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Cafes and Restaurants - Green Practices Checklist 2

How about giving the Environment a Break!

The cafe culture is rife and competition is stiff. How does one rise up above the rest? Going green is the order and talk of the day. Customers are more inclined to support and become loyal to cafes and restaurants which employ green practices.   Sustainable businesses have also discovered that not only are they eco-friendly, they’re friendly on their company budget as well.

Here are some simple tips on how to incorporate green practices and build on your customers’ loyalty.


  • Educate yourself on the resources available, issues and practices, especially those in your area e.g. local produce suppliers, compost facility, energy buyback schemes, etc.
  • Educate your staff on your company’s philosophy and why you are doing what you’re doing so that they can be your ambassadors. To inculcate your company’s green culture, take staff to visit local farm or compost facility
  • Communicate to your customers about your cafe’s ecological footprint and encourage them to join in your green efforts.


  • As mentioned in Checklist 1 last week, use local and organic products. This will help to support local farmers whilst providing your customers with healthier options.
  • If the products g. coffee, drinking chocolate, tea, chocolate bars and bananas need to be sourced from overseas, support fair-trade products that help small scale producers and workers.
  • Source for sustainably grown and processed coffee by evaluating the economic, social and environmental aspects of coffee production.
  • Support organic, biodynamic viniculture.There are incredible, top-rating biodynamic or organic wines from around the world.
  • Support organic bar products. All-natural and organic spirits, beers, and mixers are growing in popularity and availability
  • Request that goods are sent not by air but by sea and with the least amount of packaging material and definitely not Styrofoam packaging.


  • Use environment friendly products such as
    • biodegradable takeaways plates, bowls, cups and utensils such as Element tableware which is not only 100% biodegradable, but also compostable, and of a durable and strong quality;
    • recycled paper cups and unbleached napkins and menus and restroom paper towels made of chlorine-free unbleached recycled paper;
    • kitchen and bar mats can be recycled materialg. post-consumer recycled fibre reclaimed from drink bottles and recycled tires;
    • locally made furniture.
  • Consider water-saving options for flushing the toilet e.g. placing a brick in the water tank.
  • Give discount for coffee served in reused coffee mugs and cups.
  • Recycle your fryer oil– source for bio fuel companies to send it to or that will pick it up and convert it.
  • Reduce the use of bottled water. Use in-house filtration systems even for sparkling water and provide glasses or recycled paper cups
  • Reduce waste by providing options for sides and top-ups instead of simple piling unwanted sides to the main food.
  • Use non-toxic cleaning products that are eco-safe and biodegradable.
  • Use non-toxic pest controlto keep away the roaches from your kitchen.
  • Consider growing your own herbs and plants on roof-top gardens and window boxes
  • Have your own compost bin at the back for compost garbage for example, coffee ground and food scraps
  • Provide clearly labelled bins for glass and plastic receptacles, and recyclable cardboard and wood boxes, newspapers and magazines and be strict about staff adhering to your waste disposal system.
  • Cut down on linens, example tablecloths and napkins as they require a large amount of chemical cleaners, bleaches and starches. Consider eliminating tablecloth all together.
  • Don’t waste ICE. It is expensive to produce, both in terms of money and resources. Don’t automatically refill ice bins – wait until they truly get low, and only add as much as you need to get through the crush.
  • If you’re a small restaurant or café, without huge needs or storage space, join a local co-op for purchasing your green item in bulk at a cheaper rate.


  • Use solar panels or generator powered by natural gas for your power supply
  • Where possible use cleaner and greener energy-smart kitchen appliances.
  • Where possible, maximise the use of natural lighting.
  • Replace all incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs which use 75% less energy
  • Enable sleep settings on monitors/computers and turn off copiers, computers, printers, fax machines, etc. when not in use.
  • Shut down all computers and POS system after closing hours.
  • Install sensor touch taps in the washrooms and recycled paper towels for drying hands.
  • Ensure that the seals of your fridges are kept clean and tight so that they stay cool with less energy.



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