Calgary has been deemed the Canadian city with the “greenest” restaurants by a non-profit group that wants to make it easy for diners to find environmentally friendly options.
Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF) was established in Calgary in 2009 and aims to help restaurants reduce their impact on the environment.
“We are certainly seeing an upswing in interest and engagement towards making operational changes for greater sustainability,” LEAF president Janine Windsor said in a statement.
One of the LEAF-certified restaurants is the Boxwood Café on 3 Street and 13 Avenue S.W. Boxwood staff compost all their food waste, grow their own vegetables and herbs to reduce transportation costs, and use energy-efficient lights and appliances.
“We’ve experienced a lot of positive feedback from the community and our guests regarding that, as well as our employees,” manager Robyn Buzzee said.
Over a Friday lunch, customers Linda Rojas and Sharon Stroick said they go to Boxwood for more than the food.
“I think it’s great. Any time you can reduce waste and keep things greener, it’s good for all of us,” Stroick said.
“I think it’s really important, and I do try to find restaurants that have those kind of programs,” Rojas added.
LEAF suggests the food service industry is “is one of the most environmentally unfriendly industries with tons of food waste, heavy carbon imprints from food sourcing and deliveries, and an energy output five times higher per square foot than other commercial enterprises.”
The group’s certification process is in place to market environmentally and socially responsible businesses so consumers can make informed choices. Criteria include eliminating Styrofoam, tracking energy and water conservation, as well as meeting certain recycling standards. Click here to view the criteria for its certification process.
“Five years in, LEAF expects to see the list of certified restaurants jump from 50 to 90 this year, saving each member thousands in energy and operational costs from the eco-upgrades,” the group said.
Here are the Alberta restaurants recognized with varying levels of LEAF certification:
Calgary Food Trucks