Many people enjoy the convenience of having delicious, gourmet ice cream treats available to them on a hot summer's day. But a growing number of those people are concerned about the environmental friendliness of repeatedly patronizing an ice cream shop throughout the summer. So, customers may look to you for an example in sustainability. Here are some principles to consider when increasing the sustainability of your ice cream shop.
Offer Recyclable and Compostable Containers
The first area to tackle is which products you use to serve your ice cream. If you look for frozen dessert supplies that are compostable or recyclable, it significantly reduces the volume of waste that goes into the landfill from your shop each day.
Make Sure Guests Know Where to Throw Cups
Offering these sustainable products only goes so far; you must also help guests to recycle in the correct way. For instance, cups might be compostable, while lids and spoons are recyclable. If this is the case, have signs that explain which items go where. And you'll also need a reliable roll-off dumpster service and recycling service to help you sort these items and efficiently haul them off of your property each day.
Encourage People to Bring Their Own Cups
You can also give people incentives to bring their own cups. For instance, a few cents to a quarter discount per cups saved is a great incentive. This is a great value to your customers, and it's also a great courtesy to the environment. If coffee shops can do it, maybe more stores should follow suit and start allowing customers to use their own containers to enjoy food and beverages in their stores.
Buy from Sustainable Sources
Aside from what you can do in-house to promote sustainability, you can also look to your vendors to be more sustainable. For example, where do they source their vanilla beans and other ingredients? Are they doing anything to offset the carbon footprint if ingredients are brought in from far away? How much packaging do they use; is it excessive? If you set the trend for only buying products from sustainable sources, you can put more pressure on growers and suppliers to be sustainable. And, it's also a practice that you can advertise to your customers. The quality of your ice cream products often goes up along with the quality of source materials you use to create your delicious confections.