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Natural Awakenings

Sustainable Dining: Even Burger Joints Can Go Green

Jan 01, 2008 03:00AM

As of 2007, some 350 restaurants in 70 cities in 28 states are gaining attention—and business—as certified green restaurants. Green Restaurant Association Founder Michael Oshman reports that “hundreds [more] are on the waiting list.”

That’s good news in an era when the average U.S. restaurant produces 275 pounds of waste each day. The worst offenders are fast food outlets. Upscale restaurants at least wash and reuse dinnerware. The potential for improvement is phenomenal as eco-technologies and restaurateurs’ understanding of the lower operating costs of going green catch up with consumer demand. Oshman points out that enough restaurants have become early adopters that he can readily show proof of significant savings.

“For a restaurant to be truly green, they have to think about the lighting, the napkins, the cleaning products, the waste, the grill—everything,” he says. Grille Zone, which serves a mostly collegiate crowd in Boston, became the first certified fast-food restaurant last June. According to co-owner Ben Prentice, his place has cut its daily waste to an average of 15 pounds.


Source:  The Christian Science Monitor

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