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Going ‘green’ is good for the earth and business, too

October 20, 2015

A recent survey found one in five Americans would be more likely to buy a beer or hotdog at a venue if they learned that all of the materials left behind was recycled or composted.

This survey, conducted by Shelton Group, focused on stadiums and venues. But the findings could easily be applied to restaurants, too.

More than 2,000 Americans were asked: “How would you react if you learned that all of the trash left behind after a game or concert you attended was sorted… with recyclables and compostables being diverted away from landfills?”

Recycling bin at Georgia Dome in Atlanta
  • 46 percent of Americans said it would improve their opinion of the venue’s owners
  • 32 percent said they would be more likely to attend another game or concert at the venue
  • 22 percent said they would be more likely to buy concessions the next time they attended
  • 22 percent said it would improve their opinion of the team or band

The news was decidedly less positive for venues that aren’t diverting their waste. Almost one in five Americans said they’d be less likely to attend another concert or game if they learned all of the materials left behind went straight to a landfill.

Americans were asked: “How would you react if you learned all of the trash left behind after a game or concert you attended went straight to a landfill without any sorting, recycling or composting efforts?”

    
Recycling signage at Georgia World Congress Center, which include the Georgia Dome
  • 42 percent said they would blame the venue owners, and it would tarnish their opinion of them
  • 26 percent said they would be less likely to buy concessions at that venue
  • 17 percent said they would be less likely to attend another game or concert at the venue

These findings are not surprising, given that waste is a tangible issue for consumers. Questions around what happens to a paper plate after it has been used engage consumers in a different way than whether a restaurant’s lighting is energy-efficient.

What if hundreds of customers hold and drink from a compostable beverage cup every week? That’s a real opportunity to build positive brand awareness   one cup at a time.

It benefits your business, your community and the planet. To paraphrase Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street, “Green is good.”

Sarah Martinez is Sustainability Maven for Eco-Products, a producer of foodservice packaging made from renewable resources and post-consumer recycled content.