How To Make Your Coffee Shop More Eco Friendly
How To Make Your Coffee Shop More Eco Friendly
People love their coffee. Whether as a pick-me-up after getting out of bed or a drink to share a conversation over, it’s an integral part of our daily lives. Opening a coffee shop can make for a great business, but it can be hard to justify if you want to be environmentally friendly.
Coffee shops create a lot of waste. It’s estimated that over 50 billion cups are thrown out each year in the United States alone. On top of that, stirrers, food wrappers, and napkins are all going to landfills. That is a lot of waste, and it can all be traced back to coffee shops and fast food. However, there is some hope if you are a coffee lover who also cares for the environment. Eco-friendly practices are good for the environment and your bottom line since you will attract other green people. Here’s how you can make your coffee shop more eco-friendly.
Use Recyclable or Biodegradable Cups
Most coffee cups are either lined with plastic or polyethylene. This makes them non-recyclable, and they will last in landfill for 500 years. However, there are alternatives, even if they aren’t widely adopted. One thing to do with coffee cups is to make them compostable. So instead of heading to the landfill, they can help feed your plants. They are made from corn plastic, which is strong enough to hold liquids and retain heat. Coffee cups make up about 1% of all waste, which doesn’t sound like a lot but is actually a huge number.
Obviously, the beans have to come from somewhere else. However, you can always get them from a local roaster to reduce your carbon footprint. You can also source your milk and other ingredients from a local dairy farm. In fact, you can advertise the fact that your coffee shop only uses local ingredients in everything as a selling point. As a result, you’ll attract customers who share your concerns about the environmental impact of coffee shops.
Don’t Have Drive-Thru
Cars are one of the biggest factors in climate change. So how much damage can millions of cars a day burning fuel do? Running a car for just a few seconds burns more gas and emissions than turning the car on and off again. The people who line up for their morning coffee aren’t just blocking the street, they’re also harming the environment. Not having a drive-thru might be a bitter pill to swallow, but if your coffee is good enough, people will come. Perhaps you can make your existing drive-through window a walk-up or bike-up window.
You have to have utensils, whether it be coffee stirrers, straws, or forks and spoons for pastries and soup. It may not seem like a lot, but those utensils can add up. However, you can minimize the damage by offering biodegradable utensils, like bamboo coffee stirrers and spoons. They are plant-based, which means they will break down easily, but they are also made from bamboo so that they will be solid while in use. Your customers won’t notice the difference, or if they do, it’ll only be to compliment you on your choices.
Make It Easy For Customers
You need to make it easy for your customers to make the right choices. Have receptacles around the shop that are clearly marked. There should be some for trash, recycling, and compost. Have pictures or a printed list of appropriate items to go in each bin. That way, your customer will not have to think too hard or guess about which items to place in which container.
Energy Efficient Appliances
You may use many appliances while you own a coffee shop. You’ll use a dishwasher, an oven, a stovetop, and much more. Unfortunately, those appliances use up a lot of energy. You can mitigate this by using energy-efficient appliances. You’ll know which appliances are energy efficient if Energy Star rates them. Just look for the sticker on the machine to be sure. For example, an Energy Star rated refrigerator is at least 15% more efficient than the minimum that’s required by the government.
Use Reusable Table Settings For Dine-in Customers
Many fast food and coffee shops use the same food wrappings for their take-out customers that they do with their dine-in. Even if they are using recyclable materials, it still takes energy to recycle them. So instead, use china and silverware to give to your dine-in customers. It will be a bitter investment up front, but you will save money in the long run by not having to buy disposable utensils and tableware repeatedly.
Owning a coffee shop is a dream for a lot of people. However, if you care about the environment, you have to acknowledge their damage. By being more eco-friendly, you will protect the earth and draw like-minded customers to your establishment.