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Archive | Going Green

Going green is a huge buzzword these days, but the great thing about it is, going green can also save you money. Learn how here.

Harvest Lettuce from Your Vegetable Garden

lettuce-harvest-gardenFew things beat the taste of fresh lettuce you just harvested from your vegetable garden. Depending on which type of lettuce you planted this year, you can start picking leaves at just about any size. For other varieties, such as Bibb lettuce, you’ll want to wait until the lettuce is full size in diameter (around 6 to 8 inches)—waiting longer results in matured lettuce that tastes slightly bitter or earthy.

  1. Harvest
    You can either pick leaves from the outside of your head of lettuce, or cut the entire head off at the base. If you choose the latter, you should note that the second growth of your lettuce leaves will be different in color and texture that may not be as delicate as your first harvest.
  1. Wash
    Depending on how much lettuce you’re harvesting, you’ll want a sizeable bucket of cold water to plunge the leaves into. This helps thoroughly clean the leaves from dirt and perk up any wilted greens from the hot summer sun.
  1. Dry
    A salad spinner like one this one from Dynamic, is a great investment to wick away excess water and moisture on your delicate leaves. You’ll want to pick a salad spinner with a large enough capacity for your needs and a well-made, heavy-duty handle to ensure it stays in working order.
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Volunteering with Growe Foundation

At Tundra Restaurant Supply we’re big on supporting our community. We’ve had the opportunity to sponsor fun events like the School Food Project’s Iron Chef Competition for Boulder Valley and the Boulder International Film Festival. Nothing gets us quite as excited though, as getting down and dirty in the vegetable gardens at our local schools.

Enter Growe Foundation, a great local organization committed to tackling the obesity epidemic in our country—the figures are daunting, with nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese (as reported by Let’s Move!). By educating children about the benefits of healthy eating and environmental stewardship, Growe Foundation hopes to create healthier children, schools and communities. To date, Growe Foundation has implemented 19 school gardens in 6 cities across the Front Range in Colorado.


Growe Foundation’s program features a three-pronged approach:

  • Education- Provide schools with experiential learning programs that enrich education and teach students about food and the environment.
  • Eating- Help children understand the importance of fruits and vegetables and the connection between what they eat and the health of their body.
  • Environment- help children understand how the health of their bodies is linked to the health of the planet.

So far, the Growe Foundation’s program has had a powerful impact on the community. Data collected from their Garden to Table lesson surveys show that the program is fun for students, motivating to teachers, and inspiring to parents. Teachers even enjoy sampling some fresh lettuce for their lunches!

Growe likes to think of gardens as living classrooms, where students plant, harvest and taste the fresh fruits and vegetables of their labor. The gardens also extend past the soil and into the classroom, where children connect academic lessons in geology, ecology, economics, and even math; last Monday at Louisville Elementary, for example, Growe Foundation harvested 96 bags of lettuce, each weighing from .5 to 2 pounds each, for a grand total of 115 pounds of lettuce.

Tundra has a longstanding relationship with Growe Foundation. After meeting our founder, Michael Lewis, 10 years ago at an event in North Boulder, Tundra has donated equipment (like food storage bags and salad spinners) to Growe Foundation, which is used in conjunction with schools for their gardens. Produce grown in the gardens are washed, bagged, and available for sale in the community with the funds directly supporting school programs.

We also like to donate our time during busy harvest and sowing seasons by collecting and washing produce, weeding the garden beds, and tilling the soil in preparation for the next batch of crops.




Photo courtesy of Growe Foundation


Photo courtesy of Growe Foundation

Growe Foundation is always looking for more people to join the team and give school gardens some extra love and care. If you’d like to volunteer, please click here for more information.

Interested in starting a Garden to Table Program at your school? Click for more information >>

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Happy Earth Day!


As we all know, recycling and reusing are core tenets of the environmental movement. To honor those goals, we’re going to reuse some pixels and highlight some of the many “Going Green” blog posts in our archives.

We’ve been banging the drum for the environment for quite a long time, so whether you’re looking for money-saving tips or ideas on how to build a sustainability plan for your restaurant, you’re sure to find something here. Happy reading!

Grow Local

The local food movement has hit the mainstream and that’s a wonderful thing to behold. Sourcing food locally allows restaurants to hit all of the key checkboxes of sustainability: people, planet and profit.

How To Source Food Locally: A Business Guide To Success
Restaurants and Farmers Work Together To Reduce Waste and Improve Crop Yields
The Conflict Between Local Food And Local Government
Chefs Make Their Own Honey
Greener and Cheaper: Restaurants Grow Their Own Food

Reducing Water & Food Waste

Reducing waste is a perennial goal in the restaurant industry. Given that there’s roughly 990,000 food-service establishments in the U.S. alone, reducing waste  is a big deal,  for both the planet and the bottom line.

Today’s Food Scraps = Tomorrow’s Soup du Jour
Recycling the Notion of Going Green
How To Save On Toilet Paper & Other Paper Products
Green Restaurant Tips: Recycling Feels Good
10 Tips For Commercial Water Conservation
Your Restaurant’s Guide To Commercial Composting
Stop Giving Waste Fryer Oil Away!
Becoming A “Zero Landfill Company” Is A Journey
Use Edible Scraps To Create Restaurant Family Meals
How A Low Flow Valve Can Improve Your Cash Flow (AND Green Cred)
Green Restaurants: Turning Food Waste Into Electricity
Is Your Restaurant’s Commercial Dish Machine Efficient?
Dipper Wells: Why You Should Turn Yours Off TODAY

Sustainable Seafood

Want your guests to really enjoy your seafood entrees?  Serve sustainable, ocean-friendly fish and shellfish and tell ’em all about it! They’ll appreciate your commitment to environmental responsibility and be more likely to come back.

Who Wants Some Iridescent Shark?
Darden Group Driving Sustainable Seafood Practices
Sardines: Sustainable AND Delectable??
Serve Sustainable Seafood
Can We Bring Bluefin Tuna Back From The Brink?

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a classic example of a win-win. Using less energy means lower CO2 emissions and a healthier planet for future generations. It also means lower operating costs and bigger profits for you.

A Really Easy Way To Make Commercial Steam Tables Energy Efficient
Energy Management Systems, Restaurants, and ROI – Part 1
Energy Management Systems, Restaurants, and ROI – Part 2
Energy Management Systems, Restaurants and ROI – Part 3
4 Strategies For Better Commercial Refrigeration Efficiency
How To Become A LEED Certified Restaurant and Why You Should
Is Your Restaurant Exhaust System Sucking Up Money?
17 Energy Efficiency And Going Green Tips
Restaurant Energy Efficiency: 10 Tips
Green Restaurant Tips: Use Efficiency Rebates!
Efficient Water Heating in Restaurants
How Hybrid Water Heating Can Make Your Restaurant As Cool As A Prius
The EndoTherm Thermometer: Does It Really Help You Save Energy and Improve Food Safety?
10 Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Restaurant
Which Energy Efficiency Upgrades Are The Best Investment?
Green Restaurant Tips: Restaurant Energy Management Systems

Building Sustainability into Your Brand

Want to do well by doing good? Incorporating your existing sustainability efforts into your marketing is a great way to distinguish your restaurant from the competition and build a loyal fan base of like-minded patrons.

Green Initiatives: A Rise In Cost Or A Part Of Your Marketing Budget?
The Green Restaurant Association: Sustainable Knowledge Is Power
Green Consumer Trend Still Going Strong
Why Chipotle’s Food With Integrity Is Good Business

Green Tips and How-To’s

Want to reduce your footprint and cut operating costs? We have some good ideas for you!

Efficient Restaurant Tips: Manage Equipment
Ten Cheap Ways To Increase Restaurant Efficiency (AND Profits!)
How to be a Green Restaurant and Cut Costs
Green Restaurant Tips: Manage Equipment
This Isn’t American Idol: How Chipotle Went Platinum
Green Restaurant Tips: Looking Past Your Kitchen
7 Sustainability Tips For Your Restaurant
4 Steps For Building An Effective Sustainability Plan For Your Restaurant
7 Sustainability Tips For Your Restaurant

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Green Is Always in Season

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), “Environmentally responsible practices are becoming the new normal across the industry, as restaurateurs recognize that recycling, waste reduction, and water and energy efficiency are good for their business and our world.”

Amen to that! There are nearly 990,000 restaurant locations in the U.S., and food service is an incredibly resource-intensive endeavor, so when an industry as large as ours decides to go green, the reverberations are huge.

In one particularly impressive case of efficiency savings, Ted’s Montana Grill spent $111,000 to switch to LED lighting, and ended up saving $140,000 in the first year and $250,000 in the second year on electricity bills.

That’s a large example, to be sure, but there are hundreds of small things food-service pros can do to tread a little lighter and reduce their operating costs in the process. Examples include:

  • Serving water by request only (tap not bottled)
  • Using recycled/compostable disposable containers
  • Installing energy efficient hand dryers in restrooms
  • Reducing portion sizes (scales help)
  • Serving sustainable, ocean-friendly seafood
  • Freezing edible food scraps for later use
  • Composting inedible food scraps
  • Developing more vegetarian dishes
  • Cleaning with eco-friendly detergents
  • Sourcing produce from nearby farms (within 100 mi.)
  • Recycling cooking/fryer oil
  • Using linen/cotton napkins instead of paper

Doing Well by Doing Good
Sustainability is more than a cost-saving strategy, however. It’s also a smart growth strategy, especially when you consider that consumers actively prefer dining at establishments that have a clear commitment to preserving the environment for future generations. The NRA’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast found that nearly half of all restaurant-goers are likely to make a restaurant choice based on its energy and water conservation practices alone!

Green begets green, if you know what I mean. In a competitive marketplace, a restaurant’s commitment to sustainability can become a very lucrative differentiator. (See also: Chipotle Mexican Grill)

If your restaurant, bar, cafe or catering company wants to lessen its impact, the NRA has a wealth of resources to guide your efforts. The association’s Conserve program, launched in 2008, helps operators implement conservation practices that are good for the environment and their bottom line. The initiative even provides restaurateurs with a fully customized roadmap to reducing their energy and water consumption. Check it out!

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Shopping Guide: Spring Cleaning for Restaurants

tundra-floor-cleaner-59239Throughout most of human history, spring has been a time for deep cleaning. As the air warms and winter recedes, now is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and give your restaurant a thorough tip-to-toe scrubbing. We have some products that will help your spring cleaning efforts!

Floor Rescue
In the winter months, customers track in snow, gravel and caustic ice-melt, and floors take a severe beating. Early spring is the perfect time to give them some extra attention. Giving your carpet, wood and tile floors some extra love will increase their longevity and keep your restaurant looking sharp.

Restroom Revitalization
Get this: according to a poll by Harris Interactive, 88 percent of people who encounter a dirty restroom think that’s how the kitchen looks too. Yikes! But you already knew that, and you obviously clean your bathrooms daily. But sometimes it’s smart to invest in new equipment and supplies to make your job a little easier! Tundra has what you need to clean restrooms and comfort your patrons.

window-washing-kit-83239Window Washing
How can you expect to lure hungry passersby if your windows are coated with dirt, dust and grime? Clean windows are incredibly important if your restaurant relies on foot traffic. This window washing kit from Continental Manufacturing will help you snag more walk-ins as the weather warms up.

Safety Check
Spring is a good time to make sure you’re fully stocked on first aid supplies, because creating a safe environment for your employees isn’t just a legal obligation—it’s the right thing to do!

granite-steel-cleaner-nbcnewgranite5Green Cleaning
A month from now we’ll celebrate Earth Day. What is your restaurant doing to minimize its impact on future generations? Cleaning agents can be pretty nasty, so if you’re looking to be a little kinder to the environment, switching to eco-friendly products is a great place to start.

The bonus to going green? Happy patrons. According to one survey, 84 percent of U.S. adults prefer to do business with a company that uses environmentally-friendly products and practices.

Quick Spring Cleaning Checklist for Restaurants

Here’s a quick list of some common things to inspect and consider replacing when undergoing spring cleaning:

  • Door/Refrigeration Gaskets
  • Wire and Refrigeration Shelves
  • Food Bins and Storage Tubs
  • Grease Baffles
  • Burners and Burner Grates
  • Ice/H2O Filters
  • Floor Mats
  • Walk-in Vinyl Drapes/Air Curtains
  • Plumbing Fixtures

Shop Cleaning & Janitorial Supplies
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Grease Traps: Everything You Always Wanted to Know (and More!)

Remember the London fatberg story?

Sorry if you were trying to put it out of your mind.

As you might recall, in August 2013 sewer workers in London discovered a double-decker-bus-sized mass of grease and wet naps, which was immortalized in the tabloids as “fatberg.” The berg had nearly blocked the entire 7-foot diameter pipe. Had it fully blocked the pipe, residents of the London borough of Kingston would’ve been in for a MOST UNPLEASANT surprise.

“The sewer was almost completely clogged,” sewer worker Gordon Hailwood told the Guardian. “If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston.”

The 15-ton London fatberg incident is a great illustration of the unheralded importance—to our infrastructure and to our public health—of grease traps: those toolbox-sized containers that commercial kitchens put below their sinks. The purpose of grease traps, also known as grease interceptors, is to reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOGs) that enter our sewer systems.

As anyone who has cooked bacon knows, grease congeals when it cools, and can cling to and eventually clog your pipes if you pour it down the drain. The London fatberg incident shows what happens, on a macro level, when too much grease oozes into the public sewer system. Because when too much grease accumulates in the sewer, raw sewage has nowhere else to go but … everywhere.

According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, sewers back up an estimated 400,000 times each year due to pipe blockages, and and grease is the primary culprit, resulting in over 10 billion gallons of raw sewage spills each year.

So, the moral of the story? Grease traps are a VERY good thing that EVERYONE benefits from, and that’s why virtually every municipality requires their use in commercial kitchens to prevent FOGs from clogging public sewer lines.

That said, not all grease traps are created equal! To ensure that your device not only does the job but proves durable over the long run, head over to and shop of wide selection of top-of-the-line grease traps!

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Today’s Food Scraps = Tomorrow’s Soup du Jour

Food scraps

Did you know that here in the United States we toss 40 percent of our food—perfectly edible food—into the trash? That’s a 50 percent increase since the 1970s.

At our nation’s restaurants, a pound of food is wasted per meal created. Food waste is the single most abundant material in our landfills. (Check out this infographic for more food waste stats—it’s an eye-opener.)

You don’t have to be a card-carrying, Greenpeace-dues-paying hippie to see the folly in this extravagance. Anyone with even a smidgen of thrift can see that this level of waste is utterly bonkers.

Here’s the good news: reversing this wasteful behavior isn’t hard, and you’ll save a bundle of money in the process.

So what can you do with your food scraps? An improvised soup—sometimes referred to as “garbage soup” or “kitchen sink soup”—is a good choice, particularly this time of year, with cooler temperatures ushering in the hot soup season.

Tip: Don’t call it garbage soup outside the kitchen. :)

I’ve found that the hardest part is simply getting in the habit of saving your scraps. One strategy is to designate specific food storage bins to collect scraps for later use, either for the fridge or the freezer. That way, there isn’t so much pressure to immediately put them to use.

So what kind of scraps can you freeze and use? Well, if you making stock, the sky’s the limit! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Meat bones (be extra sure to keep frozen until you use them to prevent spoiling)
  • Corn cobs
  • Vegetable tops (e.g. carrots, leeks, beets and fennel)
  • Tomato skins, seeds and juice
  • Potato skins
  • Coffee
  • Shrimp shells
  • Mushroom stems
  • Carrot peelings
  • Cabbage cores
  • Brocoli stumps
  • Pepper seeds and pith
  • Celery root stems and leaves
  • Onion and garlic ends
  • Herb stems

Thrifty Good Life has a helpful warning:

Items to avoid: NEVER use any green parts from vegetables in the nightshade family (tomato, pepper, potato) as these plant parts contain toxic elements. This means – avoid the stems or leaves of bell peppers, tomatoes as well as potatoes with any sprouts on them or green color. Never use any vegetable with black mold or any old/rotten meat. 

Feel free to share your own food-scrap-saving tips in the comments!

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Recycling the Notion of Going Green

Recycling at RestaurantsRecycling at RestaurantsWith green initiatives often perceived as a more expensive way to run your restaurant, the inherent value it provides through the eyes of your customers can easily outweigh monetary costs. If your bottom dollar is what’s keeping you from working environmentally conscious practices into your restaurant, consider green initiatives a piece of your marketing budget and treat them like new opportunities. Customers are on-board when it comes to cleaning up your operation, and fortunately going green doesn’t have to be done through one giant leap in order to impress.

Try starting small with a recycling program.

 Fundamentally, recycling should be the first step when considering going green. It does no good (and sends a mixed message to customers) if you’ve got low-energy light bulbs, but throw all your recyclable materials straight into the trash.

Start small with a determined recycling effort, grooming your employees to properly recycle where possible, and watch it grow into a practiced state of mind. Face it, customers these day are going to be more disappointed to not see the blue bin next to your trash can than knowing you use traditional light bulbs. Advertising and putting into practice steps intended to make your kitchen greener – starting with a recycling program – goes a long way.

  • Get ahead of the curve. Not only does recycling hold value to your customers, it’s quickly becoming a necessary practice. More laws are being geared towards making mandatory recycling programs part of restaurant operations, and implementing yours before it becomes a necessity puts you ahead of the curve.
  • Feel good practice. Believe it or not, recycling actually feels good. While it’s not necessarily a practice that will help pad your wallet, making an effort to reduce the waste your establishment produces and helping to achieve sustainability in your community has an inherently “good” aspect for any business. Your participation can and does make a difference, whether you’re a small-town mom-and-pop diner or a franchisee for a corporate chain.
  • Green restaurant certified. As discussed, recycling can be the first step to fully realized restaurant-wide practices. Taking the next few steps, and acquiring a certification from the Green Restaurant Association, is a great way to show yourself, your staff and your customers that you’re committed to going green.

Spread the word.

If you’re worried about potential green practices tightening the noose around your restaurants neck, take comfort in knowing that customers are often more than happy to pay a little extra for your efforts. Letting people know you’re doing things differently can sometimes be all it takes to attract potential customers into becoming supportive regulars. The key is to spread the word.

  • Train your staff. Don’t be pushy, and definitely don’t make “green” the new go-to word whenever a server has a customer’s ear, but taking time to train your servers in how best to spread the word is a valuable management practice. A simple “oh and by the way all our produce are locally sourced” does wonders.
  • Make it obviously casual. Again, the worst thing you can do after going green is to shove the notion down the throats of your customers. Try posting casual reminders around your restaurant in the form of signs above your recycling bins, Energy Star logos advertising Energy Star rated restaurant equipment, or the words “I’m made of recycled materials” on take out containers. If you’ve got a website, or promote through the local paper, don’t be afraid to include a graphic or line of copy highlighting your new changes.
  • Advertise extensively. Being proud of going green is not a bad thing, and if it drastically changes your operation for the better you absolutely should let people know. Little reminders might not justify the value you feel these changes hold, but creating an advertising campaign is a bold way to say you’ve made improvements and people should pay attention.

Like fire, greening one’s establishment can be started with a single spark and has potential to catch and spread at unpredictable speeds. Though viewed from some standpoints as a damaging budget-biter ready to burn up your income, approaching green efforts consciously, and stoking the flame when and where it’s necessary, can produce valuable warmth and comfort in the form of customer approval, limited waste and an overall sense of purpose. Many aspects of your restaurant need only be tweaked to perform in a more environmentally friendly way – and may not cost you a penny. Take time to evaluate your current process and objectively decide where cutting costs monetarily is costing you more in regards to a bigger picture.

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How To Save On Toilet Paper & Other Paper Products

Americans use nearly 8 million tons of toilet paper a year! It’s no wonder toilet-paper manufacturers are plying consumers with more sheets, more layers, and even the added sanitation of wet wipes. As a restaurant owner or food service manager have you ever wondered if switching to green paper products is one area where you can save money?

Paper Product Waste

The claims that forests are being destroyed to make toilet paper, facial tissue, paper towels, and other disposable paper products. Seems a bit extreme, right? Whether you agree or disagree with this statement we can all agree that rethinking the way your restaurant buys and uses paper products helps your restaurant save money, as well as the environment. Using less paper helps trim your bottom line through cost-cutting and efficiency, while a restaurant recycling program can generate positive publicity for your business, giving your customers one more reason to dine at your restaurant.

Decrease Your Carbon Footprint With These Buying Tips

  1. Buy paper products with recycled content: Look for products with high recycled content, including post-consumer content. Post-consumer fibers are recovered from paper that was previously used by consumers and would otherwise be dumped into a landfill.
  2. Purchase paper products made from clean manufacturing processes: Traditional paper products are bleached to make them whiter and brighter, but the chlorine that is used in this process contribute to the formation of harmful chemicals that wind up in the air and water, and are highly toxic to people and fish. Key terms to look for when shopping for these items:
    1. TCF: Totally Chlorine-Free
    2. PCF: Processed Chlorine-Free.

The STATS Are In

  • If every box of virgin facial tissues was replaced with a 100% recycled box, 163,000 trees would be saved.
  • If just one roll of virgin toilet paper was replaced with a 100% recycled roll, 423,900 trees would be saved.
  • If just one roll of virgin paper towels was replaced with a 100% recycled roll, 544,000 trees would be saved.
  • If just one package of virgin napkins was replaced with 100% recycled ones, 1,000,000 trees would be saved.

*According to the

Save Your Restaurant Money – Starting Today

  • Invest in one-at-a-time napkin dispensers – helps customers take only what they need.
  • Install hand dryers in restrooms – this eliminates the need for paper towels.
  • Stock bathrooms with only enough toilet paper for one day – you don’t want your back stock disappearing!
  • Consider going digital with receipts.
  • Implement a recycling program to cut-down on unneeded waste.
  • Buy paper products in bulk.

Making small changes, like buying 100% PCF [processed chlorine free] paper products, is not only affordable, but takes up to 45% less energy to produce than traditional paper products.

Going green around your restaurant can go beyond just paper products. Investing in CFL or LED lights may cost a little more up front, but will last much longer than traditional light bulbs. Do you have outdated equipment in your kitchen? Manufactures offer energy star rated equipment pieces that will run much more efficiently.

We understand running a restaurant is expensive, but making a few changes can add dollars to your bottom line.

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Being Green Means Being LEED Certified

LEED Certified As is the case with most things that are inherently good, the notion of going green has come with a not-so-grand tag-along that’s making the process seem less legitimate. The concept of “greenwashing” – creating, packaging, and selling a few minimal green concepts as a commitment to sustainability – is one that tarnishes the idea of actually going green. In an industry where focus on sustainability can be key to local success, deceptively promoting a half-hearted programs can cause damage industry-wide. This in turn creates negative publicity for an otherwise positive practice, making it difficult for consumers to put faith in a restaurant’s green practices.

Fortunately, companies that are committed to creating honest sustainability have paved the way for those looking to follow suit. The search for standardized credentials to legitimize sustainable businesses has yielded the LEED certification and consumers and businesses alike are finding it valuable. Obtaining a Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) certification from the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is a lot like a successful recycling program. Although a long and often demanding process, once put in place and on display the outcome can be extremely rewarding.

So what exactly is LEED? 

According to the U.S. Green Building Council: “LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.”

What does this mean when taken off the paper and put into practice? Essentially, the name of the game is to earn points for the build or remodel of your establishment based on various aspects that can benefit from going green. LEED outlines and examines each of these aspects, and a certification is awarded based on the number of points you achieve out of 110.

Here’s how you play:

  • Sustainable sites (21 points possible): Keeping in mind, and being sensitive to, things like plants and wildlife, water, and air quality when building a new location can earn you major points.
  • Water efficiency (11 points possible): Implementing strategies and making the most of technology that manages your water consumption is important to a successful green effort. If you’re able to cut your establishment’s water use to 20% over the baseline you’ll earn points. The further you can limit your consumption the more points you get.
  • Energy and atmosphere (37 points possible): Energy efficiency, managing your refrigerants to do away with harmful CFCs, and taking advantage of renewable energy are the three areas in which you can earn points in this category. Managing and replacing inefficient restaurant equipment is one way to get started!
  • Materials and resources (14 points possible): In order to maximize your points in this category you need to be conscious of the materials you’re using in your restaurant. Disposable materials made from readily renewable resources are a plus and acquiring those resources from regional providers is a big plus.
  • Indoor environmental quality (17 points possible): The use of automatic sensors mixed with temperature, humidity, and ventilation controls that monitor the quality of your indoor environment can save money and energy. Implementing automatic shut-off and start-up schedules ensures that you’re optimizing different efficiency aspects of your restaurant’s overall environment.
  • BONUS POINTS (10 points possible): It’s possible to gain bonus points in two different ways: 1) remodeling or building in areas that are deemed regional priorities by the GBCI and it can get you up to 4 points & 2) if your project or building shows significant innovation or leadership in design and is worth 6 points.


Point totals: You’re required to earn at least 40 points to receive a LEED certification, but after 40 points it’s possible to earn higher marks. Earning 50+ points gets you Silver certification, 60+ points gets you Gold, and 80+ points gets you Platinum.

Earning a LEED certification is an excellent way to show consumers that you’re not only committed to green efforts on the outside (in your advertising and appearance), but that you’re dedicated in every aspect of your business.

Greenwashing your practices for the short-term gain of customer appeal and media coverage is unwise and will eventually backfire. Getting the credentials should be a no-brainer in the minds of any business owner whose sustainability efforts are second nature. Take the time to earn your LEED certification and make it official!

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