To say that Americans love frozen treats is an understatement. Whether it’s ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt, popsicles or even milkshakes, Americans can’t get enough. In fact, it’s estimated that the average American eats ice cream roughly 30 times a year.
For business owners who run ice cream shops, there’s nothing like seeing their shops packed to the gills with customers. If frozen yogurt supplies and colored spoons and ice cream cups are flying out the door, that usually means business is good. If you’ve got sweet and delicious treats to offer, you’re sure to get a fair amount of repeat business, especially during the summer.
Having customers consistently patronize a business like an ice cream shop is always a good thing. But as previously mentioned, lots of business means frozen yogurt supplies and cups and bowls and spoons are flying out the door and off of your store room shelves. But in today’s world, where many businesses are all about being as eco-friendly as possible, ice cream shops are no different.
All the frozen yogurt supplies and plastic spoons and yogurt cups you use likely makes your business a pretty consistent and heavy plastic consumer. If you take a look at all the supplies you use, more than likely it adds up to a lot. What’s more is that many of your cups and paper straws and bowls and frozen yogurt supplies can be recycled instead of ending up in a landfill.
There’s nothing wrong with using some of the supplies you use in your everyday operation, but whether you know it or not, there are many things, simple things you can do to make your ice cream shop more eco-friendly, without sacrificing what makes it so special:
- You can take many simple measures to keep waste down. One of the best ways to pull this off is to keep your supplies behind the counter. That means all your straws, cups and containers are better controlled. You’re not trying to make things difficult for a customer, but many customers end up taking a lot of supplies without ever using them. If you’ve ever seen dirty tables at a fast food restaurant, think of all the extra cups and ketchup packets and paper and napkins that wind up on trays.
More often than not, those extra supplies wind up in the garbage. And while the customer might feel great taking an extra handful of napkins with them, ultimately that lowers your inventory and may, over time, result in you having to order more product than you may have budgeted for. By controlling the flow of supplies better, there’s less waste all around whether it’s less trash bags filled up and less random bits thrown away.
- You can make very simple switches, such as switching to paper straws. These straws are very biodegradable and break down rather quickly, which can’t be said of traditional plastic straws. It’s estimated that millions of plastic straws are aimlessly discarded every year, they don’t break down and unfortunately, many millions of them wind up in bodies of water, where they’re swallowed by animals or they wash up on beaches.
- One of the best ways you can be more eco-friendly and encourage customers to follow your lead is to practice what you preach. How do you do this? You give your customers the ability to recycle in your shop, switching to eco-friendly cups and bowls and offering bins where folks can recycle their trash. If you make changes like this and give your customers the ability to recycle their papers and containers, they’ll get on board.
The three steps detailed above are just a few things ice cream shops and other food establishments can do to be more eco-friendly. Businesses can buy supplies locally to cut down on shipping, switch to energy-efficient appliances and cut out traditional supplies to cut down on waste entirely. Bottom line: by cutting down on plastic or cutting out plastic supplies entirely, businesses can lower their carbon footprint, be more eco-friendly and get customers to get on board with recycling.