Each year, the Greenbuild Greening Subcommittee’s mission is to ensure that Greenbuild creates lasting change in its host cities. For this year’s Greenbuild in DC, the Greening Subcommittee chose to focus on restaurants. We’ve got a 3-part approach: offer solutions to restaurants’ sustainability challenges, recognize restaurants that implement green practices, and connect Greenbuild attendees with nearby eateries and watering holes that share their environmental commitment.
Our first step was to reach out to nearly 100 restaurants located near the DC Convention Center. At each stop, we educated the restaurant owners and managers about Greenbuild, asked about their sustainability practices and challenges, and invited them to opt-in to our resource-sharing program. It took some pretty dedicated volunteers to sign up to survey restaurants on hot June and July days!
Our fact-finding expedition revealed some interesting – and unexpected – feedback. One of the areas where we thought restaurants would need a lot of help was in phasing out Styrofoam take-out containers, in advance of a DC-wide ban going into effect in January 2016. Surprise! Most of the businesses we surveyed had already given Styrofoam the boot. Rather, we learned, one of the main challenges the restaurants faced was finding a reliable organization to haul away food waste for compost. Many of the restaurateurs were interested in learning how to advocate to the DC government to make compost pickup a municipal service!
Stay tuned to the blog for profiles of some of DC’s greenest restaurants, courtesy of the Greening Committee! Also coming soon is a list of restaurants that have agreed to be part of our program and have shown improvement through implementing sustainable practices.
Greenbuild Greening Sub-Committee Co-Chairs
Allison Porter, LEED AP, Vice President, Sustainability Services, Cushman & Wakefield
Takehiro Nakamura, LEED AP BD+C, Associate, Perkins Eastman