Have You Gone Green Yet?August 13, 2013 By: Kristen Santoro
A genuine philosophy for millions of Americans, with more joining the movement each day, is the continued commitment to green. More and more Americans look to support places that are reducing their dependence on traditional power and their carbon footprint emitted into the environment. Bars and nightclubs nationwide are making strides to green up their business to improve sustainability.
One of the major trends that caught on very quickly was incorporating organic, sustainable and local into you drink and food menus; a trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. However, your “green/local” thinking shouldn’t stop there. It should extend into how you operate your entire business. And it’s not that difficult.
Initiatives set by the National Restaurant Association, Green Restaurant Association and other hospitality groups have been nudging owners and operators to think about controlling energy use and waste creation. With a little planning and attention to details there are some simple things that you can be doing in your bar or nightclub to reduce the environmental effects that you have on your local community and the world.
The investment of time and money pays off quickly through cost savings and increased traffic from eco-conscious customers. Therefore, here are eight simple steps you should take to improve consumer and environmental health in your business.
- Install Sustainable Equipment – Investments in solar panels, energy-saving lighting, more efficient kitchen appliances and water-limiting devices can save thousands. Make sure that when replacing any appliance you install Energy Star units.
Be Efficient – Check appliances performance, clean vents and seal windows and doors. Making sure that everything is operating effectively, whether newly installed or not, will conserve energy.
Buy Local - Focus on buying local produce and storing it for as short a time as possible. This will save on transportation costs, allow you to serve higher quality produce, improve the local economy, and decrease the total energy cost of food storage.
Use Paper - Print materials on recycled paper and utilize paper straws, paper cups and recycled napkins to cut down on the use of plastic and air pollutants released into the atmosphere.
Eliminate Styrofoam – Styrofoam is the biggest environmental health concern; therefore use to-go containers made from recycled paper products, or wrap them in foil.
Save Water - Replace faucet fixtures with water conservation fixtures and have your pipes checked for leaks. Make sure that employees are not leaving the water running and analyze the use of water involved in the culinary process.
Invest Now – As said previously the return on green investments can be significant and seen quickly. The benefits on the community are also immediate and customers will come back to support what you’re doing.
- Get Certified - The reality is that a business cannot go completely green overnight. Set realistic goals that will reduce waste, energy use, and water use. Then become certified as a green restaurant. You must create a plan for becoming more eco-friendly and undergo an assessment.