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10 Things Restaurants Can Do to Be Greener

Updated on June 21, 2011

How to Make Your Restaurant Business More Eco Friendly and Greener to Consumers

Having an eco friendly restaurant not only makes sense for the environment, but makes perfect sense for the financial well being of your restaurant and perception by the paying public. Consumers are more and more conscious of earth friendly businesses and practices, and love to see companies that are putting in the effort to go green. You'll save money, they'll be more likely to return, and best of all, they'll spread the word and tell friends and family all about your eco friendly restaurant. So how can you make your eatery more earth friendly? Read on for some tips and ideas!

1. Switch to reusable napkins and reusable menus. Ditch those dipsoable menus and offer something that's laminated and the menu can be easily changed.

2. Offer paper straws instead of plastic. Plastic straws only became popular within the past 40 years or so. Before that, we all had paper!

3. Recycle your cardboard. Restaurants go through an enormous amount of cardboard, so why not recycle it? Not only will you save money by saving dumper space, but you'll be making your business a little bit greener.

4. Recycle plastic bottles, cans, and paper. In the office, place a paper recycling bin off to the side for all used paper. Designate a new barrel or area near the trash to recycle metal cans and plastic bottles.

5. Next time you remodel your restaurant, consider using more eco friendly toilets that use less water, as well as hand dryers and automatic faucets.

Green up your restaurant! Photo by stu_spivack on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.
Green up your restaurant! Photo by stu_spivack on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.

More Ways to Green Up Your Restaurant

6. Offer more locally grown items on the menu. Use locally grown produce in your recipes, and tell the public that you're doing this! They'd love to know (and it will taste better!).

7. Keep a close eye on the outside temperature. In the summer and winter, businesses often assume the weather is hot or cold, when in reality the temperature shifts on a daily basis. You might not need the air conditioning so high or the heat on certain days. Customers will be more comfortable as well.

8. Conserve water and energy in your restaurant with energy efficient dishwashers.

9. For take out items, switch to a more earth friendly container that will biodegrade. Also, ask the customer if they'd like to have plastic utensils and napkins instead of automatically including them.

10. Grow vegetables and herbs on site if possible. Not only will you save money, but the customers will notice that you grow fresh herbs and veggies, and the produce will be much fresher.

Watch this Video for more Ideas on Making a Greener Restaurant

Green Your Restaurant and Take Out Experience with Reusable Take Out Containers

There's nothing better on a busy day to lighten your work load than a dinner, lunch or breakfast that is made for you. Take out is convenient, but we often don't think of the consequences of eating for convenience. Take out containers are disposable, for the most part, and meant to be thrown away. Very few of them are recycled, or even able to be recycled. Styrofoam and #5 and #6 plastics are often used for takeout containers, which can't be recycled for the most part. So what's the solution? Bringing your own reusable containers to restaurants is the green solution.

Making Restaurant Waste Their Business

TakeOutWithout is all about taking your own containers to restaurants instead of using disposable containers. They'll be making an effort to reduce waste, encouraging restaurant goers, and patrons to cut back. Why take the whole condiment tray when you won't even use it? Take out food causes tremendous waste, and we're running out of space to put this disposable stuff. Let's do our part and help the environment (and ourselves) by eliminating that waste.

Do you care whether restaurants you visit are eco friendly?

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Also check out:

10 Things to Stop Buying to Go Green - an article on things you should cut out of your life to be a little more eco friendly.

Check out our page on Eco Friendly Reusable Canvas Tote bags for anywhere you're on the go!

You can also check out some of our cool organic t-shirts in our store!


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    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Good Hub. Great list.