With Earth Day right around the corner — er, sun — now's the perfect time to highlight sustainable items on your menu and introduce even more environmentally friendly initiatives that will hopefully become mainstays long after Mother Earth's big day.

Planet Before Plastics

Earthday.org, the global organizer of Earth Day, has named "Planet vs. Plastics" the theme for 2024, with the overarching goal of reducing single-use plastics.

The global impact of choosing greener products not only affects generations to come, but already influences our economic culture today. Help your operation move in the direction of sustainability with First Mark® products created with the environment in mind. Items are free of toxic materials, made from recycled content, and are manufactured using source reduction. Help our planet by adding compostable, biodegradable, and recyclable serving materials to your tables.

Spring for Seasonal Produce

As winter melts and the earth begins to bud and bloom, our taste buds begin to shift. The hearty starchiness of winter's seasonal root vegetables now gives way to a lighter, fresher craving: tender vegetables of spring that barely need any prep to delight. Steam delicate artichoke leaves, snap into barely blanched English peas, sauté baby radishes and skinny asparagus and serve them with a drizzle of olive oil or butter, salt, and pepper.

Not only is eating seasonally more nutritious, but it's more environmentally friendly too. Eating with the seasons reduces long-distance transport times and lengthy refrigeration and freeze times, helping your carbon footprint head in the right direction.

Each Peak Fresh Produce® supplier is audited for good manufacturing practices, agricultural practices, and traceability. Every one of the Peak row crop suppliers is a charter member of the Leafy Greens Initiative. Choose from more than 300 Peak varieties for top-notch quality and sustainability. Doing your part has never been so healthy and delicious!

Tighten the Focus on Fish

According to the Marine Conservation Society, unsustainable seafood is one of the biggest threats to our seas. The MSC fish guide states that rope-grown mussels are among the most ocean-friendly seafood. Empire's Treasure® mussels are the perfect sustainable swap for entrées or apps— and still high in omega-3 fatty acids guests look for.

For seafood to be considered sustainable, it must come from fisheries that use practices to ensure the long-term health stock of a species and the wellbeing of the ocean. Consider Bay Winds® Swordfish steak for a showstopping and healthy entrée. All seafood selected for Bay Winds must meet strict standards, ensuring the fish stocks are healthy. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas evaluates the current harvest practices of 30 species in the Atlantic. This swordfish fishery is sustainable, so go ahead and plate with confidence!

Moving towards more sustainable menu items and operations is a practice that will only continue to get more important to your current and potential guests. Highlighting exactly how you are contributing — both on your menus and advertising — will draw more loyal guests, not only on Earth Day, but every day.

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