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"Green" Restaurants in DC


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I've been asked to help compile a list of "Green" Restaurants in the DC city limits, and I thought I'd put the question out to folks here. What I'm looking to do is assemble of list of green, i.e., "environmentally conscious" restaurants, with a few sentences for each describing what makes them meet the definition.

Now, I happen to agree with you that the term "green" is contrived, and means pretty much anything someone wants it to mean. But that aside, what restaurants do you think are doing a particularly good job in terms of being environmentally friendly? Last night, for example, I was at Palena, and I ended up asking myself, can there possibly be a "greener" restaurant than this in terms of supporting small farms? How about places like Nora? Chix? Hook? Vegetate? And yes even Ben's Chili Bowl for the specific act of paying extra each month for wind energy to come into the local power grid?

I'm not convinced there's a single "ultra-green" restaurant, but different places each seem to have various assets - what do you think should be included on my list, and why?

Thanks in advance,


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You just knew there had to be a trade association for this.


I messed around with the search feature and found the following local establishments listed:

Founding Farmers


Occasions Caterers

The Java Shack

National Naval Medical Center - Galley

They offer the following 11 Environmental Guidelines:

Energy Efficiency & Conservation

Energy efficient technologies and conservation practices exist for lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, foodservice appliances, office equipment, and transportation.

Water Efficiency & Conservation

Water efficient technologies and conservation practices exist for foodservice appliances, equipment, and landscaping.

Recycling & Composting

Recycling services exist for many waste products such as glass, plastic, metal, cardboard, mixed paper, grease, ink & toner cartridges. Food waste can be diverted from landfills and made into nutrient-rich soil through the use of a composting service or an on-site system.

Sustainable Food

Sustainable food products support the long-term maintenance of ecosystems and agriculture for future generations. Organic agriculture prohibits the use of toxic synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, irradiation, sewage sludge, and genetic engineering. Locally grown foods reduce the amount of pollution associated with transportation primarily by fossil fuels. Plant-based foods require fewer natural resources and create less pollution per calorie consumed.

Pollution Prevention

Pollution prevention is achieved through source reduction, reuse, or improving operational practices.

Recycled, Tree-Free, Biodegradable & Organic Products

Recycled products are made from materials that are collected from post-consumer or post-industrial waste sources. Tree-free products are made from alternative plant sources such as hemp or kenaf. Biodegradable products are capable of being decomposed by biological agents, especially bacteria. Organic products are grown without the use of toxic synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, irradiation, sewage sludge, and genetic engineering.

Chlorine-Free Paper Products

Chlorine-free paper products are unbleached or whitened with alternatives such as hydrogen peroxide, oxygen, and ozone. The term Process Chlorine-Free (PCF) identifies recycled paper that is unbleached or bleached without the use of chlorine compounds. The term Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF) identifies virgin paper that is unbleached or bleached without the use of chlorine compounds. The term Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF) identifies paper that is bleached without the use of elemental chlorine (but may use chlorine compounds).

Non-Toxic Cleaning & Chemical Products

Non-toxic cleaning and chemical products are biodegradable, free of hazardous ingredients, and are safe for people, animals and the environment when used properly.

Green Power

Electricity and power is available from renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro and biomass. These energy sources cause dramatically less air pollution and environmental damage compared to fossil fuel, nuclear, and large-scale hydroelectric energy sources.

Green Building & Construction

Green design and construction practices significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment, occupants, and the local community.


Staff will receive GRA's book, Dining Green: A Guide to Creating Environmentally Sustainable Restaurants and Kitchens, which explains the environmental impact of the restaurant industry and a path toward ecological sustainability. Restaurants also receive signs for recycling, energy & water conservation, and to remind staff of the 4 Environmental Steps for the year.

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