Your Pick For the Greenest Restaurant

Through May 31, nominate your choice for the most environmentally friendly restaurant in the Bay Area. Thimmakka, a Berkeley non-profit that has helped Bay Area restaurants go green, is holding its first contest to determine “Who’s the Greenest of Them All.”

Founded in 1998, Thimmakka helps restaurants be more eco-conscous by showing them how to implement at least 60 measures in the areas of water and energy conservation, pollution prevention, and waste reduction. More than 120 restaurants have been certified green by the organization, including Bella Mia in San Jose, Breads of India in Berkeley, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Dona Tomas in Oakland, Gordon Biersch in San Jose, Sonoma Chicken Coop in San Jose, and Ramblas Tapas Bar in San Francisco.

In all, according to Thimmakka, certified restaurants have generated environmental savings including: 19.4 tons of solid waste diverted from landfill; 10.8 million gallons of water (about 59 Olympic-sized swimming pools) have been saved; and 473,000 pounds of carbon dioxide have been prevented from being released into the atmosphere.

 “Food service is responsible for about 16 percent of landfill in California, and 86 percent of that can be diverted by recycling or composting,” said Suparna Vashisht, managing director of Thimmakka, in a statement. “We created this contest to recognize the forward thinking restaurants that have already
taken giant steps to help eliminate waste and to spur on others to join in the movement.”

Nominations for the contest can be submitted here or by faxing to (510) 655-6770. Judges for the contest include Andy Katz, a representative of East Bay Municipal Utility District; and Gil Friend, founder of Natural Logic, Inc., a sustainability consultancy.

Winners will be selected in a number of categories, including “Most Energy Efficient,” “Top Water Steward,” and “Overall Most Green Restaurant” in various Bay Area counties and regions.

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