Also, there is the benefit of community support achieved through buying locally grown products as well as materials. Finally, going green improves the environments of local, national and global communities by reducing pollutants, conserving energy and saving our natural resources.
FAQs About Going Green
- How can I reduce energy consumption?
- How can I help eliminate waste?
- In what areas can I use water more efficiently?
- Why buy sustainable materials?
- What are recycled/bio-based disposables?
- How can I reduce harmful chemicals & pollution?
- Earth Friend Organizations
Restaurants are the largest consumer of electricity in the commercial sector. Foodservice facilities need to strive to be carbon-neutral and use only sustainable sources of energy. Achieve this by using more energy-efficient equipment, offsetting energy usage, and generating on-site renewable clean sources of energy. Three areas control these costs: operations, maintenance and purchasing.
An average restaurant can produce 150,000 pounds of garbage each year. Foodservice facilities can move toward the goal of becoming zero-waste by reducing waste output, increasing reusable items, recycling, and composting the rest.
An average restaurant can use 300,000 gallons of water per year. Management of water includes the areas of landscaping, food preparation, dining/serving, dishwashing, ice production, restrooms & maintenance. Promoting water efficiency and conservation in your foodservice facilities will result in long term gains.
Foodservice facilities should make environmentally responsible purchasing decisions when considering supplies, furnishings and building materials. Aiming for sustainability is not going against a financial bottom line but purchasing with both profit and “green” as your guiding commitments. Eco responsibility is a selling point for your establishment – and your sustainable furnishings are a visual commitment you can use in your advertising.
Recycled/bio-based disposables are products that are made from bio-based materials that are compostable/biodegradable, or materials that have been previously recycled and made into these new products. The goal is to move your foodservice facilities toward using products that don’t require extracting virgin resources, especially petroleum-based resources.
Air and water pollution are major issues facing our society. Chemical reduction can be achieved by purchasing products that meet Green Seal standards such as solvents made from citrus and glass cleaners made from vinegar. Pollution can be reduced by creating a smoke-free environment and by using pesticides with natural ingredients that are eco-friendly.
Contact any of the following earth friendly organizations to learn more about going green.
|The US EPA Energy Star® rating is available for commercial cooking equipment: refrigerators/freezers, fryers, hot food cabinets, steam cookers and ice machines. Energy Star® rated models can save over 40% in energy cost compared to non-Energy Star® models with the exception of commercial ice machines that are on average 15% more energy efficient and 10% more water efficient than standard models. www.EnergyStar.gov|
|LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. www.usgbc.org/leed|
|Ecolabels can help you find green products. This site helps companies and consumers use them. You can browse, search or learn more about ecolabels. www.ecolabelling.org|
|Green Seal ™ is an independent, non-profit organization that provides science-based environmental certification standards. www.greenseal.org|
|The Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) is an independent testing facility that offers publications and tools to help identify energy savings opportunities. www.fishnick.com|
|Eco-Story develops economical environmental LED lighting solutions that save your company money and help the environment. www.eco-story.com Green Lodging|
|Green Lodging. www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging/|