ASHEVILLE NC – Asheville Independent Restaurants are reaching a milestone as the year draws to a close in completing an important stage in the green restaurant initiative. A significant number of AIR restaurants participating in the green restaurant certification, have either completed or are in midst of installations of solar panels for hot water usage. The installation is the latest step toward a grant project in the works since mid-2011 in conjunction with Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute (BRSI).
Awarded from the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology’s Green Business Fund through a unique partnership with the Asheville Independent Restaurant (AIR) Association, the $258,000 grant will improve the environmental sustainability and economic success of 17 AIR member restaurants. In addition, the BRSI/AIR partnership, a major component of BRSI’s Regional Energy Upfit Campaign, will provide the foundation for Asheville as a Green Dining Destination™ city, attracting tourism and promoting job creation and economic development in the region. The funding will enhance the restaurants’ efforts to increase use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency and promote energy conservation in support of achieving Green Certified Restaurant® status through the national Green Restaurant Association.
“It is very exciting to be part of this grant and the movement of AIR restaurants to become greener and have less of an impact on our environment,” said Peter Pollay, owner of Posana Café /AIR Board Treasurer and Green Team member.“Asheville has had a long standing outlook on pro-sustainability and AIR restaurants want to do our part to support that effort.”
AIR members included in the grant and working toward or have completed GRA certification are Bouchon, Burgermeister’s, The French Broad Chocolate Lounge, The Corner Kitchen, The Green Sage downtown (Completed), Green Sage south, Fiores downtown, Fiores south location, Frankie Bones, Homegrown, Laughing Seed Café, Jack of the Wood, Luella’s BBQ, Tupelo Honey Café downtown (Completed), Tupelo Honey Café south location (Completed), Neo Cantina, and Rosetta’s Kitchen. AIR member Posana Café in downtown Asheville, the first certified restaurant in NC, also participated in the grant and is one of only eight existing GRA certified restaurants in North Carolina. Four of the eight restaurants are in Asheville, Posana Café, Tupelo Honey Café (both downtown and south locations) and The Green Sage, downtown.
The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association is committed to the local economy, local businesses, and local philanthropies. For more information about becoming a member, associate member or sponsor of the Asheville Independent Restaurants, please contact [email protected], or visit www.airasheville.org.