Green Diners Unite!January 30, 2012 No Comments
Let it be known to the local restaurants that a challenge has been issued. This challenge is a challenge of sustainability, a challenge of economic responsibility. The non-for-profit organization, St. Louis Earth Day, has formed a super group of Eco-heroes in the Green Dining Alliance initiative.
The Green Dining Alliance, GDL, sounds more like a cartoon super hero group than a group of advocates to reduce the environmental impact of St. Louis area restaurants and diners. Although they are not super heroes, they do have some super goals for their first full year in 2012. By the end of the year the GDL hopes to build its membership to at least 80 local restaurants but also to reduce landfill waste by 800 tons. That’s right 800 tons! This is fairly ambitious platform for success but with the support of area restaurants and consumers this goal is more than achievable.
To become a member of the GDL a restaurant must go through and evaluation process in which they are graded on a scale of one to four stars. The grade is based on seven different categories. These categories include; recycling and waste reduction, water conservation, energy conservation, sourcing, chemicals, awareness and innovation. If the restaurant fails to meet these guidelines they will receive recommendations on how they can improve their standing in the green community. They also give the restaurant patrons a way of voicing their concern to their favorite restaurants by leaving little printed nudges toward a greener approach in the form of little flyers.
I was relieved to find out that some of my favorite restaurants are already members of the Green Diners Alliance. Schlafly Tap Room and Schlafly Bottle works were two places I already loved going to because of the food and atmosphere,but knowing at what lengths they went to reduce their waste and energy use gave me a sense of pride knowing that my money went to such establishments. It is now up to us to reward these local businesses for the effort they put into making St. Louis a better place to live in the future. It’s up to us to pressure our favorite places to eat to adopt the practices of their more eco friendly rivals in order to maintain their current level of business. This is what is best for the consumer, best for the city, and best for the planet as a whole.
To find out more information on the Green Dining Alliance, including a list of their current members, visit their website.
Written by Ryan Farrell
Art & Trash, Carbon Footprint, Everything Environmental, Leafy Tips, Recycle Me