“If we want to have a planet to share with future generations, we have to take care of it.”
Andrea Parros, owner and operator of The Red Fern, worked hard not only to create a 100% vegan restaurant, but one that practices sustainable business practices. She emphasizes the practice of offering a 100% vegan menu, because the number of resources to grow plants is significantly less than that of raising livestock, and in addition, it’s cruelty free (for more information on this concept, look to movies like Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, or Vegucated).
Besides offering a vegan menu, The Red Fern is also a master of composting! They compost over 7000 gallons of food scraps per YEAR, and 95% of their takeout containers are compostable. In Andrea’s personal life, she’s made a personal rule of not purchasing takeout from restaurants that use styrofoam or excessive plastic packaging. She leaves a reusable container in her bag for leftovers. Personal choices like these greatly help you live sustainably, and on our campus you should always have a clamshell (or keychain for one) on you so that you can refuse single use to-go containers.
The restaurant also carries paper instead of plastic straws, and uses LED light bulbs. Even further, they refuse to sell bottled water and have water in recycled cardboard drink boxes as an alternative. In Andrea’s personal life, her favorite green practice is riding her bike everywhere in Rochester, 10-11 months out of the year! She emphasizes that, “Sustainable living is easy!”
A take away from looking at a restaurant like The Red Fern? Sustainable living is more than just choices you make at home, but choosing to eat out at a sustainable restaurant contributes to your footprint as well. By looking at the practices Andrea instills in The Red Fern, it shows that these are choices that should be applied to other locations as well, but also show good lifestyle changes you can implement in your home as well!
For photos of my experience dining at The Red Fern, take a look at our instagram @ursustainibble! Check out The Red Fern’s instagram for their weekly specials!
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Guest Post Written by Phoebe Konecky, Class of 2020, Dining Team Green Sustainability Intern