Guilt-Free Takeout

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image by Heather Whelan

That’s a nice organic salad you’ve got there. Too bad you’re eating it out of a plastic shell, with a plastic fork, both of which will end up in the landfill. Fear not, though, guilt-stricken diner: Restaurateurs like Dan Rosenthal are out to green up their acts and allow you to eat your arugula with a clear conscience. The Chicago Reader (Jan. 17, 2008) reports that Rosenthal, who owns a chain of casual Italian eateries, has banded together with like-minded peers to form the Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op. By leveraging their purchasing power and creating demand for products like corn-based takeout containers and toilet tissue made from recycled paper, co-op members are able to take bigger steps than they could on their own. It’s not just about buying stuff, though: They are planning a joint recycling program, and one co-op member recently held a green-themed trade show for industry professionals. Just don’t expect them to share recipes anytime soon.

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