Eco-Friendly Containers for Your Restaurant

Photo above: TreeVive by EcoChoice palm leaf salad tray, via webstaurantstore.com

Keeping your business green has more benefits than those related to the health of the planet. As a business, it can give you an advantage and attract a whole new class of clients – the environmentally-minded crowd. While better managing your use of water and electricity is an important part of such an effort, if you operate a restaurant or any other food service business, the food containers you use can carry a direct message to your customers that you are interested in both their health and that of the environment.

Here are only a few ideas of eco-friendly dinnerware, servingware and containers that can help you up your game in the eco-friendly department.

Palm leaf plates (made of naturally fallen palm leaves) are not only biodegradable, but also elegant. They are conveniently sturdy, and have a unique natural look, far from the tired foam or plastic look.

Photo:  TreeVive by EcoChoice square palm leaf plate, via webstaurantstore.com

For small servings, you can do without plates or bowls, and choose instead disposable wooden serving cones. They look sophisticated in food displays, are easy to use when moving about during a catered event and make clean-up a breeze. 

Photo: Tablecraft mini wooden serving cone, via webstaurantstore.com

When you create food displays for a catered event, a palm leaf tray creates a beautiful background for your colorful food. 

Photo:  TreeVive by EcoChoice palm leaf deli tray, via webstaurantstore.com

When it comes to containers for hot beverages, it is better to avoid materials that may leak chemicals into the liquid. Instead, paper cups are a safe choice, and often more attractive.

Photo: EcoChoice paper hot cup, via webstaurantstore.com

This takeout container is made from bagasse, a compostable sugarcane fiber that biodegrades in as little as 90 days. The container can hold both cold and hot food.

Photo: EcoChoice takeout container, via webstaurantstore.com

However, if your objective is to use recyclable containers, keep in mind that not all supposedly recyclable materials are the same. In fact, some that look like they may get a chance to a new (recycled) life, end up not being reused. If the recycled object is made of multiple materials – such as paper tubes with metal lids or paper cups lined with plastic – recycling is harder. (That is why you should separate the plastic lid from your paper cup when tossing the first into the recycling bin.)

But here are other examples. Multi-colored glass is generally unusable because the glass color cannot be changed, and the colors cannot be isolated. And if, in theory, durable black plastic is a recyclable material, the reality is different. In fact, the current recycling infrastructure functions in such a way that black plastic is rejected at the recycling facility, due to its non-reflective nature. Educating yourself about such less known facts goes a long way in ensuring that your efforts in becoming eco-friendly are worth your time. 

Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2016 HERE.

If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses. 

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