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Green Restaurants

  • paper straws
    Replace Plastic Straws with Paper Straws. Ask your customers first before offering a straw. See the Ask First Campaign by Rhode Island Hospitality Association.
  • Recycle
    Restaurants should be recycling paper, metal, and plastic the right way. As a restaurant owner, you have the ability to Recycle Right and provide valuable recyclable material back into the market to be re-used again. Learn more here.
  • kitchen compost
    Rhode Island’s Food Waste Ban (Section 23-18.9-17) included within the Refuse Disposal Law, states that businesses that produce more than 2 tons of organic waste per week are required to divert it from landfill if located within 15 miles of an authorized composting or anaerobic digestion facility. Businesses and institutions also have the option to process organic waste onsite or divert for agricultural use. Learn more here.
  • cleaner
    Many cleaning chemicals used in kitchens can contain hazardous and toxic substances. It is better for worker health and for the environment to use cleaners that have been certified as green. For more visit EPA: Safer Choice, EcoLogo Certification Program, and Grean Seal.

Simply stated, pollution prevention (P2) is putting into practice the common sense idea that the best way to manage waste is to avoid generating it in the first place. The best way to mitigate pollution is to eliminate it at the source. Our Green Hospitality Program is a means by which you can receive technical assistance on ways to reduce pollution. This will save you money and will provide with you with an environmentally friendly image you can convey to your customers.

The Green Hospitality program began in 2008 with a strong relationship between DEM and the Rhode Island Hospitality Association. The program has recently been updated in 2019 to include new initiatives with a stronger focus on the reduction of single use plastics in the restaurant industry. Becoming a green business can have positive impacts on your bottom line. Even seemingly simple changes, such as using more environmentally friendly cleaning supplies or more energy efficient lighting and insulation, can have a long term positive impact on your place of business with benefits such as reductions in operating cost, improvements in workplace safety and health conditions, public image, and permitting costs.

The RIDEM Office of Customer and Technical Assistance (OCTA) has worked with various businesses in the hospitality sector over the years to help them cut costs, improve practices and function, and leave progressively fewer environmental impacts in the process.

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