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Ocean Friendly Restaurants at Your Service

Ocean Friendly Restaurants at Your Service

Ocean Friendly Restaurants

  • Nomad’s Cafe, 2002 S. Harbor City Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901
  • Islands Fish Grill, 111 5th Ave., Indialantic, FL 32903
  • Tuscany Grill, 7640 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32940

At least 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans each year. That's similar to emptying a garbage truck of plastic into an ocean every minute. Among the most common forms of plastic pollution found in the oceans are things we get from restaurants that we use once and toss away — plastic bags, straws, and food and drink containers.

Surfrider Foundation (www.surfrider.org) launched the Ocean Friendly Restaurants (OFR) program in 2017 to help reduce the plastic waste generated by restaurants. The program encourages practices that help our oceans, such as energy efficiency, using sustainable seafood and minimizing water use. Ocean Friendly Restaurants also commit to not using styrofoam food containers and not giving out plastic bags. They also recycle and only serve straws on request.

Currently, there are 358 restaurants nationwide that have committed to the OFR program, including three in Brevard County: Nomads Cafe in downtown Melbourne, Tuscany Grill in Melbourne, and Islands Fish Grill in Indialantic. Local Surfrider chapters educate and support their local restaurants to make positive changes. This includes transitioning to materials that will truly biodegrade and cause the least amount of harm to our coastlines and oceans.   

“We’re educating restaurants. So even if they can’t make all these changes right now, they can still make a difference,” said Shannon Shneyder, program director of the OFR program for Brevard County.

Megan and Otillo Gonzalez, owners of Nomad’s Cafe (www.nomadscafe.com) have been committed to sustainable restaurant practices since they opened.

Every item we purchase, every dish we serve, and everything we do has an impact,” explains their website.

Through recycling, composting and choosing sustainable products, Nomad’s Cafe produces almost zero waste.

“It’s not hard,” said Megan, who also composts food waste from the restaurant. “People think it’s hard, but you save as much (money) as you spend.”

By choosing to support a certified Ocean Friendly Restaurant, you are supporting a business that is committed to making sustainable choices for our oceans.

For more information about OFR in Brevard, contact Shannon Shneyder at shannonshneyder@gmail.com or visit go.surfrider.org/ofr.

Restaurants participating must follow the first five criteria:

  • No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).
  • Follow proper recycling practices.
  • Use only reusable tableware for onsite dining, and provide disposable utensils for takeout food only upon request.
  • No plastic bags offered for takeout or to-go orders.
  • Provide straws only upon request.

And choose a minimum of two of these criteria:

  • Sell no beverages in plastic bottles.
  • Offer discount for customers with reusable cup, mug, bag, etc.
  • Offer vegetarian/vegan food options on a regular basis.
  • All seafood must be a ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch or certified as sustainable.
  • Implement water conservation efforts, such as low-flow faucets and toilets.
  • Energy efficiency efforts such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, are in place.

Restaurants who meet all of the criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant.

Read more articles in our DIGITAL MAGAZINE.

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