Earth Day: Spread the Word While Saving the World

The saying, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem,” couldn’t be more apt for restaurants looking to change the world for the better.

Earth Day on April 22 offers restaurant owners an ideal way to spread the good word about improving the environment, while simultaneously putting in effect new efficiencies and policies that reduce their overall carbon footprint.

Earth Day, which counts more than one billion participants worldwide, is the largest civic observance in the world.  Begun in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated in 141 countries and has helped launch such groundbreaking efforts in the U.S. as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

So, what kind of programs can restaurant operators implement to communicate a positive message around Earth Day?  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Create a special menu that celebrates locally-sourced vegetables, fruits, poultry and meat and other resources. Promote efforts to go local, use organic foods and other ways of supporting the community.
  2. Take it a step further by offering a free organic drink or menu item made from locally-sourced providers. Restaurateurs can even honor a local farmer or provider, giving them an award and a shout-out so that customers are aware of how they are helping the environment.
  3. Get rid of foam and plastic take-home servingware by going compostable – nothing is better for fulfilling the life cycle of a product.
  4. Host a day of sustainable living.  Bring in guest speakers like the head of a local recycling plant or an architect who specializes in reducing the carbon footprint.  Showcase products, information and services that can enhance the lives of customers and turn it into an Earth Day extravaganza.  Don’t forget to have some sweepstakes and giveaways to better market the event and the restaurant.
  5. Create a special drink or salad and then plant a tree for every one sold on Earth Day. This could create a signature menu item that will become a standard for customers on every April 22.
  6. Take a tip from Caribou Coffee and Starbucks and give free refills for customers who bring their own coffee mug.  This should save a bunch paper wasted by disposable cups.
  7. Change the world one sweetener at a time by going to ecoSticks as the zero-calorie sweeteners. ecoSticks are the world’s first GMO-free sweetener.  Its sleek new design reduces the carbon footprint, saves space and still delivers the same great flavor.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate Earth Day, know that you are delivering a message of reduced waste and enhanced life while becoming a greater part of the solution.



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