Good Morning Earth
by Randal Rupar
restaurants turn green
hen preparing food at home, we can control our environmental
impact through the use of non-disposable plates and utensils, non-toxic
biodegradable cleansers, low water use practices, recycling, etc. Restaurant
dining is more of a challenge. How can we choose restaurants that are environmentally
responsible, and maybe even influence our favorite eateries to clean up
their act? Thanks to the work of Good Morning Earth, the job is becoming
a whole lot simpler.
In 1993, consumer advocate and ecopreneur Michael Oshman
founded Good Morning Earth, America's first network of environmentally responsible
restaurants. GME has developed a framework that allows restaurants to take
a leadership role in how they effect the environment.
"Imagine," exclaims Michael Oshman, "the
power each of us wields as a customer. We can choose to support restaurants
who initiate recycling programs, eliminate styrofoam use, and whose efforts
promote other environmentally responsible business acts."
The heart of GMEs strategy is "Our Steps,"
a twelve step program. Under the guidance of GME staff, this one-year program
allows restaurants to smoothly transition to sound environmental practices.
Major components of this program include:
Restaurants which become committed members have much
to gain from the program. A toll-free customer referral number lists all
participating restaurant members. Restaurants also receive recognition in
the quarterly GME newsletter, and may display the GME logo at their business.
They are also provided with access to products that comply with "Our
- Initial, 6-month and 12-month environmental impact audits.
- Converting from polystyrene (Styrofoam) use to paper (minimum standard
to join the GME network).
- Use of unbleached and recycled goods.
- Development of a comprehensive recycling program.
- Discounts for customers who bring in their own mugs, plates or containers
(for fast-food establishments and coffee houses).
- Reduction of packaging and waste.
- Energy and water conservation.
- Use of non-toxic cleaners.
In addition to the "Our Steps" program, GME
consults with members regarding: the economic advantages of serving the
environment, methods of increasing their customer base, enhancing restaurant
image, and insuring compliance with all regulations. GME also encourages
manufacturers to increase the recycled content of their products.
Call to action ... what you can do
Encourage your favorite restaurants to join the Good
Morning Earth network. Look for - and patronize, restaurants that display
the GME logo.
To find out more about Good Morning Earth call (800)
655-5222 or write: GME, 349 Nautilus Street, La Jolla, CA 92037.
Right now, you can patronize the following GME member
Baltimore Bagels Regents Road
Cafe Zero La Jolla/UCSD
Che Cafe La Jolla/UCSD
Chung King Loh La Jolla
Espresso Roma Hillcrest, La Jolla, S.D. State
Kung Food Vegetarian Restaurant 5th & Qunice
Lotsa Pasta Pacific Beach
Porter's Pub La Jolla
Roundtable Pizza La Jolla
Rumors Cafe Ocean Beach
Second Nature Pacific Beach
Tia Molly's La Jolla
Tuba Man Ocean Beach
Wendy's La Jolla
Winston's Ocean Beach
Zips Tummy Buster La Jolla