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20 things that make us green

1. LEED-CS: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—Building Core and Shell. Both are high-performance, energy-efficient and conform to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards. Our building’s interior is constructed with healthy, energy-efficient furnishings, equipment, methods and materials.

2. Brownfield Redevelopment: Our restaurant has re-energized a site that has been mostly vacant for over 20 years.

3. Historical Context: We are located in the Fairmount Square Historic District along the sidewalk edge to be pedestrian friendly.

4. Zero Storm Water Discharge: We collect, retain and re-use rainfall/runoff. We have no connection to the city storm sewer.

5. Cistern: We collect and store all rainwater on the roof and use it to water the garden and landscaping as needed.

6. Porous Pavement: Our parking lot is permeable, which means it allows water to pass through the surface to eliminate the need for salt.

7. Reduced Heat Island Effect: Light-colored roofing materials reflect the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere, thereby reducing the “Heat Island” effect and global warming.

8. High-Efficiency HVAC: Our furnace operates at a 90+ efficiency rating and our air conditioning at 13 SEER to keep energy use low.

9. Thermal Shell: Insulated concrete forms and thermal pane windows with Low E glass offer comfort and energy efficiency.

10. Low VOCs: VOCs are hazardous substances contained in conventional building materials. We use paint, adhesive and caulk with low or no VOCs.

11. Low-Flow Water Fixtures: Our building uses 30% less potable water due to our low-flow toilets and water faucets.

12. Energy-Efficient Equipment: Our restaurant uses computer-controlled equipment to optimize performance, like the modulating kitchen hood which uses 30% less electricity than conventional equipment.

13. Alternative Paper Sources: We use sugar cane recycled “plastic” containers (biodegradable or compostable) whenever possible.

14. Recycling & Composting: We recycle and or compost over 90% of our waste: paper, cardboard, plastic (including straws and trash bags), glass, and grease. Our reusable coasters are made from 100% recycled tire rubber; and we do not print to-go menus; instead we offer our menu online. These practices save approximately 100 trees per year. Our waste nets one-tenth that of a typical restaurant.

15. 100% PCW Paper: We use limited paper products—all recycled content without dyes. All our printed materials are 100% PCW (post-consumer waste). Our napkins and toilet paper are made from 100% recycled paper in a facility that uses 100% wind-generated power and actually gives energy back to the grid, using zero publicly produced energy.

16. Sustainable Farming: We prepare every dish from scratch with the highest quality, local ingredients available. In-season, our produce is chemical-free and purchased daily from local farmers who farm the land sustainably to ensure its use for generations to come.

17. Lower Carbon Footprint: We compost approximately 80% and recycle about 15% of our waste, while only 5% goes to a landfill. Over half our employees ride, walk or use public transportations to get to work.

18. Local First: Whenever possible, we support local producers, including Michigan breweries, Ingraberg Farms, Water Street Coffee, and The Image Shoppe to name a few. We’ve been a Local First member since we opened our doors.

19. Green Cleaning Products: We use Amserv (Grand Rapids) chemical-free products.

20. Solar Energy: We’re now producing clean energy with rooftop solar panels, as part of Consumers Energy’s SmartStreet.™

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