We had the pleasure of enjoying a Valentines Day dinner with another couple at the first “certified green restaurant” in our little neck of the world. My good friend made reservations at Donovan’s Reef, telling me that she knew I’d appreciate their environmentally-aware techniques because she’d just seen a news story on their green efforts.
What does it mean, exactly, to earn the designation of “certified green restaurant” from the Green Restaurant Association?
Well, Donovan’s Reef has been in business for 20 years, but it recently decided to work toward lessening its environmental impact, showing that even established restaurants can change their habits and implement new practices. Donovan’s began working with the national non-profit (GRA) in July 2008, to incorporate sustainability into the day-to-day operation of the restaurant.
So far, the restaurant has accomplished 11 steps under the GRA guidelines, including installing energy-efficient lighting, low-flow faucet aerators in the kitchen to conserve water, and a full-scale recycling program. The restaurant is now also composting food waste.
I dined on a delicious dinner of Lobster Pie, while my Valentine enjoyed his NY Strip (as per usual: seafood for me, beef for him, when we’re out) and call it my imagination, but I think it tasted even better knowing the restaurant is practicing “green dining.” Also, the price was right in line, if not more economical, than other restaurants serving similar fare in our area that aren’t certified by the GRA.
Oh, and another thing that would please our daughter, the environmental science teacher, is the leftover beef we brought home for Duke and Eddie, was packaged in a recycled, cardboard-type of container, not polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam) products. They absolutely loved it! I know that Abbie is also interested in how much of the food they serve at Donovan’s is LOCAL, so I’m checking into that as well . . . I might even invite her to join me there for lunch . . .