Take Steps to Become a More Sustainable Operation this Green Monday
by David Klemt
You’re probably being inundated with emails about Green Monday today.
Given how the meaning of the word “green” has evolved over the past couple of years, many people may think Green Monday is similar to Earth Day. In reality, it’s about the color of money.
Green Monday, a term coined by eBay, is sometimes called Cyber Monday 2. It’s the busiest online shopping day of December and second only to Cyber Monday in terms of online sales.
eBay and other retailers often promote the idea that shopping online is greener than shopping in person since people aren’t driving to and from stores. The reality is likely closer to the meaning of Black Friday—businesses are trying to boost revenue.
We’ve decided to take a different approach to Green Monday. Sustainability and responsible business practices are important to today’s consumer, including restaurant and bar guests. Significant swaths of people want to know they’re supporting businesses that share their values.
This Green Monday, take a look at the sustainability of your business. Evaluate what can be changed to make operations greener and implement those initiatives for 2021.
- Go local. Source produce and other ingredients from local farmers and suppliers to reduce carbon emissions.
- Go hyper-local. Grow produce using a restaurant garden or containers. Garnishes, items for salads, veggies for entrees… Get creative.
- Reduce and reuse. Inventory software can help reduce food waste by sending alerts when items are nearing their expiration dates. Reconsidering portion sizes can also help avoid food waste, as can cross-utilization: use as much of an item in as many ways as possible, such as tying food and beverage together with the same ingredients. If you can do so safely and legally in your area, donate excess food items before they expire.
- Recycle and compost. Getting in the habit of recycling can be as easy as placing dedicated bins in strategic locations throughout the back of house and bar. Composting can be more complicated, particularly for venues with limited space, but there are local organizations and farms that will pick up compostable items.
- Be efficient. The more energy-efficient pieces of equipment you can use, the better. Flow restrictors and low-flow toilets can save millions of gallons of water. Eco-friendly cleaners and sanitizers are safer for people and the environment.
- Audit your packaging. Are you using recyclable or compostable packaging?
- Audit your suppliers’ packaging. Many brands have committed to reducing packaging or opting for more sustainable materials. Speak with your suppliers and request reduced packaging.