How Are Restaurants Going Green?

Environmental sustainability is considered one of the biggest trends in the restaurant industry right now (that and healthier menu choices).  Restaurants large and small are taking steps to be more environmentally friendly.  According to the National Restaurant Association, this trend is even spinning off into smaller trends that are forever changing how restaurants operate and how you dine out – all for the better.

Here are some of the ways restaurants near you may be embracing environmental sustainability:

  • Farm-to-table – More and more restaurants are building relationships with farmers to supply ingredients.  Like onsite gardens, these relationships with local farmers can help reduce transportation distance and burned fuels while supplying some incredibly fresh fruits and veggies to diners.
  • Onsite vegetable or herb gardens – Not only do these restaurant gardens serve up some of the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs, but they’re also the ultimate in local produce.  Forget long-haul truck transport – these veggies can usually be transported by foot.
  • Recycled décor – Restaurants are getting creative and environmentally friendly in building and remodeling dining rooms, thanks to reclaimed wood and salvaged metal building supplies and décor.  Reduce, reuse and recycle has never looked so good!
  • Reduced waste – Have you noticed some more unusual ingredients showing up on menus?  Restaurants are returning to a “waste not” approach to cooking, turning previously thrown away vegetable greens and animal products into culinary delicacies.
  • Saving water – Even restaurants outside of California have started serving water only upon request instead of as a standard procedure.  Sure, it’s mandatory in California now because of the drought, but drinkable water left on tables anywhere in the U.S. is a waste of precious resources.

Restaurants are making great strides in environmental sustainability.  How are your favorite restaurants demonstrating a commitment to the environment?