How much energy are you wasting every day? Are you literally pouring water down the drain? As Earth Day approaches, use this quick, six-step “sustainability audit” to save money and resources at your restaurant:
Fix leaking faucets
Look at all hoses, hand sinks and dishwasher lines. One restaurant in Washington, D.C., recently discovered it was losing 53 gallons of water a day. If it hadn’t fixed the leaky faucet, the problem would have added up to 19,500 gallons of wasted water and $415 in unnecessary expenses a year.
Swap out wasteful pre-rinse spray valves
Old, broken spray valves in your dish room can cost you big money. For example, if you change a cracked, barely functional, 2-gallon-per-minute old valve for a new 0.99 high-efficiency one, you could end up with significant savings. The valve, which costs about $70 to install and lasts about five years, could save you $860 a year if used for an average of two hours a day.
Remove old bulbs for savings
Switch out 12 traditional 75-watt incandescent bulbs for 15-watt LEDs and save about $400 a year on energy costs. If you’re concerned about ambience and décor, check out these new Edison-style LED bulbs.
Clean your refrigerator coils
If dust and dirt seep into your refrigeration system, it could use double the energy to keep your food cool. With a brush, clean the coils off once a month to keep things humming efficiently.
Insulate hot-water pipes
Hot water is pumped through copper pipes. But if they are left uninsulated, the pipes lose heat to the air. If you insulate them, you could raise the water temperature by 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Insulating the pipes is fairly inexpensive to do, too — maybe $2 for 6 feet of material. In addition, some cities offer rebates to help cover the cost. Check with your local utility company to see if yours does.
Shut equipment down when it’s not in use
If you turn off just one energy-intensive kitchen appliance for 30 minutes a day, you could save up to $100 per year. Take a look at how Shari’s Café and Pies saves more than $4,000 a year.
Visit Conserve for sustainability tips and tools for the restaurant industry. Follow us on Twitter @CafesConserve