Lunch trucks, often referred to as roach coaches, are popping up all over many American cities. They’re popular with new bohemians, hipsters and anyone who wants to grab a quick bite to eat but wants to avoid the typical burgers and fries of fast-food chains. The impression these food trucks give is that they focus on green living, recycling and a devotion to the environment and the local community. However, is a lunch truck really more environmentally friendly than a traditional restaurant? For the most part, the answer is yes.
A lunch truck doesn’t use as much energy as a traditional restaurant. Restaurants have to keep their dining rooms well lit and comfortable, which often means compensating for the heat given off from the kitchen. Although food trucks use energy for cooking and fuel to get around, they don’t have to maintain large kitchens, bathrooms or dining spaces.
When it comes to mileage, you might think that a food truck obviously consumes more energy than a restaurant. However, a restaurant’s customers often drive in for their meals. A lunch truck can park at busy locations like office buildings or mall parking lots, eliminating the need for individuals to waste gas. In addition, food trucks tend to focus on providing locally produced food, which requires less transportation to get from the grower to the consumer.
Because lunch trucks provide meals to on-the-go diners, they usually serve their food on disposable dinnerware. However, many food trucks offer recycling or compost bins, reducing the amount of waste they create. Restaurants that serve food on reusable dinnerware don’t create as much waste, but more energy is wasted in the dish washing process. In sum, lunch trucks do tend to be more green than restaurants. They use less energy, take up less space and best of all, they come to you. Next time you’re hungry, walk over to the food truck and order lunch for the whole office. You’ll save gas and help the environment.