ZeroFoodPrint believes that restaurants and diners can lead the fight against climate change. The non-profit organization based in San Francisco works with restaurants to help them understand the driving factors of their carbon footprint and reduce it. Last year, more than 100 restaurants joined ZeroFoodPrint in going climate neutral for Earth Day. That’s the equivalent of cancelling out the emissions from 20,000 gallons of gasoline. This year, they want to go even bigger. With your help, they’re aiming to save the equivalent of 50,000 gallons of gasoline!
To support the cause, all you have to do is dine at a restaurant that has pledged $1 to ZeroFoodPrint for each diner they serve on Earth Day 2018, which falls on Sunday, April 22. (Note: If the restaurant is participating but closed on Sundays, make a reservation on Saturday.) The restaurants’ donations will offset their carbon emissions for the day and support efforts to help the food community understand and reduce their climate impact.
Anthony Myint, a co-founder of ZeroFoodPrint and a partner in Mission Chinese and The Perennial (the latter of which Fast Company called “the most environmental restaurant in the world”), says, “A lot of people don’t understand the extent to which food is related to climate change. If you include all aspects of food production, like deforestation, transportation, processing, and storage – food is 43% to 56% of all emissions.”
ZeroFoodPrint operates under the principle that there is a way for restaurants to take a substantial amount of environmental responsibility. Restaurants joining the cause receive an estimate of their climate impact along with recommendations for mitigating actions, cost recovery, and leveraging the ZeroFoodPrint brand. Restaurants then begin tackling what they can in-house [e.g., working with sustainable ingredients, reducing energy usage] with the knowledge of what their emission factors are. They also contribute a small amount toward projects that reduce greenhouse gasses in the food system overall to offset the remaining carbon footprint. According to Myint, at Mission Chinese it’s ten cents per diner; at Benu, it’s approximately thirty-five cents per diner for the whole thing to be carbon neutral. He notes, “From our perspective, this is a very plausible approach to sustainability.”
Some of the projects financed by the contributions include things like a methane digester that turns the manure on a dairy farm into electricity and fertilizer or improves rice cultivation, which in turn optimizes rice farm production by reducing methane and lowering water use. “Those projects would not happen without the funds that are flowing to the project,” adds Myint.
Support the cause and you’ll be harnessing the power of food to take a stand against climate change. Find a restaurant near you below and book a table.
San Francisco Bay Area:
El Molino Central
Fine and Rare
Flour + Water*
Hillside Supper Club
Metal + Match
Mission Chinese Food*
Sessions at the Presidio
State Bird Provisions
The Restaurant at Meadowood