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January 2018 Edition
Why Green Your Restaurant?
Michael Oshman, Founder of Green Restaurant Association
To put it simply: greening your restaurant can save you money, help you gain media attention, attract customers, retain employees, stay ahead of legislation, all while contributing positively to the environment. It doesn’t have to be daunting, expensive, or time consuming. The Green Restaurant Association (GRA) has seven environmental categories in our certification standards: water, waste, chemicals, disposables, building materials, food, and energy. These standards encompass thousands of ways a restaurant can improve their environmental impact.
Here are a few steps that you can implement to make your restaurant more sustainable.
There are hundreds of ways a restaurant can save water, but something we often recommend is switching out your pre-rinse sprayers and aerators with high-efficiency models. This simple and inexpensive fix can save thousands of gallons of water and money on your water and heating bills.
Restaurants can reduce their waste by almost 90% if they recycle and compost. Not only does recycling and composting help reduce waste, but it can keep restaurants ahead of legislation. Recycling and composting laws have increased significantly throughout the country, and if you’re proactive, you will not have to rush to comply with the laws.
There are hundreds of ways a restaurant can reduce their energy use. A simple, cost effective way is by purchasing high efficiency lightbulbs such as T8s and LEDs. Often, the return on investment is 6 months to 2 years, and restaurants can save thousands of dollars on saved energy. Lighting alone accounts for 13% of a restaurant’s electricity bills.
Use sustainable building materials
If you are ever renovating or rebuilding, try sourcing sustainable building materials for your restaurant. You can reuse furniture from a previous tenant or from a consignment shop. You can also purchase items, from carpet to countertops, made from recycled and salvaged materials.
Ditch the pollutants
Phasing out cleaning products with harmful ingredients, incentivizing employees to use public transportation, and using GreenPro Certified pest management are just a few ways your restaurant can cut down on their pollution production.
Rethink your food purchases
Consumers are more interested in sustainable food than ever before. Adding more organic, local, planted-based, and humanely raised products will attract customers and reduce your restaurant’s impact on the environment.
As you can see, there are many small environmental steps a restaurant can take that can create a positive impact, both on the environment and your bottom line. If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of running a restaurant while also researching and implementing sustainable programs and products, the Green Restaurant Association’s certification program can make the process hassle-free. We provide you with all the individualized consulting and information to become sustainable, save money, and market your certification. Learn more at www.dinegreen.com.
May 2018 Business Builder - Celeste Young-Ramos, CEO, Restaurant Success Center
April 2018 Business Builder - Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, President of Dana White Nutrition, Inc.
March 2018 Business Builder - Marlisa Brown, MS, RD, CDE, CDN
February 2018 Business Builder - TJ Grisel of MenuTrinfo, LLC
January 2018 Business Builder - Dale Willerton, CEO of The Lease Coach