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Eco-friendly restaurant does more than just recycle
A new restaurant is classified as "environmentally friendly" because they recycle glass bottles and cooking grease. I say they need to do more than that.
Mon, Sep 07, 2009 at 06:27 PM
I have been back in Manhattan for two weeks, and I am very happy to see the green trend expanding more every day. Many businesses are taking advantage of this to attract eco-conscious customers, but much of it appears to be too superficial to make an impact (or in this case, to reduce the impact).
The K-State Collegian classified a new bar in Aggieville, The Loft, as "environmentally friendly" because they claim to recycle glass bottles and cooking grease. Although recycling is a great way to reduce waste, a restaurant should do so much more to get the "green" label.
The good news is that the owner appears to be open for ideas. The Collegian reported, "We are open to any other suggestions that the public can offer to help the environment," Jacobson said. That's great, because there are many practices that The Loft's owners and employees can adopt to reduce their impact on the environment. And I have some suggestions.
First of all, they should definitely expand their recycling practices to other items and get compostable or biodegradable to-go containers. They could even partner with the campus farm or any other local farms to compost their food waste. They could also source local products, and if possible, organic. They could go as far as to include more vegetarian dishes in their menu, and encourage customers to chose vegeterian over meat dishes, to avoid the huge carbon footprint of meat.
To reduce their water waste, they could install water-efficient toilets, aerators in all sinks and check for leaks in faucets and toilets. They could also purchase water-efficient dishwashers and clean dishes only with a full load. Reducing electricity usage by purchasing energy-efficient appliances is also another way The Loft can become greener. They could also check the filters for air conditioners and heaters to ensure they are working efficiently.
Choosing eco-friendly cleaning products over conventional cleaners can also go a long way to reduce air and water pollution.
There are many other ways a restaurant can be eco-friendly. With a quick Google search I found a few guides that can be useful. Restaurant.org publishes a How-To series, one of them being "How to Make Your Operation More Environmentally Friendly". A non-profit Green Restaurant Association offers a green certification and consultation services to help restaurants become environmentally friendly.
Do you have any other suggestions for Jacobson?