Northland Eateries get Environmentally Friendly
DULUTH - Some local eateries are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint.In Lincoln Park, sits a restaurant acclaimed by localsin the culinary world for its homemade comfort food.
'We started as Embers and slowly transformed ourselves into the Duluth Grill," Duluth Grill Manager, Owner and Operator Louis Hanson said.
Duluth Grill’s national attention and committed customers aren't the only things separating them from the pack, but also their cutting edge approach to what's clean and green.
"We're environmentally conscious about what we're doing and where we're purchasing from and how it is affecting our community directly," said Hanson.
90% of their food is made in the restaurant and doesn't travel more than 200 miles to get there.
"We're in turn supporting a local economy which helps the whole world go around," said Hanson.
They have an urban garden in the parking lot where they grow fresh herbs and vegetables that are sautéed and fried in the kitchen.
"Food isn't just a product that you go to the store and buy," said Hanson. “It takes time and effort to produce that product."
On the rooftop, they grow winter squash and beehives to make their honey.
They save all of their fryer oil and recycle it.
"It'll be converted into biodiesel which will then be able to create electricity off of our generator."
At Sara's Table they're cooking up local favorites with fresh, organic and sustainably raised meats and vegetables.
"I think that's why people come back here we give them quality products," Sara’s Table Chef Jillian Forte said.
Leftover food and scraps from the kitchen don't go in the trash, but to their compost bin.
"So it reduces our waste in the trash system and is helping to make that compost that you get down at WLLSD," said Forte.
In their garden they grow herbs and crunchy lettuces.
"A lot of those vegetables will come out of the ground one day and then they're in my kitchen the next day, their out on a plate that next day," said Forte.
Their sustainable ways go beyond the food. The tables are recycled, they have timers on their lights to save energy and use compostable cutlery.
"Just naturally what you do in this life,” said Forte. “You take care of the past and you take care of the future."
Sustainability experts say restaurants reducing their carbon footprint doesn't just provide tasty food.
"It contributes to our entire community by reducing the amount of resources that they consume, it leaves more for the rest of us," UMD Sustainability Coordinator Mindy Granley said.
Granley says it also sets a good example.
"If you go to a restaurant and you learn about how they grow their food or saving energy by turning the lights off you might be inspired to do the same thing in your home," said Granley.
The Duluth Grill is in the process of growing another garden.
Sara's Table says they are hoping to soon feature local beers and wines in their restaurant.