More gas-guzzling polluters or an influx of eco-friendly food vehicles? This is a question that’s on the minds of catering truck lovers and skeptics, alike – and as food trailer owner, you’re responsible for answering it.

Fortunately, it’s becoming an easier question to answer as the amount of environmental agencies and organizations that regulate the impacts of mobile food stand and food trailers increase. This means that in the near future catering trucks will be able to receive green certifications based on environmentally sustainable behaviors and business practices.

But even without these certifications, mobile food vendors can work towards sustainable objectives. Here are 10 ways your food business can go easier on the environment:

  1. Use locally farmed ingredients. This results in lowering your business’s overall impact on the earth by reducing the amount of fuel miles between your produce and your kitchen, and it also forces your truck to reinvest its earnings in the local community.
  2. Use organic ingredients. Organic ingredients are produced using natural methods of farming that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic farms are not only better than conventional farms at sustaining diverse ecosystems, but they also use less energy and produce less waste.
  3. Use fair trade products. The Fair Trade Certified label is only placed on products that are socially and environmentally sustainable. Fair Trade USA reviews products that range from tea to chocolate to body care to wine.
  4. Use a truck fueled with biodiesel or vegetable oil. Biodiesel fuel is created from soybeans or waste vegetable oil. It’s a renewable resources and it creates less pollution than petroleum diesel. It can be used alone or in combination with petroleum oil or heating oil.
  5. Make your food truck a zero-emission system. A zero-emissions vehicle is a vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power.
  6. Use propane and rechargeable batteries.
  7. Use solar power whenever possible.
  8. Use packaging and utensils that are recyclable or compostable. Although catering trucks consistently use less water and electricity than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, these mobile food vendors tend to generate more paper and plastic waste. To combat this phenomenon that’s caused by the grab-and-go concept of the food truck industry, food trucks must use materials that are environmentally friendly.
  9. Compost. Your food trailer should regularly given organic and other compostable items to a local farm or composting facility.
  10. Turn the engine off. Idling engines waste fuel and create harmful emissions. Turn your truck off when you’re not on the move.