By Kate Miley, The Nature Conservancy
While some would consider Seattle, Portland, and other Pacific Northwest cities the sustainability capitals of the U.S., the nation’s actual capital city has deep roots in the green culture movement, particular in terms of environmentally-friendly local cuisine, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Take, for instance, the fact that D.C. is home to the nation’s first ever organic restaurant (meaning that a minimum 95% of all ingredients used are organically- certified). Restaurant Nora, which holds the claim to this fame, is located north of Dupont Circle and remains a favorite among those seeking fine fare and a clear conscience.
But then there’s also Busboys & Poets, a part-café, part-community gathering space that has four distinct D.C. establishments and that expresses its commitment to environmental sustainable through the use of wind power and its partnering with Global Exchange Fair Trade.
So, case in point that sustainable eateries in the D.C. metro area are promoting everything “green,” from locally sourced ingredients to LEED-certified restaurant spaces. While the sustainable restaurant trend is nothing new, this diversity of “green” angles currently pursued by certain D.C. restaurants is both ground-breaking and tasty. One would hope that such shades of “green” among D.C. eateries encourages other restaurants locally and around the nation that might have otherwise eschewed sustainable cuisine—due to the perception that it has to done in a certain way— to consider forays into “greening” their spaces and menus.
As for the best and most popular D.C. green restaurant, a contest called the People’s Choice 2012 Nature’s Plate Award is currently under way to determine just which restaurant is the District’s favorite. Sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, Nature’s Plate has identified through a preliminary round of popular voting that Busyboys and Poets, Founding Farmers, Restaurant Nora, and Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar are four D.C. eco-friendly favorites that will compete in a final round of voting to end on June 21.
Got an opinion? Vote now at http://www.nature.org/allhands/naturesplate/index.htm.