Every aspect of our existence is made possible because of the natural resources that are available to us. The food that we consume every single day is given to us by nature. The buildings we create are not possible if not for the minerals we mine from the earth. Even the energy that powers our homes has its roots in nature.
Nature aids everything we do as a species. It is only fit that we take care of these resources and preserve them as well.
With the food industry being a direct recipient of nature’s gifts, food businesses such as restaurants must help the environment. These measures should be integrated into their operations to ensure that they are a business that is for the environment.
But even as we recognize the importance of natural resources for our survival, much of our behaviors are still widely harmful to the environment.
How Are We Affecting Nature?
While our lives are often at the mercy of nature’s forces, our activities pose harm to plenty of nature’s assets. Our continuous growth in population alone has significant effects on how we consume natural resources.
Natural resources may seem abundant. But they are finite. Most of these natural resources are always at risk of depletion. Our exponential growth may help speed up this potential depletion.
Apart from that, we also produce non-biodegradable waste such as plastics that threaten the environment. In 2019, the world saw over 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic waste. And a significant number of them are not recycled.
Plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade. It will outlive almost every living person today. These plastic wastes pose a risk to wildlife, especially marine life, and can even pose a health risk to humans.
With the continuous harm that humans pose to this planet, everyone should preserve its resources. This includes businesses that are directly benefiting from nature’s byproducts.
Why Should Food Businesses Care?
Apart from the fact that we cannot sustain our way of life without nature’s resources, restaurants, in particular, will suffer if nature is not taken care of.
Besides that, restaurants contribute to environmental harm. Food stores widely use single-use plastics for packaging. These plastics are part of the estimated 2.87 million tonnes of waste that the food industry produces per year. This statistic does not account for the waste products resulting from restaurant operations such as water consumption, power consumption, and gas consumption for supplies.
It is safe to say that restaurants do contribute negatively to the environment. This should prompt them to change the way they operate in favor of nature.
What Can Food Businesses Do?
Restaurants and food businesses have several options to minimize their harm to the environment. At the most basic level, they should find alternatives to the rampant usage of plastic in restaurants.
Paper products can become a better option for those who want to cut their plastic usage. Paper degrades way faster than plastic, which eliminates its risk of being harmful to wildlife.
These paper products can also be recycled better. With that, restaurants may have a better supply of paper packaging without adding too much to the growing waste rate.
Lessening Energy Consumption
Restaurants may also change the way they spend and acquire energy. A few architectural tweaks can help restaurants minimize their energy consumption.
These food places may use the sun’s natural lighting to minimize their reliance on synthetic lighting during the day. They can also design open-space dining halls to make sure that it is well-ventilated. With decent airflow, these dining halls may not need too much air conditioning.
Using renewable energy sources may also help restaurants lessen their carbon footprint. Depending on your location, there are several options to choose from.
Solar energy might be available to those living in areas with ample sunny days in a single year. Areas near rivers and dams may have the option of hydro energy. There is also the option for wind energy in certain areas. Institutions often transport wind turbines to hills and coastal areas where the wind is prominent.
These measures aim to lessen the reliance on non-renewable energy and lessen the spending of energy made by non-renewable energy. Be sure to do enough research before deciding how to go about this for your restaurant.
Getting your supplies from local farms and nearby suppliers helps lessen transportation costs. Less money and energy will be spent if your supplies do not go through a tremendous logistic process.
The shorter it takes for your supplies to get to your stockroom, the less energy and resources you will spend. Be sure to shop locally.
With all that being said, restaurants have a role to play in preserving our natural resources. The best restaurants are the ones who are conscious of their environmental impact and are responsible enough to do something about it.