Senior analyst for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Sameer Kwatra, states, "There’s more energy used by restaurant appliances than by all the computers in commercial buildings in the United States."
Restaurants are huge energy wasters, using up to seven times more energy per square foot than an office building. According to Kwatra, a commercial fryer alone uses 60 percent more energy in one year than the average residential home. Energy efficient appliances are available and a good place to start for restaurants to get more green, however they are not cheap so many are looking elsewhere to become more efficient.
Johnson County Community College has one of the first culinary programs in the United States that sends interns into local restaurants in order to help them become more sustainable. The school gets funding from a green-jobs grant provided by the Mid-America Regional Council, and pays students to intern in local restaurants. While working there, the interns find ways the restaurant could be more energy efficient, from installing more efficient coolers, switching to LED lighting, and increasing efficiency of insulation. Additionally, the grant money helps the restaurant to pay for the recommended upgrades.
A major cause of waste in not only restaurants but also homes is uneaten food going to the landfill. (The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates a whopping 40 percent of all food in this country is wasted!) To help prevent that waste, the Green Restaurants Association provides members ways to increase efficiency, including easy ways to get food waste to companies that will create compost with it. Missouri Organic is a local company that will pick up food waste directly from the restaurants for a small fee, making it incredibly easy for restaurants and cafeterias to cut back on waste.
For more information on Johnson County Community College's green intern program or on what specific efficiency programs are in place at local restaurants, read "Kansas City Restaurants Work to Become More Green," by Steve Everely, (The Kansas City Star.)
To learn what energy efficient options are available for your business or facility, call our offices today at 913.310.0705. There are numerous ways to start saving money and have a positive impact on the environment at the same time.