Recently, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg initiated an effort to curb the amount of garbage in the city by encouraging restaurants to do a better job of controlling food waste. Nearly 100,000 tons of scraps end up in landfills every year from New York alone, meaning that a considerable amount of trash could be avoided if restaurants and diners were more efficient and conscientious about consumption.
However, many dining establishments around the country have already taken steps to limit their food waste output, along with making other efforts to create an eating experience that is both enjoyable and eco-friendly. If you're trying to decide where to go for your next big date or where to take your family when they're visiting from out of town, consider picking an venue that employs good waste practices and works to limit its impact on the environment.
When pursuing a green dining experience, there are a few things to look for in a restaurant:
- Composting: Find out if restaurants in your area collect uneaten scraps to make compost.
- Smaller portions: There's something satisfying about ordering a dinner and getting enough to feed three people, but if you don't eat all that food (and for your health, you probably shouldn't), what's leftover will likely end up in a landfill. Find a restaurant that serves smaller sized dishes but excels in quality.
- Sustainable ingredients: Locally-sourced, responsibly-grown vegetables and meat are much better for the environment than the factory farm-raised equivalents. Support establishments that make an effort to use such ingredients.