Did you know that coffee is the second most tradable commodity after oil? The morning brew is big business, and its popularity shows no sign of decreasing any time soon. While this is great for cafe owners, it is not so great for our planet. The world’s increasing love of coffee (especially in disposable cups) means that loads more waste is going directly to the landfill every day.

Right now, most coffee sellers are far from sustainable and a mammoth amount of non-biodegradable products are used to serve up cup after cup of coffee. Responsible cafe owners are now looking for ways to take responsibility for the part they play in resource usage and give back to the community by implementing green practices. Even just making a few small changes in your businesses daily operations can have a significant impact on the environment in the long term.

The good news is that in ‘greening’ your cafe, you aren’t only helping the planet, but you are also helping your bottom line. Many of these solutions are also great cost savers, and are likely to help boost your sales. Research is currently showing that more and more consumers would prefer to purchase from environmentally conscious businesses.

So what can you do to help save costs and the planet in your cafe?

Go biodegradable

Did you know that over 500 billion non-biodegradable cups are used globally every year? Most of these will still be in landfill 500 years from now, and that figure will only continue to grow as time progresses and populations increase. That’s not to mention all the non-biodegradable stirring implements and straws that are used. One of the simplest ways to become more sustainable is to switch to biodegradable packaging. For example, BioPak offers compostable cups in a range of attractive prints and designs. They are also very cost-effective. The company is committed to reducing tree-based and fossil fuel-based packaging in favour of eco-friendly alternatives. However, it is not only coffee cups that you need to consider when you go sustainable. There are also loads of sustainable food packaging options available. You should also consider cup trays for multiple coffee purchases, takeaway boxes with lids for hot food items, and takeaway trays for baked goods. Say goodbye to plastic containers once and for all!

Double down at the time of purchase

While single wall cups are often cheaper, you need to think about how much the real costs are when hot beverages need to be double-cupped to avoid burning your customers. Single wall cups really aren’t suitable for some hot drinks like black coffee. You will save significantly when you buy double-walled cups rather than having to use two single wall cups at a time. For example, a pack of 8oz BioPak single wall cups with a leaf design will cost you $86 through Franks Stationery (as at 1-Feb-2020). Double-wall cups in the same size and design will cost you $123.30. As you can see, this results in a saving of $48.70 if you buy double wall cups at the outset. Ultimately, double cupping is not cost-effective, and it results in much more waste. Similarly, single ply napkins are much less environmentally and cost-friendly than double-ply napkins. Customers will need to use more of them, and frankly, single ply napkins just aren’t up to the task of mopping up coffee or cleaning up food mess.

Remember, simple things like the quality of your supplies can reflect on your business. Cheap and flimsy cups and napkins will affect your customer experience and might make a difference about whether or not they return. Quality supplies will reflect that your products are also high quality, and shows your customers that you are committed not only to them but to the planet.

If the glove fits

Another highly disposable item in most food premises is gloves. Even if you are using gloves to prepare food and need to change them frequently, you can make smarter choices than the standard disposable gloves on offer. If you are going to be wearing gloves for a prolonged period, choose a nitrile glove rather than one that is made of PE vinyl. Nitrile gloves are dispensed singly, so you can avoid waste when you only need to use one at a time. These gloves can also be recycled when disposed of correctly. For cleaning, invest in some high-quality reusable gloves.

Get to it

Just as we promised, going green doesn’t need to be difficult. Even if you just choose one or two things on this list, you will be making a significant difference in how your business impacts the planet. Studies show that people are now willing to spend more on green products and are much more likely to recommend green businesses to their friends and family. So what are you waiting for? Why not see how these changes can help save costs in your cafe and save the environment.

If you would like to know more about the products on offer, check out the full range at Franks Stationery.

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