Friday, April 22, 2011

NRA: Tips to be a greener restaurant guest

4 Tips to Be a Greener Restaurant Guest

(Washington, D.C.)  Restaurants nationwide are “going greener,” and consumers are increasingly looking for ways to do the same when dining out.  With 150 million meals served in nearly one million restaurants throughout the nation each day, even simple measures to conserve natural resources can make a big difference. This Earth Day – as well as on any day throughout the year – there are ways in which guests can contribute to reducing a restaurant’s carbon footprint. The National Restaurant Association offers these tips for being an eco-conscious restaurant guest:

1. Pass on the water. If you plan to order a beverage with your meal and not drink the complimentary glass of water that is commonly offered when seated in a restaurant, simply let your server know. If one out of four restaurant patrons declined that glass of water, it would help conserve more than 25 million gallons of water in a year, according to the U.S. EPA.

2. Skip the straws and utensils. If you don’t need a straw to enjoy your beverage, pass on it. According to, more than 500 million disposable straws are used in the United States every day – enough to fill 9,300 school buses! And, when getting takeout or delivery that you plan to eat at home, tell restaurant staff that you don’t need disposable silverware included with your order. By declining single-use utensils when possible, you will help divert waste from landfills.

3. Bring your own. Use your own reusable tote bag for takeout orders rather than plastic or paper bags, and bring a travel mug for that morning cup of coffee – some restaurants will even give you a discount for it! 

4. Consider alternative transportation. Car-pool, walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation to your favorite restaurant. According to CNN Money, each vehicle in America uses an average of more than 600 gallons of gasoline per year, which translates into a lot of emissions. And with rising gas prices, these modes of transportation also double as budget-friendly alternatives.

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