How to Turn the “Old Family Restaurant” Eco-Friendly

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Why is it so important to be eco-conscious you ponder – because many resources on this planet are not renewable and are being used up. We also have a major pollution problem that needs to be addressed immediately – gone are the days where the environmental issues are the problem of generations far into the future.

If you are an enlightened business owner of an older family run restaurant, you might be feeling a little lost about going green, but there’s actually many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint without majorly overhauling your operations.

Incentives for Going Green

Besides impressing your diners, there are some really good incentives for a business to start implementing eco-friendly practices. The biggest incentive for companies to go green is usually related to money. There are many tax credits and deductions which exist for business owners who use green equipment and use certain renewable energy sources to power their buildings. There’s also special state and federal government loan programs for companies to buy certain equipment to make their building more eco-friendly. After the initial investment is made, going green makes utility use much cheaper and can greatly reduce your overhead.

It Starts with the Food You Serve

Restaurants can do more for the environment through sustainable practices than many other businesses. The impact a food service company has on the environment can be pretty substantial. To start, the food you purchase and serve is actually a lot more important than you may think. Food bought from a supplier which practices sustainable farming can make a huge difference. Buying certified organic produce, dairy, and meat is better for the environment and better for your customers. Making up the cost difference can be as easy as increasing prices and many patrons are willing to pay more for quality – most restaurateurs actually report a major uptake in volume after making the switch to organic. Another important eco-friendly food decision is to buy local only; delivery trucks create an extreme amount of pollution and buying local will greatly reduce the amount of fuel they use and pollutants they emit.

Changes to Daily Operations

Other ways to go green lay within the way you run your daily operations. Reducing water usage by installing aerators to sinks and installing low flow toilets can cut back on wasting water. Grey water can be used to water plants inside and outside of the restaurant as another way to conserve and recycle. Replace all the light bulbs in the building with energy efficient bulbs for electricity savings – some companies even take advantage of solar power panels to provide power for major reduction in dependence of coal powered energy. Energy.gov is full of ideas on ways to become more energy efficient through making simple changes.

Lastly, recycling is a big deal for businesses which use lots of materials which can be reused. Simple solutions can cut back on waste and consumption, making your restaurant an eco-friendly operation.

Andrew Miller is an experienced Social Media expert and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also an avid legal blogger and currently working on a book with his wife about social entrepreneurship. He is a true Socialpreneur and finds that his goal in life is to be an agent for positive social change through both his writing and business endeavors.

Family restaurant image via shutterstock