If you are an eco-savvy individual who is aware of the importance of the “go green” efforts to sustain the environment, you might question whether or not you can maintain a green lifestyle while dining out on the town. Well, with these tips it is easy to enjoy a meal at a restaurant while saving the planet at the same time.
Carefully choose a restaurant. Before you head out to eat, it doesn’t hurt to do a little light research. Check online to see if you have any certified green restaurants in your neighborhood. Or you can always eat at a restaurant that you know uses locally grown food and strives for organic vegetables and pasteurized meat.
- Restaurants certified by the Green Restaurant Association™ (GRA). The Green Restaurant Association™ is a non-profit organization that contributes efforts to helping restaurants become more environmentally conscious. A restaurant certified by the GRA has made a promise to help the planet by making at least four improvements each year. Restaurants who are certified green receive points on seven different items: chemical and pollution reduction, water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable furnishings and building materials, sustainable food, and energy and disposables. You can check out the GRA’s website for a list of certified restaurants in your town.
- Restaurants using their own local ingredients. These restaurants may not be certified by the GRA, but if they are using locally grown foods, they are most certainly doing their part in reducing their carbon footprint. Be sure to study the menu and ask your server what dishes use local ingredients.
- Some top picks: Eateries such as Starbucks, Chipotle, and Jamba Juice are all famous for their green efforts in reducing waste by using recycled materials in their disposable products, using less disposable products, encouraging their customers to switch to reusable containers, and implementing electricity reduction plans.
How will you get to the restaurant? When going out to eat, consider a venue that isn’t too far away…this way you can enjoy a pleasant stroll or bike ride and leave the keys behind. If a restaurant close to your home or work is not an option, carpool with friends or arrive at your destination by public transit.
Avoid the drive-thru. If you do happen to drive, it is best to steer clear of the drive-thru. Not only will you run your car in the line, wasting gas and emitting harmful fumes, but these establishments are also known to waste extra products that you don’t need or want such as napkins, plastic utensils and even the bag itself.
Drink green. An easy step in dining green is to be mindful of what you put in your cup (and what kind of cup you are using at that!).
- Order filtered tap water.
- Bring your own bottle, cup or coffee mug when enjoying a drink at a restaurant that would otherwise have served your drink by disposable means.
- If you decide to kick back with an alcoholic beverage, opt for one that is produced locally or at least domestically.
Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach. When dining out, be sure to only order what you will eat. This is an important lesson regarding waste, and one that we should be teaching our children. If you know the portions at a restaurant are huge, consider splitting a dish with your dining partner. This same rule of thumb should especially be kept in mind when eating at a buffet, where the amount of wasted food is enough to feed a small country. Remember, you can always order more if you find that
your hunger is still unsatisfied.
Bring your own containers. If you should happen to have some food left over from your meal, don’t let it get thrown out! Bring along your own re-usable containers to take your leftovers home with you. Although the waiter might give you a funny look, just think about the amount of Styrofoam you will be eliminating from landfills across the globe.
Written by Amy Reynolds on behalf of Best Free Dating Sites.