Sustainable Dining



Going green and your bottom line was the subject of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s (RAMW) Sustainable Restaurant Seminar, held at Todd Gray’s Watershed in the NoMa BID on November 28. An expert panel of government, industry, and sustainability leaders discussed industry best practices implemented in DC, and shared information about available resources for restaurants seeking to become more sustainable.

Ted Trabue, managing director of the new DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DC SEU), unveiled a “Menu of Savings,” which detailed the steps restaurants can take to reduce their expenditures and increase their efficiency. He stressed that working with restaurants is extremely important because the establishments use about 2.5 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. Harriett Tregoning, director of the DC Office of Planning (OP), indicated DC Mayor Vincent Gray understands the significance of this issue. Sustainable restaurants can contribute greatly to his goal to make DC the nation’s most sustainable city. In fact, the city’s new Sustainable DC plan invites everyone to share their ideas about sustainability.

“After hearing how much effort the District is putting into this initiative, how much support is available through private industry and, most importantly, how much is being put into practice by our restaurants, we are confident that this goal is achievable,” said RAMW president Lynne Breaux, who added that restaurants have always been in the forefront of sustainable best practices.

The seminar was held prior to RAMW’s annual holiday gala and was also presented by the DowntownDC, NoMa and Golden Triangle BIDs; the DC Office of Planning (OP); the District Department of the Environment (DDOE); Acme Paper; the District Department of Transportation (DDOT); and Educated Eats.