Sustainable eating options in Pittsburgh are increasing by the day. With the growing call for sustainability and the ever rising number of restaurants being added to Pittsburgh’s dining scene, it’s no surprise that the identification of sustainable dining is multiplying. Many pre-existing and new restaurants are making an effort to keep or introduce their establishments as sustainable options.
When it comes to being sustainable in a restaurant it can sometimes be difficult to know where to go and what exactly being sustainable as a dining establishment means. Luckily for locals and passerby alike, there is no shortage of information regarding the places in Pittsburgh that are sustainable to dine in.
Where can I dine sustainably?
This website, designed and created by a group of food, sustainability, media, suppliers, and even educators from Pittsburgh – which includes Chatham’s very own Professor Alice Julier of Chatham’s Food studies program -, is a really awesome guide to all the sustainable restaurants in Pittsburgh.
SPR or Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants, has taken all the mess work and difficulty out of finding sustainable dining in Pittsburgh making it practically impossible to say “there isn’t information about it!” when finding sustainable places to eat.
Restaurants seeking sustainability credentials by their board of experts go through a list of criteria and designation and are awarded points based on these criteria. The points are then representative of a designation level – Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum. Once designated, then restaurants are put on the map of SPR easy for anyone to access!
What’s super neat about this website is the fact that it includes places you would not have thought of, such as the popular chain restaurant Mad Mex, and even hospital cafeterias.
What makes a restaurant sustainable?
On the SPR website, there are 6 major components that go into designating a restaurant sustainable or not. These 6 criteria are waste reduction, water conservation, energy efficiency, people, responsible sourcing, and nutrition. Each criteria plays a key role in helping to crown a restaurant in Pittsburgh sustainable or not. They also helped to reduce the plastic straw usage in restaurants. The initiative they support began in June and is continuing until the end of fall, that collects plastic straws in order to create and art project that will be displayed somewhere in Pittsburgh soon! In addition to collecting the straws, the website also displays a comprehensive list of the participating restaurants.
Luckily, thanks to SPR, being able to live and dine sustainably in Pittsburgh has been made a lot easier. This website is a great, quick reference for anyone looking to lessen the weight of their environmental footprint.