Air pollution is bad for our planet and it’s even worse for our health. Studies have found that air pollution increases your risk for respiratory problems, dementia, cognitive issues, and much more. In terms of the effect on the environment, different types of air pollution in the atmosphere cause climate change. Restaurants can take concrete steps to reduce their individual air pollution footprint.
Use Alternative Transportation
According to the EPA, vehicles account for 75% of carbon monoxide pollution in the U.S. If your restaurant uses vehicles of any kind, consider investing in electric vehicles, hybrid, or bio-diesel. If possible, you could also get rid of vehicles altogether and deliver food by bike or foot. If your restaurant delivers by bike or foot, you can earn 13 GreenPoints™, while using alternative fuel vehicles can earn you 7 GreenPoints™.
Much of the energy use in a restaurant is generated by fossil fuels, such as methane. The less energy your restaurant uses, the less air pollution you will be creating. There are numerous ways to use less energy at your restaurant, but three easy steps that we recommend to our clients are installing:
Low-flow aerators – receive up to 12 GreenPoints™
High efficiency pre-rinse spray valves – receive up to 15.5 GreenPoints™
High efficiency lighting, such as T8s & LEDs – receive up to 18 GreenPoints™
All of these steps are quite low cost with a high return on investment.
Sweat the Small Stuff
There are many small steps your restaurant can take to reduce air pollution whether you’re in building process, remodeling, or just wanting to make a change.
No or Low VOC paints. These paints aregenerally water-based instead of petroleum-based and contain little to no formaldehyde or heavy metals. Receive up to 2 GreenPoints™
No Idling policy. Post a No Idling sign where delivery trucks and take-out customers would normally park. 1 GreenPoint™
Green Cleaning Chemicals. Look for cleaning products that are Certified Green Products, EPA Safer Choice, EcoLogo, or GreenSeal. Receive up to 7.75 GreenPoints™
Soy or other vegetable-based inks for printing. Most inks are typically made from petroleum and contain VOCs, which isn’t good for air quality. 2.5 GreenPoints™
If you are interested in learning more or becoming a Certified Green Restaurant®, visit dinegreen.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.