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Haddon Heights, New Jersey, United States

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


In 1989, the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) articulated what has now become a widely accepted definition of sustainability: " to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."-- Wikipedia

Sustainability has become the next catchall marketing phrase applied to everything from the food we eat to the gas we put in our cars--have you seen the ads for citgo they actually are trying to make us think that by buying their gas we are supporting our local community. 

I'm just as guilty as everyone else, I have come into the dining room and talked about "this sustainable farm or company" or the server uses the phrase "grown on this sustainable farm" but does this make my business sustainable?  No and Yes

I think as a conscientious member of the community and maybe more importantly a parent, we all try to do our part to save and prepare for the future. We pick up trash that is blowing by, we recycle everywhere,  not just at home, but at work and school as well, and we purchase items that agree with our personal ideas of right and wrong.  

But can a industry that survives on the idea that we want a guest to leave their home, burning fossil fuels in the process, then pay us for something they can do at home less expensively, really market itself as green or sustainable. (As I write this, I can't believe I'm suggesting people stay at home.) I just don't understand business owners that use terms like 'sustainability' or 'going green' to describe their business when their real and only motive is to increase their bank account any way possible. One should not be marketing themselves in the narrowest terms possible, just to claim they belong to a certain group so that they may attract more business.

I think that we all can do more and should do more to insure a better tomorrow. When I go into the dining room and I'm fortunate enough to hear the kind words of a guest about the food I always thank them and tell them " I'll do a better job tomorrow".  It's how I think, how I feel and I hope that that attitude rolls into my life outside of the restaurant. But I'm not trying to sell it.

If you want to "go green"-- do it. If you want to support the local farm-- do it. But don't do it to increase your revenue, do it because you believe in it, you'll get so much more from it then just a couple of dollars. You'll get a better tomorrow. 

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