New green restaurant in Des Moines

Photo by uberculture, Flickr

Des Moines’ Big City Burgers and Greens aims to become the greenest restaurant in Iowa. The restaurant’s owner, Jeff Duncan, made it his mission to create a 100% compostable establishment. Every little detail, including compostable garbage bags, has an environmental tilt to it. Radio Iowa reports that Duncan isn’t satisfied, and thinks the restaurant could become more environmentally friendly in the future:

The restaurant is located on the ground floor of an eight-story building in the heart of downtown, so he says the eatery isn’t as green as he’d like it to be, at least not yet.

Duncan says, “There’s things that we’re limited to in the building as far as electricity and A/C and things like that, but if we expand and do a free-standing building, we can look to doing wind turbines, using more recyclable products in the construction, outside and inside our buildings.”

Green restaurants are a growing trend in the U.S. This makes a large difference for the environment as restaurants use up a surprising amount of energy and create a tremendous amount of waste. According to a 2008 USA Today article, the average restaurant creates about 100,000 pounds of garbage each year. The same article argues that most of restaurants energy use comes from inefficient practices:

Nearly 80% of the $10 billion dollars that the commercial food service sector spends annually for its energy use is lost in inefficient food cooking, holding and storage, says PG&E’s tech division.

The average restaurant annually consumes roughly 500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, 20,000 therms of natural gas and 800,000 gallons of water. Using the latest EPA carbon equivalents, that amounts to 490 tons of carbon dioxide produced per year per restaurant, PG&E estimates.

A non-profit organization called Dine Green works at helping restaurants lower their environmental impact. They also list restaurants around the nation that meet their green standards. Currently, no

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