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Asheville is America’s First Green Dining Destination

ASHEVILLE NC – For the first time ever, one of America’s cities, Asheville, North Carolina, has earned the official designation of being a Green Dining Destination.  This achievement means that locals, tourists, and businesspeople can dine at a plethora of Certified Green Restaurants throughout Asheville. This accomplishment was driven by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (AIR), and the Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute (BRSI), who formed a local Coalition to encourage more environmentally sustainable practices within the city’s restaurants.

This month, Asheville has met and exceeded its goal of having 15 Certified Green Restaurants throughout the city, all of which have met the GRA’s rigorous certification standards. As the 16th restaurant in Asheville recently earned its certification, the Coalition has now reached its goal of Asheville becoming the nation’s first Green Dining Destination.

Mayor Terry M. Bellamy Proudly States: 

“I am both proud and honored that the Green Restaurant Association has designated Asheville as America’s first Green Dining Destination™. Asheville’s 15 Certified Green Restaurants are leading the way toward zero waste, energy independence, and sustainable food… When you visit Asheville you will have an amazing selection of extraordinary green restaurants.”

“The Asheville area prides itself on a food culture that embraces fresh, innovative cuisine that integrates product from local growers and artisan food producers,” Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Stephanie Brown noted.  “The prestigious designation of “Green Dining Destination” is an accomplishment that adds to Asheville’s reputation as a distinctive culinary destination.”

All of Asheville’s Certified Green Restaurant have met the GRA’s rigorous certification standards by earning at least 100 GreenPoints in the categories of food, water, waste, energy, chemicals, and disposables. Additionally, each Certified Green Restaurant has eliminated use of polystyrene foam, (aka StyroFoam), and has implemented a full-scale recycling program.

The 16 Certified Green Restaurants in the city are:

The French Broad Chocolate Lounge Homegrown
Laughing Seed Cafe, Luella’s Bar-B-Que
Plant Restaurant Neo Cantina
Posana Cafe Rosetta’s Kitchen
Strada Italiano The Corner Kitchen
The Green Sage The Green Sage South
Tupelo Honey Café Tupelo Honey Cafe South
Cedric’s Tavern on the Biltmore Estate Bouchon

“We are thrilled to be one of the Certified Green Restaurants that has helped Asheville become the nation’s first Green Dining Destination,” says Randy Tally from The Green Sage.

Leslie H. Armstrong from Plant Restaurant adds, “Our customers care greatly about the environmental impact of the restaurants they visit. Because our menu is exclusively plant-based, our ecological footprint is inherently light. As a Certified Green Restaurant, we’re pleased that we can provide transparent details about how we’ve become even more environmentally sustainable across our operations.”

Green-minded consumers can easily locate the continually expanding list of Certified Green Restaurants online by visiting DinegreenAsheville.com, which also features the detailed environmental accomplishments of each location. Further, on the website, diners can learn more about the environmental impact of the restaurant industry, and encourage even more local restaurants to go green.

For those with mobile devices, an Asheville Certified Green RestaurantFinder mobile app is available for download at the top of DinegreenAsheville.com and will soon be accessible in the Apple and Android app stores. The app was created by Squiggle IT and features map-based and cuisine-based green restaurant searches, allowing you to identify the perfect Certified Green Restaurant in Asheville to suit your culinary mood.

Online Features Include:

  • The first interactive map of Asheville’s Certified Green Restaurants
  • Certified Green Restaurant listings
  • Green Label Transparency Tools showing each Asheville Certified Green Restaurant’s itemized environmental steps and GreenPoints
  • Downloadable Suggestion Cards to encourage more restaurants to go green
  • Education on the environmental impact of the restaurant industry
  • Media content about Asheville’s Certified Green Restaurants

“As a Green Dining Destination, Asheville truly satisfies the 79% of people who prefer to dine at Certified Green Restaurants,” says Michael Oshman, CEO and Founder of the Green Restaurant Association. “We are proud of Asheville’s Certified Green Restaurants, and we are proud to have worked with AIR and BRSI to help Asheville achieve this historic accomplishment.  Conventions, tourists, and locals can now know that Asheville is truly a Green Dining Destination.”

About the Green Restaurant Association

The Green Restaurant Association is a national non-profit organization that provides the only official Certified Green Restaurants mark in the country. For 22 years, the GRA has pioneered the Green Restaurant movement and has been the leading voice within the industry encouraging restaurants to listen to consumer demand and green their operations using transparent, science-based certification standards. With their turnkey certification system, the GRA has made it easy for thousands of restaurants to become more environmentally sustainable in a profitable manner. The GRA is endorsed by scores of national environmental organizations such as NRDC, and esteemed trade organizations including the New York State Restaurant Association, Orange County Restaurant Association and America Public Garden Association. The GRA is also an Energy Star partner. In 2010, CitySearch announced the GRA as their official Green Restaurant® listing partner. The GRA has been featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, NPR and in The new York Times and The Washington Post. For more information, visit www.dinegreen.com

About the Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute

The Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute is a Western North Carolina non-profit that applies scientific research and advanced systems approaches to encourage fresh ideas in government and industry as well as providing practical tools for policymakers, educators, community activists, and entrepreneurs. Embracing a mission of ‘Knowledge into Action’, BRSI focuses on education, advocacy and action in support of regional, national, and international sustainability initiatives. For more information about BRSI, please contact [email protected] or visit www.blueridgesustainability.org.

About the Asheville Independent Restaurant

The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (AIR) has a mission to unite the independent restaurant community of Asheville NC as committed to local people, local philanthropies, local businesses, local food and the local economy, with a promise to preserve the authenticity of our mountain home through genuine food and signature hospitality. For more information about becoming a member restaurant or business partner of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, please contact [email protected], or visit www.airasheville.org.

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