As you sit down in your favorite restaurant and before you can take that first bite, your mind wanders to the environmental factor of eating out. Is it green? Well, a non profit organization has made its mission to make your dining experience as eco-friendly as eating at home. Green Restaurant Association, has been active since 1990 and hopes to bring environmentally friendly
restaurant practices to the mainstream.

Their association focuses on certifying and assisting restaurants in providing an eco-friendly dining experience. As well as certifying restaurants, they also educate consumers on where they can find green eats in their areas.

So what classifies a place as a green restaurant? The Green Restaurant Association holds their certified restaurants to the following standards (the following list was posted originally on GRA’s website) :

  1. Use a comprehensive recycling system for all products that are accepted by local recycling companies.
  2. Free of polystyrene foam (“Styrofoam”) products.
  3. Commit to completing four Environmental Steps per year of membership (which range from composting, to offering vegan options, to only use hand dryers in the bathrooms. Refer to GRA’s Environmental Guidelines for a complete list).
  4. Complete at least one Environmental Step after joining the GRA
Once you find a restaurant you are interested in, GRA lists how many Environmental Steps each restaurant has completed. GRA also provides product resources for restaurants on how to make better green choices and a book titled, Dining Green: A Guide to Creating Environmentally Sustainable Restaurants and Kitchens.Next time you feel like eating out or are going on a date, be sure to check Green Restaurants Guide and enjoy your meal green and guilt free!
To change America’s dining environmental impact help GRA in other ways: