More restaurateurs are working toward sustainability

COLORADO (April 20, 2010)—From its compostable cups and utensils to its organic produce that mostly comes from a six-mile radius to its recycled and reused fixtures, floors and countertops to its mandate to seek out the greenest products, the Muir Woods Trading Co. thinks green all the time.

And because of that, it's the only restaurant in Marin certified by the Boston-based Green Restaurant Association, which issues certifications based on a point system.

"We sought out the certificate after we were contacted by them," said Frank Klein, project manager for Ortega Family Enterprises of Santa Fe, N.M., which has run the cafe and gift concession since last spring. It's the company's fourth concession in a national park, and it is bidding for more.

"It's the mission of our company - sustainable food service and responsible retailing, with as little impact on the earth's resources," said Klein, who adds that the concession is applying for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council as well.

Muir Woods Trading Co. earned three stars out of a potential four stars from the GRA. It's not for wont of trying, though.

The age of the Muir Woods concession's building has restricted what it can do, he said.

But, that's it.

"Our managers have a mandate to figure out how to make their concessions more green," he said. "There's a monthly checklist each concession has to go through, and they try to upgrade as products become available."

Read more at the Marin Independent Journal


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