5 green restaurants to know about

With green initiatives popping up all over the globe, restaurants and cafes are no exception. While green can be pricy for both consumers and manufacturers, affordable eco-friendly meals are not as uncommon as you might think. The Green Restaurant Association, based in Boston, helps restaurants transform the way they serve people, and help hungry populations find great-tasting green meals at an affordable rate.

To gain green restaurant certification status, there are minimum requirements restaurants must follow. The categories include:

Chemical and pollution reduction – providing tools and strategies to restaurants to help reduce pollution and climate change

Disposables – using recycled and biodegradable materials

Energy – move towards the goal of carbon-neutral and sustainable, on-site renewable energy sources

Sustainable furnishings and building materials – using salvaged or recycled materials

Sustainable Food – encouraging restaurants to buy more local and sustainable goods.

Water efficiency – reducing the amount of water usage

Waste reduction and recycling – trying to adopt and move toward a zero-waste policy

Here are some of our favorites:

  1. B. Good: It’s always nice to be able to pick a tomato from your personal garden and use it to make a nice home-cooked meal. That’s how B. Good feels too, except they are doing their own growing and picking for a much bigger groups: clients of B. Good restaurant chains in the Northeastern part of the United States. Where it is feasible, B. Good uses rooftop garden-grown vegetables to fill its kitchens. This initiative is transforming the myth that sustainable growing for fast food chains is difficult and costly.
  2. Uncommon Ground: These Chicago restaurants introduced the nation’s first certified organic rooftop farm. Everything that is grown is used for their traditional American dishes. Uncommon Ground serves all meals, cocktails, and promotes music and artwork from local artists.
  3. Juice Generation: Since 1999, Juice Generation has been serving all populations in New York. Founder Eric Helms wanted to provide customers from all backgrounds with affordable and convenient juicing options. All juices are freshly made, with as much organic and locally grown produce as possible. Juice Generation makes a point to support various environmental and food-education programs. It uses locally grown products, biodegradable, and recycled materials whenever possible.
  4. Greens Restaurant: Greens Restaurant is found in San Francisco, as part of the San Francisco Zen Center, a place to learn about and practice Buddha’s teachings. The Green Gulch Farm is part of the Zen Center, and supplies Greens Restaurant with seasonal, organic produce to make its delicious meals. Green Restaurant also partners with local farmers for the produce it doesn’t grow.
  5. Pizzeria Mozza: Located in Newport Beach, Los Angeles, and Singapore, Pizzeria Mozza was started by the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group and Nancy Silverton. According to Silverton’s bio on the restaurant’s website, “Simple, all-natural ingredients lead to artful nutrition.” She is involved in the Garden School Project in Los Angeles as well as Meals-On-Wheels in various locations across the country. The restaurant offers affordable dinners and snacks for almost any occasion. It incorporates sustainable food purchasing plans and alternative fuel sources, as well as other green initiatives like “Meatless Monday.”

These are just a handful of restaurants to look out for. To find out more, visit the Green Restaurant Association.

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