5 Ways to Make Your Restaurant More Sustainable

Last night, I went to a panel on plastic straws hosted by MoneyVoice at West of Pecos, a delicious San Francisco restaurant know for their margaritas that recently changed from automatically including plastic straws in their cocktails to offering paper straws upon request only. At the event, I learned from a panelist who works for the Surfrider Foundation that many of the restaurants in San Francisco that have moved away from plastic straws and implemented a paper-straw upon request policy are actually saving money, both on the cost of straws as well as on their garbage bill as generating less waste has reduced their trash bill by hundreds of dollars per month. Crazy, right? After the panel, attendees broke out in small groups and discussed different ways that restaurants could make simple changes that benefit their pocketbook, the planet and the health of their customers.Read More »

The Press Release I Wish Starbucks Would Release

Right now, Starbucks is in a lot of hot water for the amount of plastic pollution they generate. Their paper cups are lined with plastic, making them hard to recycle and impossible to compost. This morning on my way to work, I found one squished in the middle of the street. That is the problem with single-use packaging, once it has been used, it has no value and as such, people have no incentive other than their own conscience to take care of it. In 2008, Starbucks put forth a goal of increasing the percentage of reusable cups used to 25% by 2015 (source). By 2011, they had only hit 1.9%, which equated to 34.1 million cups saved….which, for those willing to do some math, means that the other 98.1% would represent 2.8 BILLION single use cups were created and disposed of into landfills, and sadly, our waterways. In 2011, their goal for 2015 was reduced to 5%. It is now 2018 and they are only at 1.4% per Fast Company, which would mean that the number of reusable containers used has gone down since 2011. Yikes.Read More »