Extra Tips For Reducing Your Commercial Kitchen’s Carbon Footprint
Some of the top emissions in the restaurant business include ingredients used in food (representing 78% of emissions), followed by energy, waste, and transportation - as reported in a study undertaken by Origin Climate. The study shows that the restaurant industry can make significant improvements to its carbon footprint by serving, for instance, less beef and lamb (which represent around 48% of a typical establishment’s emissions). Poultry, pork, and seafood, meanwhile, emit around 13% of a restaurant’s totals, while fruits and vegetables represent just 6% of this total. In addition to rethinking their menu, what other steps can commercial establishments take to be more eco-friendly?
Reducing Your Reliance On Plastics
Plastics are a known threat to ocean life and contribute significantly to global warming since they are known to emit greenhouse gases like methane and ethylene. While your restaurant may not be able to emit plastics completely, it can reduce its dependence on this material by conducting a detailed waste audit to see which plastic-packaged products can be replaced by those packaged in recycled or recyclable packaging. Restaurants can also choose to stop serving plastic water bottles, filtering their water, ice, and other beverages in-house with a quality filtration system. In general, single-use plastics should be avoided to the greatest extent possible through the purchase of items such as reusable glasses and mugs, reusable condiment containers, metal straws, and reusable coffee filters.
Embracing Green Cleaning
There is no doubt that restaurants often have to use specialized dishwashing and grease cleaners in order to kill germs and keep equipment and surfaces free of germs. However, many parts of the restaurant can be cleaned in an environmentally friendly manner. For instance, floors, carpets, and curtains can be steam vacuumed; simple DIY solutions such as lemon and baking soda can be used to clean ovens, and desktops can be cleaned with non-toxic cleaners. Removing a few harsh chemicals from your list of cleaners will help to create cleaner indoor air that will also benefit your employees’ health.
Saving Water And Opting For Energy-Efficient Appliances
Look for the Energy Star logo when purchasing kitchen appliances, as this indicates that they have been approved by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Energy Star logo requires equipment such as convection ovens to have a 70% minimum cooking energy efficiency, meaning they use the least amount of energy required to fulfill their function. You can also look into appliances that run on solar or water energy since these are the ultimate energy savers.
In addition to opting for an energy-efficient dishwasher, you should also set your unit to the right cycle. Plates and utensils can first be rinsed in a large plastic bucket so that they can then be washed on a shorter cycle. Smaller items can also be washed by hand (without allowing the water to run continuously). Doing so will save you gallons of water and reveal a pleasant reduction in your water bill at the end of the month.
If you run a successful restaurant or you are thinking of launching a food business, then going green can be achieved in many ways, both small and large. One of the most efficient ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to invest in appliances with the Energy Star logo. Another is to embrace renewable energy. Saving water is also key at a time when water is a precious resource. Finally, restaurants can look at their menu and think of ways to reduce the importance of carbon-heavy ingredients such as beef and lamb in their list of dishes.