Exploring how to run an eco-friendly commercial kitchen is at the forefront of many restauranteurs minds. If the wealth of our planet is to ever undergo a revival, it will take all of us to step up and play our role.
As well as energy-efficient commercial kitchen equipment and the way we choose to operate our kitchens, environmentally friendly products and catering supplies are vital for reducing our kitchen’s carbon footprint.
If you’re ready to get your hands
dirty green in your catering kitchen, there are many eco-friendly alternatives for your supplies and cleaning products that are kinder to our planet and will leave you with a cleaner conscience.
Eco-Friendly Products for A Professional Kitchen
‘Sustainable kitchen products’ isn’t a one-size-fits-all term. Some are cruelty-free, some decrease single-use plastic and some are in the form of an energy-efficient appliance.
Planet-friendly products come to life in many ways, but all help us to minimise our environmental impact and cook our way to a cleaner, greener future.
Whether it’s removing single-use plastic such as plastic straws and food storage bags from your kitchen, or being more mindful with the cleaning products you buy, we all have to start somewhere and the small changes are just as important as the big!
Let’s take a look at some green catering supplies your food business can switch to:
Disposable Kitchen Products
Creating less waste and introducing reusable catering supplies wherever possible is one of the most effective ways of minimising the environmental impact of your food business. However, we all understand that in the catering business and food industry in general, this is easier said than done – especially if you are under tight budget constraints.
In the instances where there is no practical or affordable alternative to disposables, try to be conscious about the materials that you are bringing into the business. It is still possible to be earth-friendly and reduce your carbon footprint while using high-quality disposable kitchen supplies.
Plastic pollution is one of our biggest downfalls and biggest destroyers of our oceans and wildlife, so assessing ways to remove single-use plastic from your commercial kitchen unit is a fantastic place to start.
Eco-Friendly Food Boxes, Trays and Food Bags
Traditional plastic and polystyrene takeaway food boxes and trays are no longer front and centre. In recent years they have made way for the new stars of the environmentally-friendly show.
Eco-friendly food trays and boxes are now commonly made of materials such as wood, bamboo or bagasse, all of which are perfectly practical for serving hot and cold takeaway food, as well as being the planet-saving solutions we should all be striving to use.
These renewable materials are also fully compostable, so give yourself a high-five for your decreased contribution to landfill sites.
Straws and Drinks Stirrers
Plastic straws seemed to go out the window a long, long, time ago, THANKFULLY, so we’ll keep this short and sweet. If you haven’t already, remove the plastic straws immediately, please, and switch them out for the much friendlier biodegradable paper straw.
Smaller cafes with a dine-in area and where straws are used less frequently might want to invest in some stainless steel straws if they suit your budget and you’re feeling a bit fancy.
Plates and Cutlery
Plastic disposable tableware is still prevalent at many takeaways, chippys and street-food vendors, but there are many green alternatives on the market.
Popular sustainable materials for tableware and cutlery are renewable sugarcane and palm leaf plates as they have a much lower carbon footprint than their polystyrene counterparts, and there is nothing more classic than a wooden knife and fork to boot. Wooden cutlery is far less damaging to our ecosystems than plastic but offers a perfectly viable solution for customers eating both hot and cold meals.
Hot or Cold Cups and Lids
Eco-friendly substitutes for your takeaway coffee cups will generally be a compostable option that is made from wood with a thicker plant-based lining, while sustainable cold cups will often be constructed entirely from PLA.
Of course, these options are both a wonderful step in the right direction, there’s nothing more planet positive than a coffeeshop encouraging customers to bring in their own reusable hot mugs, either through an initiative or some helpful and encouraging advertising.
Suppliers of Eco-Friendly Disposable Products
If you’re ready to switch all of your disposable catering supplies to some planet-friendly alternatives, check out some of our favourite brands below:
Reusable Catering Supplies
If you really want your eco-friendly commercial kitchen to kick its environmental impact on the kerb, investing in reusable alternatives to disposable kitchen supplies is one of the most effective ways.
The expense might be deemed too high to distribute these at a customer level, but it’s a fantastic movement to see increasing numbers of suppliers are offering sustainable and green supplies at a cost where this might be possible for many catering and food industry businesses.
If you’re a smaller business or if this still seems like a stretch for you, adopting a reusable mentality in your commercial kitchen is still helping us on our way to a greener earth. Switching to reusable kitchen supplies will lower your landfill waste quite drastically, lessen the burden on our planet’s resources and reduce your carbon footprint.
Here are some sustainable switches you can make:
- Swap paper towels for cloth napkins or cotton towels
- Swap cling film for silicone bowl lids or beeswax wrap
- Swap plastic bags for mesh produce bags, organic cotton alternatives or silicone multi-use bags
- Swap plastic food containers for glass food containers or stainless steel food containers
The possibilities are endless, almost every disposable item in your commercial kitchen will have a sustainable, environmentally-friendly reusable rival.
Suppliers of Reusable Kitchen Supplies
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Cleaning products are one of the most overlooked components of our environmental impact. More kitchens are operating plastic-free or using renewable energy, but the detergents we use are often pushed to the back of our minds.
Many industrial cleaning sprays and creams contain harmful chemicals that are damaging to our local ecosystem; the really strong one can even cause irritation to the users. Take time researching the best green cleaning supplies that contain as many natural ingredients as possible, but still meet the needs of your kitchen operations.
Wave goodbye to your toxic cleaners for good.
Suppliers of Eco-Friendly Kitchen Cleaning Products
Some of our favourite commercial kitchen cleaning brands on a mission to help save our planet are: