Excerpt from the Earth Day Edition of the Marion Street Cheese Market "Cheese Mail - WineMail - Beer Mail" Newsletter, April 21, 2011.
"Marion Street Cheese Market is very excited to be able to officially announce that we are now a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association.
We are the first restaurant in Oak Park to be certified as a Green Restaurant and one of only three restaurants in Chicagoland to earn 3 stars. The only others are Uncommon Ground and Frontera Grill. We are in very good company.
Since we opened our doors in 2004, Marion Street Cheese Market has been strongly focused on sustainability and local food issues. We have always been an American artisan-centric cheese shop that has had a mission of supporting small, local independent cheesemakers, family farmers and food artisans.
When Mary Jo Schuler and I opened the expanded MSCM with a bistro and wine bar in July 2008, we had a primary mission of being a green and sustainably run business throughout our operation. That is not always an easy thing in the restaurant world. But we were committed to it and have relentlessly worked toward that goal ever since. From the original design of the our new location to the choice of purveyours that we use to purchase food, our focus has always been on local, sustainable and seasonal.
So it feels really great to be able to say that while we have been "green" from the very beginning, we can now actually say that we have been independently audited and accredited as officially "Green" by the Green Restaurant Association. To learn more about the GRA and to see which other Chicago restaurants have been accredited as "Green", please visit their website at: www.dinegreen.com"
According to the Dine Green web site Certified Green Restaurants® must fulfill the following criteria in order to be certified as a green restaurant:
- Accumulate a total of 100 Points (175 points for 3 stars)
- Meet Minimum Points in each Category
- Have a full-scale recycling program
- Be Free of Polystyrene Foam (aka Styrofoam)
- Yearly Education
Restaurants are evaluated in each of the following categories:
- Water Efficiency
- Waste Reduction & Recycling
- Sustainable Food
- Chemical & Pollution Reduction
Points are earned in each category by meeting very specific criteria, for example, in the water efficiency category 3 points are awarded for having an Energy Star - rated dishwasher. Restaurants are also expected to improve annually in order to retain their star ratings.
Congratulations to Marion Street Cheese Market!