Environmentalism doesn't have to mean you're hunting down whaling boats in the Antarctic or living in trees or being Al Gore-esque (well... you know what we mean). Modernity provides us an unlimited amount of opportunities to explore the greatest — and greenest — human potential in accessible and creative ways.
The planet may be shrinking, but not just because icecaps are melting and forests are disintegrating (though those factors certainly play a part!). But the world, it seems, is shrinking because of our access to information, our interconnectedness to all things, our collective propulsion into new concepts, new ideas, and new ways of seeing and being.
Whether that means your city has ditched plastic bags, you support your local farmers markets or install rainwater catchment systems to your house, there is simply no shortage of ways in which we're calling forth a new and exciting and — yes, delicious — world.
Green buildings have become one of the fastest growing trends in the move towards environmentally-friendly action, alongside locavore movements. With restaurants such as Alice Waters' Chez Pannise in Berkeley, Forage in Los Angeles, or the Green Table in New York all focusing on regional cuisine and organic ingredients, the popularity has shown no sign of slowing down.
Enter Omaha. As in, where-the-heck-is-Nebraska? The Midwest farming state has just received recognition from the Green Restaurant Association for Omaha's Grey Plume, the restaurant named "Greenest Restaurant in America." The record-breaking establishment is the first to meet the SustainaBuild standard and accrued more GRA points than any other restaurant out of more than 300 that participated in the certification program.
As Americans become more aware of environmental issues, polls show their willingness to support 'green' businesses, especially restaurants. Congrats to Grey Plume and the people of Nebraska. Though there are new contenders cropping up daily poised to take the title away from Nebraska, that there's a competition for being the most environmentally friendly anything is probably a pretty good contest any way you vote.
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Photo: The Grey Plume