There are different ways in which food service businesses are environmentally friendly. Some use locally grown produce. Some offer reusable containers and packaging, or allow customers to bring their own in. Some use containers that are compostable or made of recycled content. Others use eco friendly chemicals for cleaning. Some find ways to conserve water doing dishes, while still others Use solar power or wind power to generate electricity. The list goes on and on, and many are finding new ways to make Go Green part of the way they do business.
For those businesses that have not initiated any eco friendly movements yet, or think it may be too hard to get started, we want to provide steps to incorporate one of the easiest eco friendly things you can do: Start a recycling program for your business.
Odds are that everyone at your business all ready does some form of recycling at home. Whether it’s returning cans for a refund or putting out plastics, papers and metals separately in the weekly trash, recycling is done in almost every home in America. So why not include that as part of your business?
One reason to start recycling is that in some areas it is law to recycle certain waste products. Finding out what rules (and support) your municipality has in place should be done regularly by business owners, district managers and restaurant/store managers. As you look into recycling programs, you may find that in some places recycling materials can be cheaper than the cost of trash pick up. And everybody loves a cost saving idea. In any case, once you start recycling items like cans and packaging boxes it becomes second nature. After you do it for a week or two you won’t even think twice about it.
Don’t have a large volume of trash and think what you throw away isn’t having an impact on the environment? Every little thing we can do to help counts. A useful tip to those in this situation is to ask a nearby business or two if they would like to share recycling containers. This means that there is one container for the recyclables from that group of businesses. One pick up for 2 or more businesses means that the average cost of recycling for each of those businesses will be lowered. As you explore this option, be sure to look into your local laws first to see what steps are needed to have this set up (those who pick up the containers may need written notification of this and/or to be made aware of what recyclables are being collected).
Recycling isn’t just a phrase used when talking about what goes out. It also is used to describe some products that your business may purchase. If you have the opportunity to buy re-manufactured goods or products made from recycled content, this is also a great way to help the environment. The first step in making this part of your business is to ask all of your vendors if they offer any ‘recycled’ options for the items that you are currently buying from them. You’ll find that many will, from recycled kitchen appliances to food containers made from recycled materials.
For both large and small businesses, being able to communicate out to customers (with marketing messages or branding) that you are doing your part to help the environment can be a major benefit. There is indeed a segment of the market out there that when given the choice to bring their hard earned dollars to a place that they know helps the environment and a place they don’t know much about, will choose the eco friendly business they know about.
As an add on to recycling, why not look into turning thrown out food into a compost pile? A compost pile is made of food and organic materials, and over time it breaks down into fertile soil. A compost pile is a great way to organically make good soil for your vegetables. There are companies out there that will pick up your food scraps for composting and deliver it to homes, gardens and farms.
Have you started recycling at your business? Do you have tips you can share with our readers? Please share them below. And for even more information on how Genpak has transformed into an eco friendly company, check out our Green Room.