Co-owners Chef Brendan Smith and Rachel Greenspan have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability with the announcement that their Bettina restaurant at 1014 Coast Village Road in Montecito has earned the Surfrider Foundation’s certification as an ocean friendly restaurant. They encourage other hospitality colleagues to join them in making this commitment to sustainability as an industry standard to be followed throughout the country.
To qualify for the certification, restaurants must prove the below compliances: Participating restaurants participating must follow the first five criteria: No expanded polystyrene use (aka styrofoam); proper recycling practices are followed; only reusable foodware is used for onsite dining; no plastic bags offered with take out or to-go orders and utensils are provided only upon request; and paper straws are provided only upon request.
Restaurants must also choose a minimum of two of the following criteria: No beverages are sold in plastic bottles; a discount is offered for customers with reusable cup, container, bag, etc.; vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis; all seafood is ‘best choice’ or ‘good alternative’ as defined by seafood watch, or certified as sustainable; water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented; energy efficiency efforts are in place.
The Surfrider Foundation is represented by over 50,000 members and approximately 80 local chapters in the United States and multiple international affiliations. “Plastic pollution is suffocating our ocean and the many animals that call it home,” says the Surfrider Foundation. “Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the sea with the number continuing to grow every day. This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems, wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish, and turtles, and plastic fragments are even displacing plankton at the base of the food chain. The Surfrider Foundation encourages positive change via one restaurant, one customer at a time to increase awareness, drive change in behavior and to create scalable impact to reduce the community’s plastic and water footprint.”
Bettina restaurant owners Rachel Greenspan and Chef Brendan Smith with their new ocean-friendly restaurant certificate. Courtesy photo.