Here at GRACE's Water and Energy Programs, we may think about kilowatts and gallons all day, but like our coworkers down the hall at Sustainable Table, we also think about food. (And not just when lunchtime hunger pangs kick in, we swear!)
It's nearly impossible to think about any one of GRACE’s three areas of focus – food, water and energy – without considering the connections to the others. That’s just one reason why we’re so excited to have the new Eat Well Guide at our disposal. Sure, it makes finding a new sustainably-sourced lunch spot that much easier, but we can also find restaurants, markets, farms and organizations that are making water and energy sustainability a priority. There are a lot of sustainable water and energy-saving techniques used in kitchens, communities and farms across the US – below is just sample of some of these inspiring locations found in the new Eat Well Guide. While you’re searching for a new favorite sustainable spot, the Eat Well Guide can help you find a meal that is solar-powered and water efficient, too!
Patchworks Farm, Santa Rosa, CA
A grassroots community collaboration of schools, businesses, healthcare organizations and agribusinesses, Patchwork Farm engages hundreds of youth from elementary to community college age groups. Current projects include water conservation, biodiesel fuel production and solar voltaic energy systems.
Swallow Rail Farm, Simpsonville, KY
This small, pasture-based farm utilizes rainwater collection for livestock and home water usage, and serves as a model for water conservation.
Coonamessett Farm, East Falmouth, MA
This twenty-acre farming and research enterprise on Cape Cod is powered in part by solar and wind energy (http://www.coonamessettfarm.com/id212.html).
The Family Farm, Belleville, MI
A three acre biodynamic urban farm specializing in heirloom produce, poultry and eggs, the Family Farm seeks to integrate sustainable practices like rain water conservation, composting, solar, wind and on- farm recycling.
Wolf Creek Farm, Madison, VA
This grass-fed cattle farm was honored by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation in 2009 with its prestigious Clean Water Farm Award and the Bay Friendly Farm Award programs. These awards help to promote the Commonwealth’s water quality goals by “recognizing farmers actively engaged in nutrient management and other important conservation management practices.”
Green Truck, Los Angeles, CA
This organic food truck is committed to local ingredients. Plus, the vegetable oil they use in cooking their food is used to power the food trucks the next day. Their commissary kitchen is solar-powered. And if it's a really sunny day and they've generated more energy than needed, they give it back to the grid.
Small Point Café, Providence, RI
A café serving locally roasted, fair trade coffee (and other food and drink), all of the lighting is LED bulbs, the toilet is a water-saving dual flush model, and the café composts all food waste, coffee grounds, paper cups and napkins, used carry out containers and corn plastic cups and straws.
Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro, Bellingham, WA
Making handcrafted beer and fresh local food, this brewery and bistro has undertaken wastewater and energy audits, and their spent grains feed the cattle at a local farm that supplies their ground beef. Plus the oil from their fryer is converted to biodiesel by a local company.
Bridging The Gap, Kansas City, MO
This nonprofit providing environmental education and volunteer action is listed in the US Department of Energy’s best practices for its water conservation efforts in low-income Kansas City neighborhoods.
Beer, Wine and Cocktails
Standing Stone Brewing Company, Ashland, OR
The Standing Stone Brewing Company features many local and organic menu items, in addition to a number of initiatives to be more sustainable, including the use of solar panels.
The Milkweed Mercantile, Rutledge, MO
Part of an “ecovillage” that also includes an inn and organic café, this store is housed in a spacious two-story straw bale, solar- and wind-powered building.
Bed and Breakfasts
Spirit Mountain Ranch, Grand Lake, CO
This bed and breakfast nestled at the base of a mountain is a leader in water and energy conservation. Within the lodge there are recycling bins, energy efficient appliances and digital set back thermostats. There are also low flush toilets and water saving European showerheads in all of the bathrooms, plus composting and drip irrigation in their gardens.