5 Ways To Make Your Restaurant More "Green"

As a restaurant owner, there are several benefits to making your business more sustainable and eco-friendly. Not only is doing so better for our planet, but you will also save money on utility bills, garner good press in your city's dining publications, and possibly even be eligible for sustainable business awards. Going green at your restaurant isn't especially complicated or expensive, either. Here are five ideas for making your restaurant more green:

Hire an Eco-Friendly Grease Removal Company

As a restaurant owner, you have a lot of grease and fat to dispose of each week. Pouring it down the drain not only wreaks havoc on your plumbing but also sends the grease into your local water supply as a contaminant. A much better solution is to hire a grease removal company to dispose of your grease the green way. Instead of throwing it away, they will recycle it, usually by turning it into methane gas which can be used as energy.

Start Composting

Tossing your restaurant's food scraps into the trash as a matter of course is a common restaurant practice, but is not environmentally friendly. At landfills, those veggie and fruit peels will be packed so tightly under heavy trash that they won't be able to decompose. A way better idea is to begin composting your food scraps to be turned into rich soil, which, in turn, will grow more food. Compostable items at most restaurants include vegetable and fruit peels and scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells.

Grow a Garden

Now that you will soon have all that rich composting soil, it makes sense to start an on-site vegetable and herb garden. Your produce costs will likely go down, you will be able to offer your clients truly fresh and local produce, and you will be helping the environment. Growing your own vegetables is more sustainable because it doesn't involve using large amounts of fuel to transport produce by truck or airplane. As an added bonus, you will be able to market your restaurant as "farm-to-table," which may attract new business and write-ups.

Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances

If your appliances are old and cumbersome, chances are they are wasting a ton of energy and also causing regular repair bills. Once you can swing it financially, it's a great idea to upgrade to energy-efficient commercial appliances. Your energy bills will go down and you may find that your appliances work much better and have fewer issues, preventing restaurant no-no's like a refrigerator that stops working just before you start prepping meals for the night or an oven that bakes food unevenly.

Switch to Automated LED Lighting

LED light bulbs use 75% less energy than traditional light bulbs and lasts about 25 times longer. When multiplied by the number of light bulbs used in a typical restaurant, it's clear to see that they are worth the upfront cost. LED lighting comes in a variety of styles and colors, and can work perfectly for both the bright light your chefs need in the kitchen and the soft, ambient lighting you want your diners to experience at dinner.

To really maximize the energy efficiency and convenience of your LED lighting, consider adding an automated lighting system. This will allow you to schedule and control lights remotely from your smartphone anytime you want. Instead of wasting energy because your manager forgot to turn off the lights when they left for the night, you can simply switch them off yourself even from the comfort of your home.  

By implementing these tips at your restaurant, your business will soon be known for its green, earth-friendly practices. Contact a company like Tierra Environmental & Industrial Services for more tips.