Hal B. Klein
August 24, 2015

The nonprofit organization Sustainable Pittsburgh last week announced that it now is awarding a “sustainable restaurants” designation to eateries in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Dinette in East Liberty is the first restaurant in the region to be recognized. “I was interested in the program because sustainability has always been a focus of Dinette,” says chef/owner Sonja J. Finn.

Program manager Rebecca Bykoski worked with a 23-member advisory committee — made up of Pittsburgh-area chefs (including Finn), growers, academics and public policy professionals — to create the guidelines for the program. They looked at the certification criteria suggested by the Green Restaurant Association and the Sustainable Restaurant Association, as well as to existing programs in other cities, for models of how to structure the program. The committee also decided to include a social justice component in the mix. “I thought that was important. Most other programs just focus on the environment,” says Bykoski.

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