How small changes in your daily practice can have a big Impact: 8 Tips for Businesses
Did you know that straws and cups and plastic cutlery and styrofoam container are found daily on beach clean ups around the world?
A lot of people don't know or are not thinking about how or that their habits can influence the environment.
Most people are so used to straws and plastic cutlery because bars provide these even without asking for need. If we cant reach some of the customers, we need to reach the business owner or manager in shops, cafés, street food counters, markets, etc.
Besides using green energy, using organic produce, selling eco friendly-local.organic products you can do a lot more....
This is an invitation to all of the restaurant, coffee shop and food stall owner in the world! You can have a huge impact by making small changes, mostly these changes will save you money too. And I know what I am talking about, because a few years ago, I´ve been a coffee shop owner too!
And I know some of you might think: why should I be responsible for that people can´t recycle properly or that people leave their rubbish behind on the beach! Your are not responsible for others behavior, but we are all responsible to treat our home/planet and resources right. We just don´t have a Planet B. And your choices can have a huge impact on our environment and life, so start today to become a hero for our ocean and our home.
It´s not a secret anymore that we got a huge plastic problem on our planet. Also our quick and easy fast food, take away culture is one of the reasons. Nowadays everything is in single use take away cups and single use containers. Single use spoons and forks. All used for a few minutes and then they last forever if they are not recycled properly.
And here is the biggest problem: most of these things can't even get recycled in a municipal recycling facility! The coffee cups have a plastic line to make it water proof. In most countries it's ending up and filling our landfills. I see plastic forks and spoons laying around on beaches and in parks because people just don't care to clean up their own shit. Or straws and plastic bags taken by the wind, sounds so romantic but is a thread for all our wildlife.
And even the so called biodegradable plastic is only biodegradable in perfect conditions. If biodegradable plastic ends up in landfill or in the ocean it won't biodegrade quickly and still can harm wildlife and pollute. So as long as plastic gets into our environment that easy, the only way to help is to reduce as much as possible.
In case you haven´t heard about the numbers: 8 million tons of plastic trash end up every year, in our beloved ocean!
And I found so much of single use plastic items on beaches around the world: from toothpaste tubes, to cups, to unopened ketchup single portions packages, spoons, plastic bottles, straws!!
So besides we need new laws, and bins with lids in our cities and all the countries worldwide, we also need to make changes ourselves, because laws mostly don't come quick enough.
So here is what you as a coffee shop, bar, restaurant, ice cream or smoothie shop, street food stall owner, can do:
Alternatives and Tipps for coffee shops and bars, street food, restaurants, shops and take away businesses:
1) Plastic Straws:
Are normally made of fossile fuel plastic, used for maybe 3 Minutes and then they last forever because they are not biodegradable.
Even so called biodegradable/compostable straws made of natural materials won't biodegrade quickly if littered or on landfill. They need perfect conditions like a compost facility!!
Mostly straws land in our landfills and end up in the ocean easily where they can harm animals and pollute our water! In the US 500 million straws are used each day!
Also the single use stirring rods in the cocktails are totally unnecessary! These can easily be swapped with wooden or reusable stainless steel sticks.
Here is what you can do:
2) Single use coffee cups, single use plastic cups:
I see this all the time, people want to drink the iced coffee in the Café and they get the drink in a plastic cup. They want a glass of tab water and get the water in a single use cup (also in the biggest coffee shop chains)! Really? Even if you order to stay in you cant avoid plastic cups in many coffee shops (plus the plastic straw). In the UK up to 7 million coffee cups are thrown away daily! And because the single use coffee cups are plastic film lined, they are rarely recyclable in most countries. So they end up in landfills and often in the ocean.
Here is what you can do:
3) Single use plastic spoons, forks, knives, stirring rods, single use plates, take away food container:
Again, those items are used for a couple minutes and last forever if made out of plastic. And I bet everyone of you has seen alternatives like reusable plates;), paper plates, bamboo plates or banana leaf plates, same with cutlery made of wood, or biodegradable natural material plastic (easily compostable if you recycle properly, quicker degradable if they land in landfills, and easily to get burnt into energy).
The only thing you need to do:
4) Sugar, ketchup, sauce, dressing, etc.:
I dont know when this started, but more and more places offer small plastic wrapped sugar, salt or the tiny milk sachets for the coffee. In restaurants even sometimes the ketchup, dressings, butter etc. comes on the table in sealed in plastic container or plastic wrapped. Sometimes you get salsa/sauce in a small plastic bag. Some restaurants offer reusable dressing container already and then sometimes they put single use plastic spoons in there (instead of using reusable spoons). Thats not necessary.
To make a difference:
5) If you own an Ice Cream shop:
6) On Markets:
7) Avoid to offer plastic water and soda bottles:
8) Other shops:
You see: if you invite people to bring reusable cups and containers, if your staff is not providing every cold drink with a straw or a plastic stirring rod without a customer request, if you provide glasses to have a in house drink, etc.... you will not only make a positive impact on our environment, you will reduce trash and you will also save some money on long term sight.
Let´s do the math with straws and single use coffee cups:
Let´s say you are a small coffee shop and you use 33 straws and 33 coffee to go per day. And lets say 100 straws cost you $7 and 100 cups will cost you $30.
We both agree that there IS a much better use of your money, right?
If you just save half of your straws and to go cups - you can enjoy $2.220 in YOUR pockets!
What would you do with all that free money? Enjoying a holiday on a plastic thrash free beach?
Now these numbers are just an example. Feel free to do the math with your REAL numbers!
Reusing is the big winner.
Thank you for making a difference!
If you start to do changes in your store or coffee shop and you like to share your story, feel free to write me, send pictures on Instagram or Facebook! I would love to hear some success stories and see pictures and support your shop!
Did I forget something? Please write in the comment or write me a mail if you know anything else that can be replaced easily!
Some articles might contain Affiliate Links.
Hi my name is Jule
I am a nature and ocean lover. A passionate runner and minimalistic traveller. On this blog I share my experiences, thoughts and ideas about the "sustainable lifestyle" and how you can stick to this while traveling.
You like what I share? If yes, feel free to buy me a coffee <3