In April 2019, we shared information on Santa Monica’s goals for complete energy independence by 2020 via the Community Energy Independence Initiative (CEII). As part of this initiative, various actions are underway in support of the Santa Monica Sustainable City Plan.
Businesses such as Big Dean’s are doing what we can to support by investigating alternatives that present the least potential threat to human health and the City’s natural systems. Santa Monica’s ordinance bans the use of non-recyclable plastic disposable food service containers, and also requires that all food and beverage containers must be compostable or recyclable.
Worldcentric.com has indicated that over 40 billion plastic utensils are used every year in the United States. And in the case of our restaurant where we have a significant number of take-out orders each day, we know that we were inadvertently contributing to the piles and piles of plastic making its way into landfills each year. That isn’t something we want to be part of. As such, and to get ahead of the coming July 1, 2019 requirements, Big Dean’s has replaced all plastic utensils with wood, changed out all plastic ramekins, and has also started using recyclable take-out containers.
While sustainability may seem like a buzz word (it is), it’s far more than that too. According to dinegreen.com, an average restaurant produces 100,000 pounds of trash, each year. When restaurants take the initiative to implement recycling and composting programs, 90% of their waste can be diverted from the landfill.
Coincidentally, most customers are willing to pay just a bit more to enjoy a meal at a restaurant that has taken steps to better protect our earth. In fact, 74% of global Millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services, and 72% of Generation Z are willing to do the same. Want more? Get this, 86% of American consumers would switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause. This is up from 63% just 25 years ago.
Sustainability has a major impact on restaurant customers and employees alike. We know that most people want to work for a company that is doing good things for the environment, and in making sure that generations from now will be able to experience this same beautiful earth that we enjoy today. At Big Dean’s, we also want our employees to be proud to come to work every day, and we want them to know that they are making a difference.
At Big Dean’s Ocean Front Café, located on the east side of the boardwalk (across from the merry-go-round), we’re proud to be doing better things for our environment. For us, sustainability is more than a buzz word. It’s our way of doing business.