Here’s a tip for café owners and managers — implement environmentally-friendly practices today! Issues like climate change, pollution and global warming are in the spotlight more than ever before, and consumers understand how important it is to support businesses that invest in sustainability, waste reduction and eco-friendly practices. Here’s how your café business can join the green revolution.
Reduce water usage
Of course, since your business deals with drinks and food, it’s natural to use a lot of water, but that amount can always be reduced. When it comes to bathrooms, installing low-flow faucets and motion-sensor operated taps, it’s possible to save thousands of liters over time. Water-efficient toilets and waterless urinals can also help the reduction of water waste.
In the kitchen, you can modernize your appliances and invest in Energy Star dishwashers, steamers and ice makers that waste minimal water and energy. If you’re proud of your garden or patio, install water catchers, so you can use rainwater to keep the greenery looking fresh and healthy.
Reduce electricity waste
The hospitality industry is notorious for using electricity on a large scale. Imagine the electricity usage of all those lights, fridges, grills, ovens, dishwashers, coffee machines, ACs, TVs, music…it piles up to a sky-high energy bill.
What you can do to reduce this waste is to first tackle things like traditional light bulbs and unnecessary air conditioning. Depending on your climate, it’s possible to implement a 1-hour on, 1-hour off AC rule that would cut your energy use in half. If you’re up for a big change, in the long run, investing in good insulation, roofing and windows can bring you great energy savings.
Invest in sustainable furniture
If you’re just opening your future sustainable café, make sure to start on the right foot and invest in quality, durable yet eco-friendly furniture. Wood is still one of the best materials for café furniture—if it’s harvested properly, it can be durable, comfortable, beautiful and sustainable! When choosing your café furniture, look for manufacturers that use timber from sustainable forests and focus on the reduction of components. This will ensure your furniture doesn’t contribute to cruel deforestation or include too many other toxic components.
Practice smart waste disposal
Cafés usually produce a lot of garbage that ends up in a landfill every day, but if you do your waste disposal properly, you can greatly reduce your nasty contribution to dumps. It’s widely known that coffee grounds make great fertilizer for plants, so you can provide customers with an easy way to help themselves to your coffee waste. If people are not interested, you can give it to local farmers to use coffee grounds as crop fertilizer.
Additionally, you can get separate bins of organic waste, glass, paper and plastics. If your recycling is organized, the entire process will be much faster and easier. To find out more about how recyclables can be grouped together, check out Earth911 that will tell you what can be recycled and with what.
Today, many businesses are going paperless, so your café can do it too. You can ditch paper menus and transition to big blackboards or digital menus customers can access on their phones. It’s very easy to list a menu on your website and encourage people with signage to go look it up. When it comes to coupons and loyalty programs, there are apps like Stamp Me that allow you to analyze activities and communicate with customers through e-mails and push notifications.
Offer sustainable packaging
While you can’t really go digital with napkins, you can invest in eco-friendly napkins that break down much faster than traditional ones. Also, if you offer drinks and food to-go, choose biodegradable packaging. There are also programs that will encourage customers to bring their own reusable cups from home and get a discount. The more you do to reduce waste, the better it will be for your business in the long run.
Support local farmers
There are many eco-friendly reasons why it’s smart to get your supplies (from produce and condiments to packaging and cleaning supplies) from local sources. Firstly, when you buy local, you reduce transportation pollution, produce lower carbon emission and minimize so-called “food air miles”. Secondly, buying local products supports small, independent businesses just like yours. Thirdly, your food and milk will be much fresher, tastier and more organic than mass-produced products full of preservatives, antibiotics and other chemicals.
It’s never too late to hop on an eco-friendliness train and create a café business that produces minimal pollution and waste. This will not only bring you savings in water and electricity bills but also give you a whole new clientele of eco-friendly consumers willing to stay loyal to environmentally responsible cafés.
Written by Chloe Taylor
About the Author
Chloe is an interior design consultant from Adelaide and a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. She loves everything related to decor, aesthetic and lifestyle topics. She is also passionate about photography. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take some stunning photographs of beautiful places. Beside all this, she enjoys drinking coffee and reading a beautiful book from time to time. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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