Green Dining Out

The Green Restaurant Association (GRA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create an ecologically sustainable restaurant industry. Using the collective powers of both restaurants, who want to be more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective, as well as the customers, who want to support these types of businesses, GRA created this organization and Web site:

Use the Web site to search for restaurants that are in various stages of becoming a certified green restaurant, which means they (1) use a comprehensive recycling system for all products that are accepted by local recycling companies; (2) are free of polystyrene foam (“Styrofoam”) products; (3) commit to completing four Environmental Steps per year of membership; (4) and at least one Environmental Step after joining.

You can also print the Suggestion Card off to leave with your bill at restaurants who are not part of GRA to educate them to the opportunity.  If you know someone that works in a restaurant there is a quiz to assess the environmental responsibility of the restaurant.  A library could also peruse the guide to endorsed products for ideas on tissue, cleaning products, hand dryers, etc.

If none of these restaurants are in your local area, think about checking some of these places out while traveling for events, conferences, or workshops. There are many in large cities especially NYC, Boston and several in California.