(AP) - Not using foam cups, while recycling paper and serving some meat-free dishes, has helped the Visitor Center Garden Cafe at Winterthur Museum to be named Delaware's first certified green restaurant.
The honor, awarded to restaurants that work to reduce their environmental impact, was given to the cafe by the Green Restaurant Association, a Boston-based nonprofit.
"People are more environmentally conscious than ever, so we are glad to be able to show that we are, too," said Brian Kimble, general manager for Restaurant Associates at Winterthur, which operates the Garden Cafe, in a prepared statement.
New York-based Restaurant Associates has operated the Visitor Center Garden Cafe and the Cottage Cafe since 1999. The company provides food services to museums, performing arts centers, aquariums, corporate dining and educational facilities.
Green certification indicates that The Garden Cafe does not use polystyrene foam products such as cups or to-go containers; recycles paper, plastics, glass and metals; minimizes use of water, and disposables; uses eco-friendly chemicals; uses energy-efficient equipment and appliances; minimizes food waste; and serves meat-free dishes, which reduces carbon output.
Kimble said Restaurant Associates works closely with purveyors who distribute foods from local farms, and that it has taken steps to reduce waste, such as eliminating plastic straws.
The cafe has been working toward the Green Restaurant Association's designation for the past 18 months.
"Winterthur takes very seriously its role as a good steward of the environment," said Kimble. "The 1,000 acres of this estate are a priceless green space. Now we can show that our efforts in the restaurant are green as well. We want to be a leader in the state."