Look for Green Dining Alliance-Certified Members in Your Neighborhood Today!

by Jeanette R. Reynolds,
Programs and Communication Director
and Cassandra P. Hage
Executive Director, St. Louis Earth Day

The Green Dining Alliance (GDA), an initiative of St. Louis Earth Day, is a locally tailored certification and education program for restaurants and diners alike. The GDA was designed to increase environmental awareness and influence consumer decisions with the end goal of increasing sustainable dining opportunities in and around St. Louis. We promote the restaurants that are paying attention to the impact of their business practices with an eye on the environment and the local economy.

As third-party administrators of the program, we are able to provide a non-biased assessment of a restaurant’s current practices and work with them to recommend appropriate, achievable strategies for annual improvement. The Green Dining Alliance certification was researched and designed by staff at St. Louis Earth Day, with support from trusted industry professionals. The GDA’s comprehensive 3rd party certification process differentiates restaurants that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability through practices and policies that shape the way they do business.

The Certification Process
GDA Member Restaurants have gone through a rigorous certification process and have proven they’ve gone above and beyond industry norms to reduce their environmental impact.

First, restaurants must commit to applying our GDA Core Concepts:

  • Ban: smoking, Styrofoam, and #6 plastic (polystyrene)
  • Recycle (single stream or separated recycling, which shall include glass, aluminum, cardboard, plastic, and paper)
  • Set waste reduction and diversion goals and track progress
  • Phase in compact florescent bulbs (CFLs), LEDs, and efficient ballasts (as appropriate) with routine replacement (create and follow a phase-in plan)
  • Share baseline data from utilities and service providers
  • Participate in GDA-approved educational workshops tailored specifically for restaurant stakeholders

Once the Core Concepts are met, restaurants undergo our GDA Certification Audit. The GDA serves as a third party certifying agent and conducts a thorough onsite investigation that focuses on seven major categories:

  • Recycling & Waste Reduction
  • Sourcing & Procurement
  • Water Conservation
  • Energy Conservation/Efficiency
  • Chemical Use
  • Awareness & Education
  • Innovation

Restaurants that score above 80 points are then certified and listed on our website. Congratu-lations to our flagship members: Schlafly (locations: The Bottle Works and The Taproom), PI (locations: Downtown, Chesterfield, Delmar) Sassafras (The Missouri Botanical Garden), The Picnic Basket (The Magic House), and Urban Eats!
Are you a restaurant? We are currently running a membership drive featuring a 75% discount for the first 50 restaurants that obtain certification. Our sliding scale fees (starting at just $25 per year) guarantee that the program is affordable and accessible to all those interested in joining.

Are you a diner? Visit our website listing to see our flagship members and recommend your favorite green restaurants! Don’t forget to reward them with your business!


St. Louis Earth Day is a non-profit organization. Our Mission: to make every day Earth Day, cultivating environmental stewardship and engaging individuals, governments, businesses, schools and the non-profit sector in celebration, education and action to support a healthy and sustainable future.