The Nature Conservancy’s search for the greenest restaurants across the country continues. The group is holding contests in 18 states – including Oregon and Idaho – to let people choose the winners.
More than a hundred green restaurant nominations in the Northwest are now down to eight finalists. Now, it’s time to vote. You have until Tuesday, Oct. 15, to cast your vote for one of the following restaurants:
So far, 348 people have voted in the Oregon contest and Bamboo Sushi is in the lead.
The vote tally in Idaho is 113, and Red Feather Lounge and Bittercreek Alehouse is in the lead.
Follow the links above to learn about what makes these restaurants “green.” Some highlights: Boise’s Red Feather Lounge and Bittercreek Alehouse has two worm bins that turn food waste into compost as well as a low-power happy hour where they turn down the lights and use candles instead:
“While we understand that the total effect of low light and local-food consciousness is relatively small, we also know that this daily break reminds us to cut consumption in other more impacting ways too,” the website says. “So, even though it’s a small effort, and even though it can be difficult to see the glass right in front of you, we invite you to drink by candle light with us and maybe take that reminder of conservation home with you each evening.”
Both Simple Sushi and Bamboo Sushi limit their menus to seafood that’s approved by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I reported in detail on how Bamboo Sushi gets its seafood last year, if you’d like to know more. Simple Sushi serves food along with reusable chopsticks and locally made pottery. Bamboo Sushi has reusable chopsticks made from sustainably harvested teak wood and buys 100 percent of its power from renewable sources.
Meanwhile, both Dick’s Kitchen and Boise Fry Company serve local, grass-fed beef (Is that greener than grain-fed beef? I wrote about that last year, too.). Boise Fry Company cooks its french fries in natural peanut oil – and then recycles that oil into biofuel for cars.
Note: You don’t have to choose between the Oregon and Idaho restaurants. The contests are separate, so one restaurant from each state will emerge a winner. But I think it’s interesting to see the parallels in the green practices among restaurants that were selected to be semi-finalists.
So, which one will you vote for and why?
— Cassandra Profita
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