The scientific consensus has overwhelmingly concluded that climate change is accelerating rapidly and is caused by humans. The results could be disastrous for our planet and the human race, so over the past few decades, we have taken many initiatives to slow the rate of warming to keep us safer.
Whether it be recycling programs, electric vehicles, wind, and solar energy, or reduced reliance on plastic, all these steps have made a difference. But, as individuals and business entities, we must all do our part to protect the planet.
Restaurants are known for having high carbon footprints. This is because they use up a lot of food that also gets wasted when diners don’t finish it. They also generate a lot of waste from plastics and debris. However, if you run a restaurant, you can do your part to protect our earth and environment.
What is Eco-Friendly Tableware?
Eco-friendly tableware is made from recycled materials and can be used multiple times or disposed of after a single use. Many types of tableware are environmentally friendly, such as bamboo cutlery, palm leaf plates, and reusable straws. While at a restaurant, you may have reusable glassware and silver cutlery; you probably offer takeout in disposable containers, including those made with plastic. Also, your “permanent” tableware can get damaged or dirty to the point where you have to throw it out. It is not recyclable and will end up in the landfill. Here’s why you should be using eco-friendly tableware for your restaurant.
It’s the Right Thing to Do
With our climate changing, using single-use, disposable tableware only adds to the problem. It ends up in the landfill, which cuts more into our natural environments and forests, which means there is less to absorb greenhouse gasses. In addition, decomposing waste in landfills emits methane gas, which absorbs the sun’s heat and keeps it captured in our atmosphere. Reducing landfills is one of the best ways as a society that we can help fight climate change on a smaller scale compared to large corporations.
Eco-friendly tableware is biodegradable and absorbed into the soil without emitting methane gas. They are made from natural materials like palm leaves, corn starch, rice husk, and sugarcane pulp, to name a few. Instead of putting it into the regular trash, this type of tableware can be placed in a composter where it can be turned into soil after it breaks down.
Plastic waste such as cutlery tends to end up polluting just about everywhere. It’s in our oceans, forests, waterways, streets, and green spaces. It is directly dangerous to animals who might come across it, and it can contaminate the soil and earth around it. Every time you put something in the compost bin instead of the trash, you are preventing it from ending up polluting the world around us.
Disposable and even some reusable products are made with toxic chemicals and materials. They can be especially harmful to children. The plastic used in many containers contains a substance known as BPA, which is emitted from these products when heated. BPA can cause developmental issues in children’s brains, affecting their cognition and behavior. It can also harm the development of a fetus if a pregnant woman is exposed. Eco-friendly products have the added benefit of being plastic and BPA-free, which will keep you and your family safe along with the environment.
It’s Good Business
One thing that we know about younger generations is that they shop differently than older ones. They do not have as much disposable income, so they have to discriminate more about where they spend their money. Millennials and Gen Xers are very interested in shopping with businesses that share their values. As these are the generations that have grown up learning about the damage to the environment, many of them are looking for green options. If you provide that, you can gain more business with a younger demographic that will keep returning for more.
They Don’t Break
We all know what happens when you drop glass tableware. More often than not, it breaks. That can be wasteful in itself, plus you have to purchase replacements if it happens too often. You might think eco-friendly tableware is fragile, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are sturdy, durable, and do not break as easily as traditional tableware. In fact, it is near impossible for these types of products to break from someone dropping them. That means you don’t have to worry about cleaning up messes or having something on the floor that could scratch or cause an injury to one of your staff or patrons.
When customers have takeout from a restaurant, it is often reheated. Either they’ve taken too long to get home, they’ve saved it for later, or it is leftover from their dine-in meal. Many people don’t know that certain plastic containers do not microwave safe. They could get damaged or melt or cause damage to the microwave. They may also emit harmful toxins when heated. Eco-friendly products are safe for use in the microwave, so there is no concern for damage or safety. You can send your customers home confident that they will be able to enjoy their food even after reheating it.
As you can see, there are many benefits to choosing eco-friendly tableware for your restaurant. By implementing this in your establishment, you can create a safer dining experience for your customers and the environment. If you do your part, our planet will benefit, and so will you.
Featured Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash