From water saving appliances and energy efficient kitchens to LED-lighting and salvaged, up-cycled décor, the restaurant world is beginning to catch on to the trend of eco-conscious dining. But we’re not just talking about a place that has organic, locally sourced, farm-to-table food. There are restaurants that are trying to do more than just serve great, local and seasonal ingredients.
The Perennial, San Francisco
This restaurant is not just carbon neutral, its carbon negative. From their hydroponics farm to their energy efficient kitchen, refurbished building materials and Kernza bread, everything that Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint do at their restaurant is an exercise in sustainability. They grow in-house mint and greens, use every part of produce that they can (even the leftovers from their kernza bread goes into making delicious kernza ice cream), and pass on all the information that they can to the next generation of restauranteurs. The upcycled fabric napkins and in-house grown mussels are the way of the future.
Founding Farmers, Washington D.C.
What started as a way to help farmers bring and showcase their produce to end users ended up in an absolutely phenomenal restaurant that serves high class, delicious food. The building in DC opened as the first LEED Gold Certified restaurant (as are all their other locations that followed), they compost and recycle, and build from sustainable and refurbished materials. They’ve been around since 2005 and work to help with honey bee research at George Washington University.
Henrietta’s Table, Cambridge, MA
Not only does Henrietta’s do “fresh and honest” perfectly executed; they’ve been doing it since 1995. Located in The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA, Chef Davis has created simple, rustic New England food using produce, seafood, and game that are local and honest. They list their local producers on their website and they host the annual benefit for the Farm School, a school that trains adults in modern sustainable agriculture.
The Bounty, New York
There are no shortages of trendy, organic, and local restaurants in New York. But, this place goes above and beyond and will make any conscious eater swoon over their sustainable fish selection. The entire place is outfitted with refurbished and recycled materials, from stained glass to the rubber floors. To top it off, the cocktails are exacting and well priced.
The lesson – you can go green, sustainable and organic while staying popular. Doing little things to help the planet, like saving water and electricity, using reusable products, and being conscious about food waste, also helps save your business money.
If you don’t live in one of the above four cities, look to these other restaurants who are leading the example in sustainable restaurant movement. Or, take a look at these tips on how to green your restaurant.