If your Restaurant tries to be Green, is it Obnoxious to say so? [Westword vs. The Kitchen]

Via Waylon Lewis
on Mar 17, 2009
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The Kitchen, called ‘the greenest restaurant in the West,’ just got tagged as one of the coolest restaurants in the Denver area by Westword…despite being green, and saying so.

green dining kitchen

I’m sick of hearing individuals, and too-cool-to-love-the-planet journalists, rain on the green dining parade. If you’re putting real time and effort and love into composting, recycling wine corks, offering staff reusable togo mugs, paying for wind power, using repurposed wood for your bar and offering local beers and wines, if you’re supporting local farmers and buying local pork, why not say so?

Westword, Denver’s great free indie free paper, says to shut up…and get back to cooking. Excerpt:

The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street.  We’re so cool about our wind power and all-natural produce and local sourcing that we don’t have to make a big deal out of it.  Except on our menu, of course…  And our website…  And on the chalkboards in the dining room…  And every time we open our mouths…  Look, I love the planet just as much as the next guy, but I don’t need to hear it preached about over breakfast.  And if not for the fact that the breakfasts at The Kitchen are so good, I’d never have to hear it from them again…for the rest, click here.

My comment on their site: 

Waylon Lewis says:

I’ve been dining at The Kitchen—when I can afford to—for years, and I’ve never been preached to.

Sure, they have modest mentions on the chalkboard menu, menus, etc…but it’s not over the top, distracting…why not make what you do differently known to your clients? It’s good marketing, if not overdone—encourages loyalty, etc. And their support for local farms, what little I know about it, makes it seem sincere, not mere greenwashing.

Watchu think? Good to talk about green, educate your clientele as to what you’re doing, engender loyalty? Or is it greenwashing, sometimes, and just a bit prideful and obnoxious? Comment below?


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


4 Responses to “If your Restaurant tries to be Green, is it Obnoxious to say so? [Westword vs. The Kitchen]”

  1. jen says:

    Absolutely talk about it. Knowing what businesses are (or aren't) doing helps consumers to make more informed choices.

  2. J.P. says:

    TALK ABOUT IT…it plants a seed if nothing else….the Onion recently featured Tacobe in their ‘Decider Denver/Boulder’ section and as I read the article I was like “Wha’ Happen?” as the Onion rarely disappoints, but they forgot to mention the restaurant’s use of Eco-Products for plates, cups, napkins, etc., as well as the recycling bin located next to the trash can for empty beer bottles. Each table has a small table tent that gives a brief overview of Eco-Products, which can also be seen on the cups. It’s a decent Green effort on part of the owner(s) and would have been helpful to have noted in the article. It sets them apart from their competitors and demonstrates that they give a crap. It will build loyalty, inform and hopefully even plant a seed…

  3. It's greenwashing if meat is served.