10 Tips For a Greener You in 2010

Resolutions. So much fun to make, so challenging to keep. This year, why not set your sights on some resolutions that are simple, small, and good for the planet? Here’s how to make 2010 your greenest year ever:

1. Grow your own fruits and vegetables. No yard? A yard-sharing program matches people who have land with people who have a green thumb but no place to use it.

2. Get involved in a community garden or volunteer at one like Common Good City Farm.

3. Walk more, use public transportation, and consider buying or renting a bike.

4. Buy local ingredients whenever possible from farmer’s markets and other small purveyors.

5. Remember to bring reusable bags to the grocery store. The 5 cent plastic bag fee goes into effect January 1.

6. Plant a tree in your backyard. The DDOE can help.

7. Reduce organic waste by learning how to compost.

8. Replace regular lightbulbs with energy-saving compact florescent lightbulbs, turn off lights when not in use, reduce the thermostat. More tips from DDOE.

9. Stop buying bottled water and get yourself a chic stainless steel bottle instead.

10. Support environmentally friendly local businesses as much as possible.

Happy New Year!

Creative and Conscious Catering

Appetizer from Main Event CateringCanapes and hors d’oeuvres can now be had without the guilt. Well, sort of. Main Event will cater your wedding, Bar Mitzvah and more while having the rather lofty goal of a zero waste kitchen.

“The reality that our industry consumes an incredible amount of energy and creates an amazing amount of waste has forced us to investigate ways to mitigate the effect on our world,” says owner Nancy Goodman. “Our team searches for new and innovative ways to move toward our goal of zero waste every day.  We are proud to be able to offer to our clients green events while still providing a first class experience.”  

 The kitchen at Main Event is carbon neutral, 100% wind powered, and uses alternative disposables from recycled materials (Corn, Palm, Balsa and Bagasse). Main Event’s owners estimate that they have reduced landfill waste by 70% since the beginning of 2008. 

Main Event also recycles everything possible, including their food wastes through composting, which they give out for free, first-come, first-serve “Black Gold” fertilizer for the garden. They also give away their used cooking oil  — which can then be converted to bio-Diesel fuel.

Clients can use the carbon calculator on their web site to calculate their carbon footprint (including travel of guests) so they can purchase the appropriate offsets. Now that’s something to celebrate!

Cathal Armstrong’s Green Cuisine

Check out this article by Jane Black in the Washington Post’s Food section, which profiles the green efforts of Chef Cathal Armstrong, who, along with his wife Meshelle, run the acclaimed Restaurant Eve, the Majestic, Eamonn’s fish and chips shop, and PX.

Here’s are the highlights of the Armstrong’s eco-practices:

  • a wormery produces enough organic fertilizer for Restaurant Eve’s garden.
  • bottled water has been banned from the restaurants; instead, a water filtration system supplies fresh, filtered water for free to patrons.
  • tinted skylights cut the restaurant’s energy costs by 88%.
  • the seasonal menu showcases vegetables from the restaurant’s own garden.
  • a composter processes food refuse and other organic waste.
  • a company called Smarter Fuel picks up the kitchen grease and turns it into biofuel.
  • all cleansers used at the restaurant are non-toxic and biodegradable.

Looking for other dining destinations that make green a priority?  Check out this list of eco-friendly restaurants around DC.