It’s estimated that the average American eats ice cream 28.5 times each year. If you run an ice cream shop, that means there’s a lot of potential for customers to come in and sample your sweet treats. As much as Americans love eating ice cream during the summer, there’s a good chance you’ll get a fair amount of repeat business too.
If your neighborhood ice cream establishment is packed to the gills during the summer, that likely means you’re going through a lot of inventory. Heck, there are probably many days when it’s all you can do to find extra yogurt cups and colored spoons and containers and ice cream cups.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with having a successful business with a steady stream of customers, but if your business is a heavy consumer of plastic it can add up over time. Those yogurt cups and plastic spoons and ice cream cups add up to lot of trash and not all of it is recyclable.
If you’re trying to be more eco-friendly at your ice cream shop, there are many things you can do to cut back on your carbon footprint:
- You can switch to paper straws which are biodegradable and break down rather quickly, unlike your traditional paper straws. The harsh true is that consumers use millions of plastic straws every day and every year many of them wind up in the ocean, eventually washing up on beach front and lakefront or getting swallowed by animals.
- You can also take measures to keep waste down. One of the best things you can is to keep supplies behind the counter, meaning your paper straws, napkins, condiments, etc. The reason for this is your customers, though they may mean well, often grab more than they need when it comes to napkins and condiments. This will keep your waste bins from filling up with products customers took but didn’t use and will also allow you to be with your inventory of yogurt cups, lids, containers, napkins, straws and other items.
- Another way you can encourage customers to be eco-friendly is to practice what you preach. You can do this by setting up bins for recyclable items with signs that encourage customers to put items their done with in their proper bins.
Aside from the three things listed above, there are many other things you can do to bring your shop’s carbon footprint down. You can use energy-efficient appliances, buy supplies and food locally and just flat out do away with plastic disposables such as yogurt cups, lids, straws and storage containers. Instead you can invest in reusable bowls and cutlery and glasses that can easily be washed and cleaned. Instead of plastic straws, you can use paper straws and paper bowls that will still allow customers to take their sweet treats out of your store if they so wish.
It may take some getting used to, but by cutting out as much plastic as possible, you’ll make your business more environmentally friendly, while hopefully encouraging customers to increase their own efforts at doing the same.