Everyone loves the mouth-watering deliciousness and the feeling of community that comes from a good food truck, so what could make it even better? The knowledge that the production of your incredible food was entirely powered by the sun! Solar food trucks are one of the best new inventions of the green food movement, and it definitely looks like they're here to stay.
Street food has existed for hundreds of years all around the globe, but the rise of food trucks in recent decades has allowed street food vendors to increase profits by expanding their radius. Now it looks like the next stage in street food evolution is solar-powered food trucks that provide a way for food truck owners and consumers alike to make a stand for both good food and environmentally-friendly practices.
The best part is that most of these solar-powered food trucks are also committed to increasing their sustainability in every possible way. Green Truck, based in Los Angeles and San Diego, not only uses compostable serving utensils and regionally-sourced ingredients for their carbon footprint-reducing vegetarian and vegan meals, they also use leftover cooking oil from the previous day to power their trucks. Steuben's Food Truck, a food truck and sit-down restaurant that serves all-American comfort food in Denver, CO, powers their trucks on leftover cooking oil as well and recycles and composts in all of their locations. Similar sustainable efforts can be seen at other solar-powered food trucks across the nation.
Even though the main incentive for most of these trucks to go green was to be more environmentally friendly, switching to solar energy also saves them cold hard cash - even up to $1,000 per month. Generators, which typically run on gas, are necessary to provide heat, cold, and light for the food truck, which usually operates at least 10 hours a day. Purchasing gas for the generators makes up a substantial and unavoidable monthly expense. Solar panels installed on the roof of the truck are instead a one-time investment, and truck owners can even make a profit selling excess energy back to solar companies.
These earth-friendly food trucks have been rising in popularity over the past decade - the mayor of New York City even started a successful initiative in 2015 to get 500 more solar-powered food trucks on the streets by the following year. With multiple benefits that include a decreased carbon footprint, lower operating costs, and higher visibility in the growing sustainable living movement, there's no good reason for food truck operators to say no to switching to solar power.
So next time you're looking for a quick bite to eat, look for your local solar-powered food truck. It's the best choice for the planet and for your tastebuds.
** This article if for informational purposes only about individuals and companies making a difference through sustainable energy! Sullivan Solar Power does not install solar energy systems on food trucks.