During those first few months after I made my decision to ask for green, Maria and I met for dinner at the Decatur brewpub, Twain's Billiards and Tap. After our meal, I did what has become my usual thing - I asked to see a manager. Incidentally, this request did not make our server anxious as it usually does. I don't know what that was about, but it seemed positive.
Anyway, Orrin joined us and heard me out with what seemed to be genuine interest and concern. This was not the first time that the restaurant had considered the environmental impact of using Styrofoam.
"We've talked about this before," he told me. "And we realize we need to be doing something different. When we have our meeting this week, I'll tell everybody about our conversation. Not only do we want to do the right thing, we're very responsive to what our customers tell us they want."
What a dream! This didn't have the "yeah, yeah" tone I had grown accustomed to receiving as a response to my request. I was hopeful that my efforts might actually have an impact this time.
The next couple of times I ate at Twain's I was with large groups and we didn't leave a scrap big enough for a bird to eat so the issue didn't come up. But then, Larry and I stopped there on our way home (from Florida, again) to taste their newest brews and eat that yummy roasted garlic dish.
As the server was clearing away our plates, she asked if we wanted to take our leftovers home. I had forgotten the reusable containers I'd gotten in the habit of bringing to restaurants with me, so I shook my head and told the waitress no. Larry's face fell and I gave him the reason he must already have guessed. "They use Styrofoam."
"No we don't," our server corrected me. "All of our boxes are compostable."
All of our boxes are compostable? Strains of the Hallelujah Chorus rang in my ears.
Twain's had made the change I had asked for. Did they do it because I asked? Who knows, but my request may have been the tipping point they needed to make a change that they were already leaning toward.
When I looked at Twain's website so I could add a link to it here, I noticed that they have committed to other green practices besides the cardboard take-out containers. These include:
- Sending the spent grain used in the brewing process to local farmers where it will be used as animal feed
- Installing waterless urinals in their restrooms
- Installing low-flow fixtures in their kitchen dishwasher
- Donating used fryer oil to a local bio-diesel producer
- Recycling bottles and cardboard
Pretty cool, huh? Plus, brewing their beer locally rather than buying it elsewhere and shipping it in cuts out the need for spending energy on additives, packaging and transportation.
Thank you, Twain's. We'll be back. Soon.