As Earth’s climate change crisis reaches unprecedented levels, we are becoming more and more conscious of a need to reduce our carbon footprint. As a hospitality business there are many practices you can adopt which will help you be more eco-friendly whilst attracting more customers.
Say no to single use plastics!
🌍 Banning single-use plastics throughout the venue is a must. Today, there are many alternatives which don’t have such a catastrophic impact on our environment. Did you know that plastic does not actually biodegrade like organic matter but instead breaks down into tiny pieces which can be very dangerous to wildlife. You can instead use metal, reusable straws and paper cups for takeaway drinks. Cardboard boxes for takeaways and paper bags are also a popular option. As we become more environmentally conscious we should avoid buying more plastic, instead work with companies that produce glass versions of your customers’ favourite drinks. Not only would this make the containers reusable but they also look great on display.
Encourage the use of reusable takeaway cups!
🌍 If you’re a cafe that sells a lot of takeaway coffee, introducing incentives that encourage customers to bring in their own reusable cups is a great way to reduce your business’s carbon footprint. Rewarding a customer with a stamp on their loyalty card each time they bring in their own cup, rather than the usual stamp for simply buying a coffee, will encourage others to do so. Plus, when they rack up ten stamps, offer them a free coffee as a reward.
Consider using washable napkins and towels!
🌍 Although paper napkins are easy-to-use, their overproduction does huge damage to our woodlands around the world. Restaurants can avoid this by using washable napkins so they can be reused again and again. Also, there’s no need for paper towels or hand-dryers in the toilets if you use actual towels instead. Part of the change needed worldwide is adopting the mindset that doing things like this is OK and not unhygienic, especially as it is so beneficial to the planet’s health. Reusable cleaning products like tea-towels and flannels will also help you reduce your paper waste, accompanied with eco-friendly chemical-free sprays and washing up liquid will also reduce your business’s pollution.
Reduce your restaurant's meat consumption!
🌍 Many people today, even if they don’t identify as vegetarian or vegan, are interested in eating less meat. They are aware of the impacts a habit of eating too much meat has on the environment. Did you know that 51% of the world’s greenhouse gases are attributed to livestock? Be sure to have an abundance of vegetarian/vegan options on your menu, rather than just one or two. This will attract more customers and will cost less for the kitchen team to buy from suppliers.
🌍 Getting involved in your local community by buying their produce is a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint and support the local economy. Rather than buying fruit and vegetables that have been shipped in from halfway around the world, whose nutrients are often diminished by the time they’re on your table, there are many benefits of going local. One, they are full of flavour because they’re often picked at the optimum time. Plus, eating local, means eating seasonal which also benefits the environment. Reducing the steps between you and your food suppliers is a surefire way to assuring quality food.
Don't waste water!
🌍 Practising water efficiency throughout your business is also a good way of reducing unnecessary waste. Instead of automatically bringing customers jugs of drinking water which they may not drink, wait until they request it. Many customers won’t want it and you will have wasted good water. Installing waterless urinals is also a good way to reduce your water consumption. Some businesses have also installed water catchment and reuse systems which have numerous benefits. Did you know that only 3% of water on the planet is freshwater and only 0.5% of that is drinkable. This makes it crucial that we do everything we can to try and preserve this precious resource.
Go paperless and donate leftovers!
🌍 As well as having a strict recycling system in place, going paperless is a wonderful thing to do for your business. Customer receipts can be sent via email and a strict card-only rule will help to assure this. In the process of emailing receipts, you can also ask customers whether they would like to be added to the newsletter database to find out about upcoming offers and events. As well as reducing your paper production, you can donate any leftovers to food and homeless shelters. One person’s leftovers can often be a welcome meal to a hungry person in need. You can also start composting any leftovers and start growing your own produce.
Consider cycling or electric cars!
🌍 Reducing pollution is a very important thing to consider. Introducing a bike-to-work incentive for your staff is a good idea, as well as offering only gas-free forms of food delivery, like cyclists and walkers. It may seem extreme but you could also consider offering your car parking spaces to strictly electric cars or at least hybrids that use alternative fuel sources. People will be impressed by your dedication and passion to reducing your carbon footprint.
Assure your restaurant's appliances are energy efficient!
🌍 When buying appliances, always check the energy rating before purchasing. Buying the most energy efficient products will help reduce your energy output. As well as this make sure to moderate your building’s temperature. Don’t overuse radiators and air- conditioning units. Instead promote natural light with windows. Also, having an abundance of plants will improve the indoor climate as well as being aesthetically pleasing whilst reducing stress levels.
Make sure the customers know you are actively working to reduce your carbon footprint by implementing these eco-friendly practices. You will surely inspire others to follow in your footsteps.
For help marketing your eco-conscious brand...get in contact with the Captivate team this week. Call us on 020 3954 6253 or fill in a contact form here.
By Anna Argiros