Five Ways Operators Can Celebrate Earth Day

Driving new business is likely always at the top of your agenda, but what about strengthening your sustainability efforts? If the latter is something you’ve been putting off, Earth Day provides plenty of opportunities for operators to go green while also attracting new customers. Here are five ways you can be more eco-friendly and promote your brand on April 22 and beyond.

  1. Incentives for Reusable Cups

Earth Day is a great time for anyone to kick-start a more eco-friendly lifestyle, especially when implementing small changes that can have a big impact, like using a travel mug instead of a disposable cup. Make it easy for your customers to go green this year by selling to-go mugs and tumblers with your logo. (Don’t forget reusable straws!) Even if you don’t sell branded cups, you can still offer incentives for customers who bring in their own. Whether it’s a free refill or a discount on a drink, everyone will appreciate the gesture, and you’ll be helping to cut back on paper and plastic waste.

  1. Round Up for the Rainforest

In addition to small changes, a little change can have a significant effect on the planet. This Earth Day (or every day!) give your guests the chance to round up the cost of their purchase to the next dollar to donate to an organization like the Rainforest Alliance, Arbor Day Foundation, or a local environmental nonprofit. Organizations like Round It Up America and apps like Round Up and Coin Up make it easy to offer this service. With this Earth Day promotion, everyone wins!

  1. Grounds for Gardens

Did you know most gardeners would be more than happy to take your grounds? Coffee grounds add nitrogen to compost, and some people even sprinkle them directly over topsoil to repel critters. Offer up grounds as a way to reduce your own waste while also giving back to your customers. You can let guests take what they want from a large bin, or have them sign up to collect on a certain day of the week. If dealing with individuals doesn’t make sense for your business, partner with a local community garden instead. (Whatever you do, be sure to post about it on social media!)

  1. Pop-Up Recycling

Ramp up your recycling efforts — and attract new customers — around Earth Day by becoming a drop-off point for a hard-to-recycle item for a day, a week, or even an entire month. Toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes don’t take up much space and could be shipped to an organization like TerraCycle, lithium-ion batteries can be taken to a local recycling center, or you could partner with a local environmental nonprofit and collect a variety of items.

  1. Share Your Sustainability Story

Millennials are willing to pay more for a responsibly sourced, sustainable product. At S&D, sustainability is at the core of everything we do — not because it’s trendy, but because it’s good for the planet, it’s good for the people and it’s good for the beverage industry. That means it’s also good for business, and our research has shown terms like “environmentally friendly” and messaging highlighting “better farming practices” and “treating workers fairly” resonate well with consumers. As an S&D partner, our story is your story, and it’s one you should share with your customers both in store and online.

You’re in a unique position to help consumers make more sustainable decisions every day, which can have a big impact over time. From serving sustainably sourced products to encouraging recycling and composting, there are plenty of ways to demonstrate your commitment to the environment on Earth Day and every day.

Learn more about driving sustainable coffee sales.