It has not probably escaped your notice that environmental issues have captured people’s interest. You can probably say that this is not surprising considering the fact that people are finally experiencing the effects of decades of environmental abuse. Mother Nature is indeed lashing back. Environmental debates are fairly common these days. Being a chef does not excuse you, however, from getting involved. You create your own ecological footprints and you are accountable for them.
Environmental issues generally fall under three categories — bizarre global climate changes, excessive use of resources, improper waste management.
Bizarre Global Climate Changes
There are numerous environmental issues but the one thing that you have likely heard people talking about is the bizarre climate that the whole world is experiencing. The effects of these weird climate changes have caused devastating damages, taking lives and properties. Unfortunately, there are many factors that contribute to climate change. Many of these factors are largely created by man.
Excessive and Abusive Use of Environmental Resources
There are many environmental issues that fall under this category. You have deforestation, land degradation and land being stripped off of fossil fuels. These three are just some of the many problems that arise from abusive use of environmental resources.
Improper Waste Management
Many environmental issues have resulted from people’s inability to manage their waste or trash properly. This category basically embraces all kinds of pollutions caused by humans which include air, water and land pollution.
Resolving Environmental Issues Your Way
It’s certainly a good thing that many people are getting involved in correcting environmental issues. As a chef, you can do a lot of things in order to reverse the damage that has been done to the environment. You can make positive contributions. Being environmentally friendly does not end with disposing potato peelings properly. As a leader, you can influence people to be more environmentally conscious.
Adopt an Environmental Cause
If you own your restaurant, you can get your staff or employees to volunteer for environmental causes. Since you are working in the food industry, perhaps you can get your employees to volunteer for a food feeding program.
You can also adopt environmental programs and support them. For instance, you can adopt a program which aims to provide clear water to many places in Africa or you can support one project that is designed to protect the rainforest in the Amazons. Support any environmental conservation schemes. Try to raise funds if you can in order to support a conservation program.
Another way of helping the environment is to adopt a recycling program in your workplace. You should also make sure that you get recyclable supplies. If you are going to purchase disposable dishware, you should get recyclable or biodegradable ones. Encourage your staff or employees to do the same.
Cut Back on Gas Consumption
There are also various ways of cutting back on gas consumption. You can also get your employees involved in your save-your-gas scheme. You can offer incentives to employees who choose to leave their cars at home. In fact, this method is proving effective among hospitality entrepreneurs. Aside from encouraging your staff to take the bus, you can also get them to set up a carpool system.
Another way of saving gas and cutting back on delivery expenses is to impose minimum order requirement. This will discourage small deliveries and unnecessary use of gas.
Prefer Local Producers
The food service industry has finally recognized that they have a social responsibility to support local producers within their community. If you choose to purchase products from local farmers, not only will you be able to help the local economy, you will also help in minimizing environmental wastages.
Spread the Word
You need to spread environmental consciousness. You can start with the people around you — your employees perhaps. Challenge people to care. Over time, you will eventually get people involved. Employ people who are environmentally conscious — people who purchase organic products and who boast of eco-friendly practices.
You can also train your staff and teach them how to be more eco-friendly. After all, you will reap the benefits as well. You will likely notice a considerable decrease in energy consumption once your staff learns how to conserve energy.
You can also spread the word and influence your guests, customers and clients. You can offer rewards or incentives to guests who adopt eco-friendly measures in order to address environmental issues. You don’t have to stop with your employees. Ideally, the more people you educate, the better it will be for the environment.