in 2008, we began taking steps to strategically integrate green practices and products that further improve our restaurant service and diner experience. In doing so, our hope is to promote the importance of eco-awareness both within our restaurants as well as in the community that surrounds us. To help ensure that we incorporate green practices that best fit our business environment, we’ve partnered with green living consulting, a DC-based company that helps businesses and households adopt eco-practices.
utilizing green building materials.
- our restaurants were constructed using much of the original infrastructure to reduce construction waste and the need for new materials;
- natural resources, such as hay and straw are part of the wall décor, also serving as a natural insulation;
- bricks were cut in half before wall application to minimize amount of materials used;
- at both locations we used medium-density fiberboard (MDF) panels as part of the décor – a material made from wood fibers that is increasingly used as a green alternative to virgin wood;
- we used reclaimed barn wood in portions of the dining area for décor as well as a natural sound buffer
- our pizza and to-go boxes are made from recycled cardboard and paper content;
- all of our menus are printed on 100% recycled paper;
- we continually police the flow of used bottles, cans, paper, and cardboard to reduce packaging and waste wherever we can
- we recycle all of our office paper and use many office supplies made from recycled content or post-consumer waste materials (including pens and post-its!);
- we have replaced many of our incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents;
- we’ve installed Dyson hand dryers. these hand dryers are 80% more energy efficient than regular dryers and have a significant environmental impact through paper waste reduction as well as cost savings. they also have HEPA filters built in that clean the air of our bathrooms – maintaining good air quality and keeping sanitation
- planter boxes with sansevieria plants serve as natural air filters for the restaurant to improve air quality by removing toxins. these plants are low-light tolerant and require little water;
- our paint includes low-VOC (volatile organic compound) that has fewer toxic chemicals than regular paint and no odor.
creating a culture of green starts with our staff. We have formed eco-teams to work with green living consulting and help with the planning and implementing of our green practices. In addition, our teams assist in the ongoing education of our staff about the importance of “greening” our operations.
- brick oven pizza just wouldn’t be the same without the wood burning oven. To offset our wood burning, we have chosen to contribute to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and American Forests with the eventual goal of planting trees equivalent to the amount of wood we use for making our pizzas! We are exploring other options for offsetting our wood burning in 2009.
- in June 2009, we switched to 100% wind power. that means, we are purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) and supporting green power rather than brown (coal power) when using electricity in our restaurants! we are also looking into switching to natural gas for our other power needs.
in addition to filtering our the tap water in our restaurants, we were one of the top fundraising restaurants for the Tap Project – a project organized by UNICEF that provides safe drinking water for children around the world.
we will continue to partner with green living consulting to explore way to further “green” our business to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and lessen our impact on the environment. Stay tuned for updates on our green efforts! for more information about green living consulting, visit greenlivingconsulting.com.