Is your favorite restaurant thinking green?

Having just celebrated Mother’s Day it’s likely many of us got treated to at least one “dining out” meal over the weekend.

dinnerWe celebrated at one of my favorite local joints because I prefer to forgo the overabundant waste and excess of those overpriced Mother’s day buffets!  I was also sure NOT to walk away with any Styrofoam to-go containers and brought my own cup for my to-go java after our meal.

But aside from those two little eco-friendly tricks, what do we really know about the restaurants we frequent and if the prep of our food isn’t leaving an eco-UNfriendly footprint the size of Mount Everest?

I recently learned about Ruby Tuesday’s on-going initiatives and it’s so amazing to hear about a chain of more than 900 family-friendly restaurants making strides to be more environmentally-friendly as ruby-tuesdaywell.  From their supplies and paper products to packaging for their foods, they’re making a tremendous effort to cut down on the waste.  Other changes include using menus on recycled paper with soy inks, glass washers that use less water and soap, CFLs, better thermostat controls and low-flow water nozzles.  They have even enacted a policy that prohibits delivery trucks from idling in their parking lots.

Applause to you, Ruby Tuesday!  They have even developed a site,, so guests can track all their changes and hear updates.

greenhouse-tavernAnd if you are lucky enough to live in Cleveland, you need to visit The Greenhouse Tavern – Ohio’s first certified green restaurant.  The Greenhouse Tavern combines organic and environmentally-friendly ingredients with a commitment to recycling, composting and alternate energy to serve you the greenest meal in the state!  I haven’t been there yet, but you better believe I will be soon!

On the other hand, there are plenty of times when a quick run for fast food becomes a necessity, especially with kids.  Greenopia has compiled a great list of fast food giants (and sogreenopiame of the growing chains) and rated them on their eco-friendliness, using their “4-leaf green rating system”.  Take a look, for those occasions when you need a quick bite, and you’ll feel better about making good choices.

Wherever we choose to eat, I like supporting restaurants that have standards and support my green values. Maybe you feel the same? After all, we are giving them our green, so it would be great to know which ones are “giving back” a little green too!