The Illinois compost bill, passed in 2009, opened the door for restaurants to have a unique opportunity to start going green. Compared to other commercial businesses, restaurants can rearrange resources to make a positive difference on their ecological footprint. According to The Environmental and Policy Center, “Statewide, organic waste represents 1/3 of the trash brought to Illinois landfills.”
This bill gives restaurants an automatic advantage to profit from their trash! With the addition of food composting services which collect the food scraps, the goal is to make a profit from the composted material, along with being more eco-friendly they will build strong reputations for local businesses.
Restaurants in Chicago have also become members of the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition which ensures restaurants have the opportunity to participate in making their business as sustainable as possible. Some ways to become a “Guaranteed Green” member would include: buying all natural products, using proper maintenance items and decorations as well as the conservation of electricity and water. The organization allows restaurants to access the best sustainable utilities and gives them the chance to display those stickers that we all look for in their window that they are a participant.
Many popular Chicago restaurants have gotten on board with this organization including Frontera Grille, Soprafina Café, and Lou Malnatis! We can only hope that more and more restaurants will grow in their efforts to making all dining in Chicago as sustainable as we can. There are only a select few restaurants involved in this organization now, but watch for businesses continuing to make the shift to becoming certifiably sustainable. Because eating green just makes you feel good!