Friday, April 22 is Earth day! Though we encourage everyone to be eco-friendly year round, April is a great time to jump start your sustainability practice. Maybe it’s because the hint of spring is finally starting to become real, or that we’re no longer in the dark come 5pm, but there’s a sense of renewal and motivation which makes it the perfect time to start fresh.
Below is a roundup of some ways you can go green in your business—and you might just be surprised how becoming eco-friendly benefits your wallet too:
1. Commit to throwing a zero-waste event
If you’re a caterer or event planner, chances are you regularly utilize disposables for its convenience and price. Single-use cups and dinnerware makes it easy to serve large groups of guests without the hassle of the cleanup afterwards. Unfortunately disposables are also a large contributor to our landfills.
So what are your options?
We’ve long had paper plates, which tend to be thin and are often not recyclable due to a combination of food grease, crumbs and other organic materials. Then, plastic plates came along—wonderful! More durable and leakproof than their paper plate counterparts, plastic plates come in a variety of colors and some are even recyclable (though not many). Unfortunately not all cities are equipped to recycle the ones that are even recyclable.
But throwing a 0% waste event? Neither of these options measure up.
Welcome to the party compostables. Composting is quickly gaining traction in many cities because it essentially turns waste back into nutrient-rich soils. Nature’s ultimate recycling system, successful composting systems reduce methane gas, groundwater pollution and saves landfill space. Typically made from renewable resources like bamboo or sugar cane, many manufacturers (like Eco-Products) are making compostable plates, cups, utensils, serveware and much more!
For your next zero waste event, try posting a sign near the trash, recycle and composting containers so guests know where to deposit their items. Feel free to click and print our handy sign below!
2. See the light, no really.
LEDs are a relatively new technology that are 80% more efficient than traditional lighting like fluorescent and incandescent lights; this is due to the fact that most of the energy of LEDs is converted into light with only a small amount wasted as heat. Commercial restaurants utilize quite a bit in lighting, from the lighting around your hoods or in the walk in, you’d be surprised at just how much energy you’re wasting. Luckily more manufacturers—like Component Hardware—are giving restaurateurs more options in being green.
But if LEDs are so good, why don’t you see more being used? Primarily, cost. LEDs are by far the most expensive lighting option on the market; but what you pay up front you regain (and then some) in as little as 6 months. And since LEDs typically last up to six times longer than other types of lights (around 50,000+ hours), it’ll minimize your cost of replacement. But don’t take my word for it—download the LED Lights savings calculator (it’s an Excel spreadsheet) and input your numbers to get your savings.
3. Turn organic waste into water
Sounds like something from the Jetsons, doesn’t it? Sure is, but that just goes to show you how sustainability is becoming more and more attainable.
EnviroPure by T&S Brass is a state-of-the-art food waste disposable system that rapidly breaks down and removes waste on site…and turns it into water in just 24 hours. Think about how powerful that is—turn waste into water on-site in a single day. Take a moment now, and think about your food waste costs. For some of you (like ski resorts), you spend a big chunk of change just transporting that waste down the mountain. What if you could eliminate that line item in your expense report altogether…
Sounds too good to be true? Don’t take it from us, watch the video:
In 2012, food waste was estimated to make up nearly 15% of waste in landfill sites. For those who live in areas where commercial composting is not available, the EnviroPure system easily fills the gap. And even states that do support commercial composting, there are still costs associated with pick-up, transport and turning of the compost piles.
So what are you waiting for? Save yourself some green when you Go Green in 2016!