You have seen the Green Restaurant®certificate while eating out lately and wonder what it means? Restaurants with such a certificate from the Green Restaurant Association have taken special care to help protect the environment. Find out more, here!
Green Restaurant Association
The Green Restaurant Association (GRA) is a non-profit organization based in Boston. It was founded in 1990 with the goal of strengthening environmental awareness in US gastronomy. The GRA works closely with restaurant operators as well as national food manufacturers and suppliers. After all, diners should be able to eat delectable food while keeping their ecological footprint as small as possible. They can do that at their local Green Restaurant®.
The Green Restaurant® Certificate
To make it easier for customers to choose an eco-friendly restaurant, the GRA awards Green Restaurant® certificates. Their website states: “The purpose of the GRA standards is to provide a transparent way to measure each restaurant’s environmental accomplishments, while providing a pathway for the next steps each restaurant can take towards increased environmental sustainability.”
The GRA thoroughly examines each restaurant before granting it a certificate. They award so-called Green Points™ across seven different categories. Those include “Water Efficiency”, “Waste Reduction and Recycling”, “Sustainable Durable Goods & Building Materials”, “Sustainable Food”, “Energy”, “Reusables & Environmentally Preferable Disposables” and “Chemical and Pollution Reduction”.
A Green Restaurant® has a chance to accumulate further points by continuously improving its ecological balance. The higher the total score and the more the restaurant improves, the higher the overall rating of the certificate. This is indicated by the number of stars it has collected. If a restaurant does remarkably well, it will receive a SustainaBuild™ badge.
In addition to the collected points, the restaurants also need to meet other requirements. The owners should reduce the use of polystyrene foam and pay close attention to recycling and composting. A basic requirement for obtaining the certificate is annual training and education of personnel regarding environmental protection.
Find a Nearby Green Restaurant®
Do you want to start paying more attention to your environmental footprint? There are many ways to do that. A visit to a Green Restaurant® is a good start. On the GRA website you’ll find an overview of all certified restaurants. Just search for your region and select the star rating you want.
If you’re looking for a certain type of food, such as Italian, sushi or vegetarian, you can enter those words in the search mask. You can even display “dining program at a public high school in the US.”
More Ways to Support the Environment
Don’t worry if you’re not near a GRA certified restaurant, since The GRA provides a guide to certified green products. This helps you select and shop for items that have been produced with an eye to environmental protection.
The next important step is to think about how you can make your own personal contribution, because even our small choices add up. When we’re conscious of our ecological footprint by eating locally grown food or even recycling or composting our meals, we’re helping to improve the environment.
Want more ideas to improve the environment? Start a discussion with friends and family on FamilyApp!