Greening of the Restaurant Industry and Home Kitchens


Beside my ecotourism blogs, I’ve delved into some of the latest happenings within specific industries, like toys or recreational boating. This blog is no different, exploring the restaurant industry.

Even the hardiest of homesteaders may find themselves out on the road (perhaps at a MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR), looking around for a place to eat. In fact, the restaurant industry’s share of the American food dollar has risen from 25 percent in 1955 to 47 percent today, according to the National Restaurant Association. Of course, many of you grow upwards of 50 to 70 percent of your own food. Like us, you prepare much of it in your own kitchen, too.

However, during a visit to the NRA’s Restaurant Show this past May, my wife and I had a chance to taste how eating out — or in our home kitchen — can be better for the environment and our pocketbook.

Below are a few of our green finds, some for the home and others to bring up with your waiter next time you’re out for a bite.

1. Sip wine by the bag.

For those of us who don’t make our own wine from dandelions or farm-fresh fruit, Bonfire Wines’ Ignite and Ember, white and red wine blends respectively, ingeniously solve numerous issues associated with savoring wine at the same time. Their portable wine pouch uses fewer raw materials, chills in 65 percent less time, and has a fraction of the weight and space needs of traditional bottles — thus cutting down both transportation costs and carbon dioxide emissions related to hauling them around. The wine pouch's innovative built-in spout keeps the wine fresh for four weeks after opening.

Bonfire Wines

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