Dining Out Magazine

Dine Green with The Green Restaurant Association

By 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

The Green Restaurant Association, GRA, is “a national non-profit organization that provides a convenient and cost-effective way for restaurants, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers to become more environmentally responsible.” They have been working with restaurants for more than 20 years to green the industry. On their homepage, they have resources for restaurants, manufacturers, customers, and distributors.

As part of their goal to make restaurants more environmentally responsible, GRA offers certification for green restaurants. Since their inception in 1990, The GRA has been certifying restaurants.

Green Restaurant® 4.0 provides a comprehensive and user-friendly method of rewarding existing restaurants & foodservice operations, new builds, and events with points in each of the GRA’s Seven Environmental Categories. Click below to see the points in each category… or click here for pdf of all the points:

  1. Water Efficiency
  2. Waste Reduction and Recycling
  3. Sustainable Furnishings and Building Materials
  4. Sustainable Food
  5. Energy
  6. Disposables
  7. Chemical and Pollution Reduction

The GRA offers three types of certification: Restaurants, Sustainabuild™, Events. The restaurant certification must fulfill five steps as part of the process. This includes, accumulating a total of 100 Points (from the chart below), meet the minimum point level for each category, maintain a “full-scale recycling program”, use no polystyrene foam (such as Styrofoam), and conduct annual education. There are three levels (2, 3, and 4 stars) to the certification.

The Sustainabuild™ certification is available for new construction. While similar to the aforementioned restaurant certification, it is slightly different. Geared towards new builds and renovations, this certification requires higher point levels and construction recycling, in addition to the five requirements listed above. Lastly, the events designation, is intended for the food service portion of an event and has similar requirements to Sustainabuild™ and Restaurant certifications. On the homepage diners can search their database for certified restaurants in their area (by cuisine and location). Founding Farmers in Washington DC is a charter member.

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