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Do you ever stop to think about how much electricity, water, and paper your restaurant uses? Yikes. Your restaurant could probably be a little more eco-friendly, right? The great thing about going green is that it’s not just good for the environment—it’s good for business, too! Read on to find out some helpful tips that will help you be a little bit nicer to Mother Earth.

1. Recycle.

Okay, so this one’s pretty obvious, but actually pay attention to all the things you throw out. Chances are, you’re trashing plenty of things that are recyclable. And, depending on where your restaurant’s located, have you considered started a compost pile? This can be a great way to use leftover food scraps.

2. Upgrade your equipment.

This can be a little expensive, but it can pay off eventually. By buying more energy efficient appliances, like ovens and refrigerators, you can help the environment and your electricity bill.

3. Switch to greener cleaning supplies.

Are you rubbing down your counter tops with toxic chemicals? Consider switching to safer, more environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.

4. Don’t waste water!

Put flow restrictors on your faucets to control how much water comes out when people wash their hands.

5. Buy local.

Are you getting your produce from halfway across the world? Not only is it likely sprayed with tons of chemicals, but think of how much fuel is necessary to transport that food to your door! See if any local farmers can provide the food you need. Not only will fuel costs be lower, but you’ll also be putting your money back into the community.

6. Make straws optional.

There’s no need to get rid of straws completely, but if you don’t automatically provide them for customers, you can be sure you’re not giving out unnecessary straws that will just be thrown straight into the trash.

7. Use cloth, not paper.

Cloth napkins can be washed and used again and again, unlike paper napkins.

8. Ditch Styrofoam takeout containers.

Most restaurant use them, but we all know that Styrofoam just hangs out in landfills forever. Why not switch to biodegradable takeout containers?

9. Try paperless advertising.

Tweets don’t kill any trees, and Facebook doesn’t waste paper. Consider using social media for advertising instead of using fliers or newspaper ads. And instead of paper coupons, email them to your customers and they can use them on their smart phones. Many customers prefer using digital coupons anyway.

10. Don’t run what you don’t need.

Don’t keep the oven on when you’re not using it, and don’t run the dishwasher when it’s only half-full. And don’t heat or cool rooms unless you’re using them.

By following at least a few of these tips, you can make your restaurant more eco-friendly—while saving money and giving back to your community in the process!
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