When it comes to applying societal-wide efforts that help restore the environmental balance we are seeking, our best bet is to look at the daily practical running of industries. For example, consider the leaps forward made when most coffee cups sold in coffee vending machines were crafted using recyclable materials. This is one step on the staircase to the world we would all rather inhabit.
If there’s one industry known for being particularly wasteful, it’s the hospitality business. From wasted food to running the stoves all day to the practices of the guests, sometimes it can be important to lobby for change in these areas. But of course, the best path there is in suggesting better standards and then using our purchasing power to help those new standards come into play.
But first, we need to have a frank discussion on how some options might become better over time. Let us consider what that might look like, using the following advice to get us there. If you run a restaurant or are familiar with those that do, consider the following:
Restaurants are notorious for throwing out food. In some respects, they cannot be blamed for this. It’s not their fault if the usual predictions of stock are not purchased, or despite the high quality of the food some do not choose to eat all of their meals. But if you have a few items, such as breads or other pantry items that are otherwise going off – you cannot serve them the following day.
However, you might be able to donate them to a homeless shelter that night. For example, it could be that you have many lunchtime foods that will not carry over to your evening menu. A quick trip to a donation centre between services can help you free up kitchen space and potentially stock a homeless shelter that evening. This could work for many inner-city restaurants, and it’s a much better outcome than simply throwing it away.
You’d be surprised how many restaurants fail to recycle goods. It can be important to offer these recycling bins, or to have staff do this when picking up certain items during the clearing of a table. For example, it might be that a child’s juice box would be better off in the recycling rather than going to landfill. A simple training guide and a little extra effort could make a massive difference over the year.
Using ethical purchasing power can go a long way to this end. You might select suppliers that do not use excess packaging when delivering their goods – provided the food is still delivered to hygiene standards. You may opt for Save the Turtles metal straws when giving out certain beverages. A decision like this, committing to regularly, will have a great and direct impact when hoping to clean up the oceans.
If you can commit to these decisions and think carefully about your operations – your restaurant operation is sure to become greener.