LaPean offers some thoughts on "greening" up your operation…
Plan carefully but think big
"Green" initiatives can save more money the more you commit to economies of scale. So don't just dip your toe in. Plan carefullly but make significant commitments.
Learn the language
Know the difference between "Natural" and "Organic." The use of the term "organic" is government regulated while "natural" largely is not. Renewable and recylable are not the same. Being "green business certified" has nothing to do with the food you serve, but the resources you use, save, or recycle.
Recognize this trend is not going to go away
There is a growing demographic group called LOHAS (Lifestyle Of Health And Sustainability) that is coming to a foodservice near you. Be prepared.
Don't forget to "raise the consciousness" of your customers
Being green means having your customers "live" with their waste. We compost all food in our dining halls but make sure students see the food they have wasted. That tends to motivate them to be mindful of waste.
Understand the larger picture of social responsibility
Today's generation of student is modeling behaviors associated with social responsibility. They are using their consumerism to drive changes in many industries, including the food industry.
"Green" is not a marketing gimmick
True green initiatives should be authentic and sustainable for the long-term. There's a term known as "Green Washing" that refers to businesses that promote themselves as supporting green practices that are not verifiable or substantive. Don't let it apply to you.