Unlike many other businesses, we have a green initiative. That initiative is to reduce the amount of waste we produce, reuse containers where/whenever possible and recycle all we can. Even our website is hosted through the Ontario-based arm of a company called GreenGeeks. Long story short, hosting with them allows us to have a carbon-negative footprint for our website.
We have our green mascot to help identify something that meets with our green initiatives. So, when you see our little frog – Pickles – you’ll know that we’ve put a lot of thought into what we’re doing and how we’ve done something. And s/he’s really adorable, too.
Another part of our business is we scratch-make most of our menu items. One of the reasons we do this is, it reduces the number of products we carry, which reduces the packaging we need to dispose of and further allows us greater flexibility with our menu. We also control all of the ingredients that go into our food to make it simpler but also makes it healthier.
In addition to scratch-made, we do our best to source our food items from local suppliers. Food that is grown closer to home is fresher, has lesser transportation emissions associated with it and supports local farmers. As the distance food travels decreases, so does the need for processing and refrigeration to reduce spoilage. This makes us happy because we really dislike throwing food out.
We’re using a green point-of-sale (POS) that allows us to either text or email your receipt to you. If you don’t want one that’s okay too. It’s operated on an iPad which by nature, has a much lower energy draw than traditional POS systems. This also allows us to be almost paperless with our transactions (except for the Interac/Visa/MasterCard receipt). If you’re curious about how we will process our orders, we’ve borrowed a technique from one of our favorite Japanese restaurants back in Calgary. We’ve printed mini versions of our menu and laminated them with dry-erase laminate. This way we don’t need order pads but allows us to track and process our guest orders easily!
Our brand new trailer is all energy efficient as are our appliances. All of the lighting in it is LED. We are in a unique position where we are not driving around from location to location as some other concession/food trucks do. Our permanent home is at the Garden Market so no transport emissions. We get local farmers to pick up our used fryer oil to recycle as bio-fuel or as a feed supplement. We have another local pig farmer that picks up all of the food waste and gives it to his pigs. We hear it’s exceptionally popular with them.
We have clearly marked bins outside so we can recycle all of the water and pop containers. We use as many paper-based food containers as possible for a few reasons. They take up less storage room than foam containers, are not a petroleum-based product, they are easier to pack up for take-away and any of the paper waste that goes to landfill is much easier to break down than other options. We still use foam for the kids & regular-sized poutine, chili and the mac & cheese as we have not found an affordable paper bowl that will stand up to the moisture content.
We want to hear from our guests as we’re not the only ones with ideas about how to be greener. So, if you have an R3 idea we may not be already doing, please email us at feedme at tschips.ca.