Jesse Baker, founder of Ecofficiency, a nonprofit that encourages responsible lifestyle, consumption and choices, says running a restaurant with the environment and community in mind shouldn't be costly or difficult.
But the movement toward a green lifestyle has taken on a life of its own, with organizations that charge thousands of dollars to certify restaurants, buildings or companies, and sometimes their standards aren't flexible enough to fit each business.
To simplify, Baker developed the Positive Plate, a comprehensive, local sustainable restaurant certification program that goes beyond just where the food is coming from.
The program is flexible enough to fit each restaurant's volume and needs, he said.
"We look at everything in restaurants, from their food to furniture," Baker said. "We look at how to make their energy and water use much more efficient, how to reduce waste and increase recycling, and how they can positively bring in their employees into the mix, treating them well, training them well and finding ways to interact with their community."