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25 proposals to become a sustainable restaurant and address the climate emergency planet


It is finished climate summit COP25 Madrid, where experts from around the world have shared during 14 day weather emergency situation that exists on the planet, 11 258 scientists 153 countries issue the Second warning of scientists from the planet on climate emergency, the mandarins of more than 200 countries of the world meet in Madrid (COP25), pounce crowds in the streets following the Messianic Greta Thunberg while networks deniers release bile activist against child.

All this is demanding a disruptive change, urgent and firm, by all that should lead to the first covenant as a kind of modern era, as humans who inhabit the planet earth, That's certainly true climate emergency. While watching national and international events that happen every day, no doubt that anyone could think that is an absurd utopia.

The restaurants for decades they have been active participants in the major social changes in the world, as few sectors have contributed to a global and economic development on the planet based primarily on something so necessary for the evolution of the human species as feed.

But it has come a time when this is no longer enough, turn to step forward, perhaps the most important in the history of restaurants and become a major step flagged responsibility, training and action against this climate emergency. Because it is difficult to find a sector that has a closer contact with the public and can be the natural transmitter of this new awareness of care and respect for the planet, restaurants have written great pages of social changes and now it write the page climate change, since the existence of them is directly related to the products and raw materials obtained from planet earth.

Climate change, human impact on the environment and information society: A brief introduction

In 1838, French physicist Claude Pouillet published his Report on solar heat, about the power of radiation and absorption of atmospheric air, and the temperature of the space, monograph where describing first the greenhouse gases. His intellectual legacy would be collected later, in 1986, by the Swedish scientist Svante August Arrhenius. Arrhenius, today considered one of the fathers of modern chemistry, He wrote about the effects of the industrial revolution would bring: global warming.

Is 2019 and to respect scientific consensus has been reached 100%. In late November James Powell published in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society a review paper on 11 602 scientific articles concerningl anthropogenic climate change appeared in the first half of the year. They all agreed that uncontrolled climate exists and that this is caused by the hand of man.

The agreements reached at the COP25 will be insufficient. The discourse has changed. no longer avoid talking about climate change. We have accepted that our best hope now is to limit it to 1.5 ℃ in 2100. But the fine print is that date. What happens next? The reader may be interested in hysteresis climate, the effect by which the system maintains its trend by the action of an inertia associated with its evolutionary history. This limit does not mean stop, but rather gain time to develop technologies capture atmospheric carbon, machines belonging to the world of science fiction in this.

The foregoing should not mislead, climate decontrol not end with man. What is less clear it is what humanity will be ahead to overcome this crisis. A follower of the famous popularizer preadolescent nature David Attenborough He referred back to the English gentleman a letter asking him what was the worst scenario would witness throughout his life. «large-scale social unrest and massive migrations».

A clear and concise answer, such a cruel time knowing who was addressed, but certainly true; necessary to prevent humanity continue putting his heel. The denial of climate change is a stream of unfounded opinion that Campa rampant in networks. They are noisy fans and small groups who inadvertently meet the reins of large lobbies to the service of the economic sector.

And to some extent, climate change may interest some nations. US trade relations. THE. and Russia are at an all-time high. But between the two nations happy ice layer is interposed drifting, Hull Arctic prevents the shortest route. Open that step involves saving trillions of dollars over the decades. Russia would benefit from an increase in agricultural production Besides. He permafrost disappears, and with it the original vegetation cover, which is substituted by crops. A milder climate is also a strategic asset for the northern countries; tourism industries and chattel flourish as never before.

It is evident that those conservatives who honestly believe to be acting patriotically and service their nation to oppose green policies, They are really just being manipulated by agents of foreign disinformation pouring advertising without perseverance, always with a view to striking a mortal blow to rival countries. During the The International Arctic Forum held in Arkhangelsk (Russia) he 29 Y 30 March 2017, Vladimir Putin pointed, risk despite controversy, that "climate change brings favorable conditions and improve the economic potential of the region [boreal]». A diaphanous statement of intent that has been confirmed to the destaparse a Russian plot to interfere with the passage of environmental laws in the US. THE. creating currents of thought opposed by anonymous on social networks. Cold War never ended, now it called geopolitics.

The circumstances portend a Dantesque outlook for the second half of the century. The media resort to forceful adjectives to define the future: terrible, hopeless, hard ... But they fail to delimit the real consequences. In the case of Spain, what we observe a peek at the precipice is:

  • Increased to 45 centimeters of sea level, more virulent tidal flooding coastal regions capable as the Rias Baixas, Critics tourist enclaves on the east coast and the Cantabrian coast. Affect a 300 000 people, as well as industry and civil works unquantifiable economic damage.
  • A loss of agricultural production around the 50% according to the European Environment Agency. It represents an economic contraction around for an amount of some 26 500 million euros and the consequent inability to self-supply the projected population 2050.
  • Massive migration from North African countries. Science, economics and politics share that migratory flows of climate refugees could reach a whopping figure one million people a year towards the end of the century. Spain, one of the handiest paths when entering the EU, at least triple its immigration, with the usual social conflict that this would result.
  • Loss to the 25% of inland water resources. In a territory where the garden that feeds its people is situated in one of the most arid regions, the tragic story of the little Julen, found dead in an illegal well, masking an underlying tragedy of much larger dimensions, hidden under the same ground we stand. More than one million illegal wells drilled our land in a futile attempt to find water. The risk of desertification, It fertility loss and soil erosion in Spain is very high. Incompressible demand of transferring water between river basins does nothing but worsen the impoverished state in which are our rivers; which, said passage is, They act on climate with a moderating and stabilizing effect.
  • Increased weather extremes, especially by heatwaves. Temperatures around, or even surpass, fifty degrees will be the daily bread in the summer mid-century. These phenomena have lethal consequences, thermal fatigue is primed with higher and infants. In 2003, 11 435 people died in a wave of infernal heat in France. It is 2019, the Indian government was forced to evacuate nearly one million people because of the high temperatures that prevailed from mid-May to mid-June. unusual situations that increase in frequency, even here.

Descontrol climate is not the only challenge on the horizon. Powered by global effects, we are also focused on the following scenarios:

  • Ecosystem collapse and mass extinction of the Anthropocene. It is estimated that up to 90% species cohabiting our planet could disappear in the next century. In addition to a loss of natural heritage inherited after hundreds of millions of years of evolution, many of these species play key roles for homo sapiens. Insect pollination; predatory habits of birds, bats, reptiles and other little animals decimating pests and disease vectors; the regulation of the water cycle passively executed by forests; And a long etcetera.
  • Pollution of soils. Intensive agriculture crops fertilized with chemical mixtures rich in nitrates, which they are deadly to many invertebrates herbivores. The use of pesticides and herbicides leave traces that last for decades. Monocultures transform and impoverish the microbiota edaphological, preventing land are used for other purposes, and at the same time demineralised soils, are contributing to these wastelands. Livestock produces large amounts of waste, and antibiotics used to maintain healthy cattle drain into channels as urine, contributing to the emergence of resistant bacterial strains pathological drug.
  • Plastic crisis. Landfills washed by rain water dissolved materials resulting leached infiltrating groundwater. Other particles pass trophic or are entrained in air. We have found microplastics from Everest to biopsies fetuses still in the womb, We do not know what the long term effects of this fact and act the story advises the side of prudence are. The plastic is irreplaceable in modern life.

Deforestation, ocean acidification, loss of the nutritional value of crops ... The list is long. It's easy to get frustrated with so many threats, especially when the ruling class is not up because nobody wants to assume the political cost to solve existing problems. Nor openly debate on the feasible solutions; They are considered taboo. Scientists advocate control the world's population and change the economic model. Consumer capitalism requires sustained growth for deemed healthy, but on a planet with limited resources, a model that infinite growth needs to run is doomed to disaster, because it is logically impossible. It is not a question of whether fail, but when will fail.

Protests to force governments to take action outside your comfort zone will become more common gradually. On the other hand, You can always lead by example. We are strong enough to take some sacrifices for a brighter future. In classical Greece already they knew of our decision: "A society grows well when seniors know they plant trees under whose shade they never will shelter '.

The fight against climate change and the role of the restaurants in the consumer society

Restorer committed to sustainability environment and combating climate change does not have to wait for national and supranational regulations require you to adapt.

With a business in connection with the natural environment, also comes an opportunity to capitalize on the activist spirit of the consumer. Especially among the public millennial and later generations, develop a strong brand image around a social mission energizes the turnover perceived. This fact is widely tested.

The amendments that the restaurant can undertake to make the most environmentally friendly property are numerous. Then desmenuzamos each element of the business proposing 25 alternatives that will contribute to the common good. It is part of the concept that environmental sustainability should permeate all levels and decisions in all areas of human life, if we want to succeed in our struggle.

Local design and mode of operation

Global warming is not incompatible with low temperatures. The indicators used are usually public global annual averages, which means that in winter the mercury can mark below zero, without implying that the thesis defended by scientists are false.

Human beings need a temperature between 21 Y 26 degrees Celsius to feel comfortable. Since the user experience is at stake, restaurants halls have to be within this range. Heating zones intended to receive diners keeping the impact of the activity minimum can be tricky. When the building that houses the restaurant must be built first, The following guidelines should be considered:

1.- Orientation of local. In places with cold winters receive maximum solar insolation during this time of year reduces reliance on heating elements. And in areas with muggy summers, the opposite decision dwindle energy consumption on climate control.

2- Building material. The cement industry is responsible for a 8% of the total emissions of carbon dioxide. Cement and concrete have physical characteristics difficult to replicate; even so, exist traditional materials such as stone or adobe. The latter has great thermal properties, and both they are available locally, so that energy investment in transport can be minimized.

3.- Thermal isolation. The walls must contain areas insulation to prevent heat transfer between the exterior and interior. Since a chain is as strong as its weakest link, must pay special attention to windows and doors. Higher initial investment is quickly recovered through savings on heating.

4.- Heat pumps. When heat and cool the atmosphere in a restaurant, the reversible heat pump It offers the best energy efficiency. This machine should be prioritized over other solutions.

5.- Natural thermoregulation. If there is landscaping or parking area outside the building, and this is located in a town that experiences high summer temperatures, planting native deciduous trees in front of the facade will cause drops in temperatures in adjacent rooms of up to 4 ℃.

6.- Untying grid. Solar photovoltaic comandita working with battery banks can develop the common tasks of a restaurant without prejudice, including HVAC stays. The energy of the sun can also be used by ustorios mirrors or Fresnel lenses, whereby it can be cooked with sunbeams. The thermal energy radiated by the sun king can be used to heat water stream.

Contracted services and local environment should undergo equally study. In this sense, In addition to the considerations made in the last point of the above list, should act on the following aspects.

7.- Natural lighting. The space should be endowed with abundant windows, skylights and windows that allow light around the space without using LED. Adapt to daytime hours to perform the activity It is also important.

8.- Specialized furniture second-hand. The elements that make up the heart of the restaurant (pantry, kitchen, living room, etc) need not be new. In this sense it prevails the rule of the five erres: reduce, to refuse, reuse, recycle and remove. It has to be ruled out everything that is not necessary and reusing material whenever you can. stores like Burkett Y Caterquip in the United Kingdom, and particular markets are of great help to find second-hand equipment. local artists and restaurateurs serve as ace in the hole for furniture and decorations made from recycled materials.

9.- Waste management. It should be actively reduce the amount of waste generated in the workspace. Ideally these would simply discarded parts of the ingredients used, They would all be of organic origin and could be used for composting. The oils can be transformed into soap, the candles biofuel. In suboptimal circumstances, generated waste should be sorted for recycling, and preferably it will be shown by those materials with increased susceptibility to recover: paper, glass and aluminum. The plastic will be relegated to applications where there is no viable alternative.

Of course, Some of these measures can only be undertaken when the concept of the restaurant is prior to the construction of the same. However many of the recommendations can be applied to a limited extent in rented premises or property acquired after its architectural survey. And as many can be integrated for a necessary reform.

2.- Provisioning and use of the pantry

In any case, to achieve true sustainability restoration is possible to act on many other fronts. This is the case of food. We noted earlier the need to design the letter thinking about the impact that our dishes will have on the natural environment. The following rules will help the professional to know which recipes can be selected.

10.- Reducing meat consumption. With a world population that will reach 10 000 million to 2050, the world can not afford inefficiencies in food. The feed conversion ratio or FCR is a measure that relates the amount of feed an animal has to eat with the amount of meat it produces. For poultry this value is relatively low, but in If cattle are unsustainable. We must consider that the 75% of the agricultural land of the planet is destined for feeding pets. This shows that livestock requires many more resources to achieve the same nutrition. Hence be explored alternatives such as entomofagia, cell cultures or substitutes vegans. In Spain nearly four million people are vegetarians, and the number of flexitarians (those who deliberately reduce protein intake of animal origin without being completely abandon their use) increases steadily.

11.- ecological sustainability assurance products. Does not have the same impact eating meat from a cow barn with soy fed beef raised in taste freedom that feed on natural pastures. In The collapse of large herbivores of the world the investigators shows how the organic mass associated with wild mammals pales in comparison to the group of cattle, demonstrating that the transformation of habitats by humans are much more pronounced than you could imagine. Luckily there which allow livestock cooperatives 'adopt' wild animals. When they sacrificed the impact on the environment has been minimal, restorer or customer gets a good price and farmers have a fair profit to the omitted intermediaries. Organic farming, although poor, helps maintain natural environments such as peat grassland and natural that after the disappearance of wild herds and the abandonment of small rural farms tend to embardarse with scrub. Vegetables, fruits, vegetables, vegetables and tubers from agriculture based on intensive exploitation or hiperintensiva nor should have no place in our dishes, since the use of agrochemicals, transgenic, monocultures and heavy machinery is anything but sustainable.

12.- local and seasonal products. Use ingredients from other areas leaves a carbon footprint due to transport from the point of origin. In addition to an unnecessary waste of energy, trucks used in these journeys are primarily responsible for the degradation pathways communication from the country. The impact is even greater in the case of products brought from overseas. On the other hand, to get products off-season facilities often depend heavily on the plastic and require controlling the atmosphere are used; in the case of greenhouses and hydroponics, for example. The local markets They are a more humane way to put food on the table, and both the biosphere and the climate benefit from this change in the way people consume. Restaurants with own garden are a growing trend.

13.- Products without risk of disappearing. For the restorer can be very tempting offer exclusive products when others can not, instead to value their expertise in the kitchen. eels, tuna and other fish have almost disappeared. Octopuses closures, barnacles and other sea products are not respected by some unscrupulous practitioners. Hunting has no reason to be battered ecosystem of the XXI century. Sustainability is demonstrated not only demanded changes, They are often necessary sacrifices.

14.- Reduction of food discarded. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, better known as FAO, it is estimated that one-third of all food produced globally end up in dumpsters. Some 850 000 million euros in losses account for about the 8% of total emissions of greenhouse effect gases. According to a study of Champions 12.3 restorers can benefit financially from the fight against food waste with a relationship 7:1 per euro invested. Since much of the losses occurring in the sector restoration, committed locals can clean up its economic performance at the same time fighting against climate change and world hunger. When technologies such as appliances interconnected by IoT are not enough to eliminate one hundred percent loss food, prepared dishes can be offered through apps mobile specially designed to avoid this scenario.

15.- Delete policies stigmatize presentation and leftovers. Many businesses, especially organized restaurant chains, They refuse to follow the requests of customers regarding the amount of food they want to receive. Garrison potatoes, salad accompaniment or starters that some restaurateurs are determined to serve not just in the stomach but customers in the trash. The role of these dishes is marketer ubérrimos, is it so designed to generate attention on social networks and maintain a brand image. A strategy that clearly should disappear. In the same way, If the customer wants to take the leftovers in a container, no one should embarrass him. Our grandparents taught us that the food is not pulled, We should praise his wisdom and follow the advice to the letter the.

16.- Without water and bottled drinks. With few exceptions, the quality of tap water in Spain is exceptional and worthy of praise even in the developed world. Serve bottled water is contributing to an industry that drains public aquifers and expensive a vital product, universal human rights, prohibitively. And at the same time It is involved in the manufacture of 31.5 trillions of plastic bottles to the year. All this in a completely unnecessary. We learn to value public services still enjoy. In the case of sugary drinks, much better to have a Rechargeable dispensing machine for these situations.

17.- Adopt packaging products. Pastas, cereals, pastries, Dried fruits and the like are often sold in containers plasticized. Nevertheless, restaurateur can find the same products in bulk. Are industry professionals who must lead the way to follow bottling companies rejecting the acquisition of items with one or more layers of packaging.

Local management and technology

Apart from building, the basic services required by the restaurant and kitchen, in the restaurant many other tasks that also have an impact occur. Using paper, a material that requires large areas of land for forest plantations replace native forest, huge quantities of water and chemical factories for extracting cellulose (extremely polluting), It is one of the main objects of action.

The technology is on the side of the restorer. Thanks to innovative solutions the restaurant can become a place free from celluloses. Let's see how.

18.- Reserve management systems. Computing devices are superior to physical means from an environmental point of view. Reservations should be managed through a specialized application or through the work of a foreign company that can outsource this service.

19.- You command communication systems. Service camaraderie has to say goodbye to the booklets. At present you can inform the chef and kitchen staff of food orders through a telematics device. Screen installed in the kitchen and tablets have camaraderie necessary, in the long run, less impact than paper.

20.- Forcing obsolescence tiques. The restaurants spend 680 000 tons of paper to the single year in tiques. Unjustifiable use existing methods to issue electronic invoices, which can also serve as an excuse to invite occasional customers to be part of a reward system that spurred user loyalty. It should be an active effort to abandon this methodology.

21.- Payment Management, contracts and schedules. There is no reason not to use electronic models in all these cases. Electronic invoices and electronic contracts are no longer motivated complaints government agencies. In addition to being easier to organize, facilitate business accounting. For times, there are specific applications that workers can interact.

22.- Inventory management and planning. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and internet of things open the doors to a revolution in how to take the restaurant. Thanks to these systems can plan more precisely when we need to cook, how much is required, What should prepare and when to run the resupply. These systems can debug management inefficiencies wherever man does not perceive. An example: receiving perishable ingredients from suppliers just before they are to be used to minimize the energy invested in maintaining the cold chain.

With all the above, sustainable service at the restaurant is shielded, at least for the near future. Nevertheless, consumption habits diners have moved in the last decade; a large portion of the volume of business that perceives the restaurant now belongs to the segment off-premise (Sales outside the local), and this brings its own challenges.

Mobility restoration and sustainability

The amount of waste generated by the segment mobility is unconscionable. There is no comparison with meals that customers perform in local. Depending on the mode of consumption which speak, undertake necessary reforms in one or another character.

23.- Packaging for food home delivery. We must aim to implement a methodology for delivery and collection of durable and reusable containers (tàperes stainless steel, for example). Thus the waste generated would be reduced to zero. In the short run packaging for hamburgers, potatoes, schnitzels and the like must be replaced by versions suitable for composting, such as those made from potato starch or corn starch. Any plastic mineral must be discarded. Excessive use of packaging is also present in some restaurant chains organized dedicated to the niche of fast food, They should apply the same remedies in this case.

24.- Glasses, straws and disposable cutlery. They are already being banned in most of the world. However the model includes only replaces the material, not the amount generated. Until you act on the root of consumption exacerbated, We will not find a truly sustainable solution. Encourage widespread adoption in the society of a glass folding travel, preferably stainless steel (for its durability and easy recycling), as part of the clothing of the person, and ensure that the bars and restaurants serve their drinks in it is the right direction. For culinary cutlery and other regalia must proceed analogously.

25.- Displacements in nonpolluting vehicles. Just dispatchers Eat, Uber, Glover and similar use multiple means of transport for deliveries: from cars to bicycles. Contamination in this stage is not negligible and consequently must act on it. Commuting by bicycle or on foot should become the norm.

It is abundantly clear that the road towards sustainability in the restoration is not free of difficulties. There are many challenges that we will face over the next few decades if you want to avoid undesirable situations in the future. All to ensure a better future for both young people living today and those who are not yet born. Coupled can make this a better world, says one of the most shared hashtags summit… is #TiempoDeActuar !

About the Author

Industrial Engineer, writer and translator. When your hands do not dance on the keyboard, wielding a butterfly net in some hidden valley. Owner Geometra Conservancy, Green initiative for nature conservation and biodiversity protection. Written contributions deal with technological innovations, digital marketing, gastronomy, sustainability and biodiversity.


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