Restaurants,out of necessity use a lot of resources.  It’s part of what makes running a restaurant so demanding.  The other side to the cost of the resources is the impact on the environment.  One average sized restaurant can have a meaningful impact on its surroundings in more ways than one.  With the availability of some new cutting edge products and help from other local organizations, Boone restaurants are able to limit their impact.

The N.C. Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach has recently launched its new NC GreenTravel Initiative.   The Green Travel Initiative is designed to provide framework for the tourism industry to run more environmentally sustainable businesses and recognize those businesses that make these sacrifices for the environment.  The recognition is important because it provides a road-map for the environmentally conscious traveler in North Carolina.  This initiative is the first of it’s kind for the state.

Independent Restaurants in Watauga County have been hard at work making sure their restaurants are as sustainable environmentally as they are economically.

Through a program sponsored by Boone Independent Restaurants and BREMCO, many local restaurants were able to receive free energy audits in 2012.  These audits were a thorough evaluation of what each restaurant was doing to conserve energy and what each of these places could do to operate with less impact to the environment around them.

Pepper’s Restaurant and Bar, Casa Rustica, and Makoto’s each took part in this and were able to to receive a NC Green Travel award for exceeding a certain level of stewardship.

These aren’t the only BIR restaurants that are giving back to our environment.  Donna Nicastro at Boone Bagelry said

“At the Boone Bagelry we have been using Eco friendly products for many years. We have always recycled glass, plastics, aluminum, and we changed from Styrofoam to compostable products ( plates,cups, etc. ). We recycle our fry oil and by selling fountain drinks instead of plastic bottles we help reduce waste.”
Alison Garrett of 1861 Farmhouse mentioned that their entire restaurant is a recycled building that had been forgotten!  Through a tedious renovation, the original building was preserved and is now on the Historic Register. Alison also added ”

The 1861 Farmhouse Restaurant and Winery is the only restaurant in the High Country with our own organic garden AND our own, on-site, award-winning winery.  We focus on local produce, cheeses, and, where possible, meats.  We have our own estate, organic garden, and grow much of the produce for our restaurant.  What we can’t produce ourselves we purchase from local farmers.  We are blessed to have many wonderful family farms in the Valle Crucis area, along with nearby vineyards, who can supply our needs.”

If you would like to see a list of green restaurants in North Carolina, check out NC Green Travel.  In addition to restaurants, NCGT also has lists of attractions and green lodging options.  This is truly a wonderful resource and the restaurant community is happy to have taken part in growing the awareness in this area.

Area independent restaurants are also conserving energy and offsetting their carbon footprint by:
  • Donating food scraps for composting
  • Donating used fryer oil to be turned into bio-diesel with Blue Ridge Bio-Fuels
  • Growing our own food
  • Sourcing food locally
  • Using low flow plumbing products and waterless urinals
  • CFL light bulbs

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