Image describing Illinois' first green dining district

The restaurant industry in Illinois is ripe for a cooperative effort to reduce food waste, plastics, and energy use. Most independent restaurant owners want to be more sustainable but find it challenging to do so. When restaurants work independently to address these issues, their efforts are often fragmented and inefficient. We need initiatives that reduce individual upfront investment and build a sustainable business community that can address sustainability barriers together.

Illinois’ first green dining district will encompass 5 areas of sustainability and will require participants to sign a pledge, complete a green practice assessment, and set core goals to reduce environmental impact. A green dining district will focus on:

  • Energy efficiency and renewables
  • Solid waste
  • Water efficiency
  • Pollution prevention
  • Transportation

A green dining district model will facilitate collective action around environmentally responsible practices. It also positions Illinois communities as sustainable food destinations, attracting customers who want dining experiences that reflect their values.

Learn more about our exploration of Illinois’ first green dining district with Takeout 25 in the Oak Park region.