The world continues to change on a daily basis from climate change, global warming or whatever you choose to call it. Some of those changes adversely affect our food and water supplies. Due to that fact, restaurants have often been singled out for their sometimes massive impact on the environment.
Thankfully many restaurants are now entering the world of green in order to lower their impact and help make a difference. What does that really mean though? How do restaurants go green and lower their environmental impact? What measures are restaurants taking? Here are a few examples who are lowering their impact on the environment:
1) Portage Bay Cafe in Seattle, WA works on the philosophy “Eat like you give a damn”. What does that mean? That means they care and want their customers to care about where their food comes from, what they put in their bodies, how their food is handled and/or raised, how it tastes and of course care about the environment.
2) In San Francisco there is Greens Restaurant. Its name pretty much hints about its environmentally-friendly measures. Located in a converted warehouse, most of the restaurant’s wide variety of wood has been reclaimed or recycled. They are a high-quality vegetarian restaurant with organic produce coming from a local farm less than 15 miles away.
3) Then there is Founding Farmers in D.C. To start with they have received LEED® Gold for their green building. On top of that, they have also been recognized as a Certified Green Restaurant™ by the Green Restaurant Association for the environmentally-friendly measures they have taken. Just take a look at this video to get an idea of what they are doing:
4) Fast food restaurant Click-fil-A is working on going green. They’ve actually made their newest “restaurant” a lab for environmental innovations so they can work on improving the sustainability of their restaurants. Their measures include building using recycled materials, including low-flow fixtures, rainwater collection, energy-efficient appliances, etc.
5) My last example, but definitely not least is a restaurant I recently had the privilege of visiting. It’s a local restaurant called the “Egg Plantation”. It’s the first certified green restaurant in Santa Clarita. Let me tell you, the fact that they are going green serves to not only lower their environmental impact but it has improved their image, quality of food and service as well.
Here are just a few of the steps they have taken to green their restaurant:
- All their take-out boxes are made from sugarcane materials instead of Styrofoam
- Their to-go cutlery is biodegradable
- They use 100% recycled napkins and hand towels
- Water is only served if a customer requests it
- All their eggs come from cage-free chickens
- They use non-toxic cleaning materials
- They use low-flow toilets
- They have a full scale recycling program in place
- They use Energy Star products
- They have sensors that monitor lights
- Their kitchen floors are made from recycled plastic
- Even their t-shirts are made from sustainable materials.
Additionally, Egg Plantation has already earned a Two-Star Certified Green Restaurant® seal and are working on additional steps to eventually reach the three- and four-star certification. Here’s what they’ve done so far.
So, congratulations to Simon and the Egg Plantation! I appreciate your actions and efforts. I also love your food and will definitely be back! Here’s to hoping more restaurants will follow in your green footsteps. (TIP: If anyone is in the area, get over to the Egg Plantation…you won’t regret it.)
NOTE: For those of you who happen to be in, or would like to get in the restaurant business, here are 10 ways to build a green, eco-friendly restaurant. Additionally, here are some food service waste reduction tips and ideas.
Now on an individual level, growing and preparing a lot of your own food helps to cut down on your personal environmental impact as well. Even getting fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers or farmers markets help. But when you do go out to eat, try to find green restaurants. To help locate green restaurants near you, check out the Green Restaurant Association’s website. I know I definitely added a few new restaurants to my list.