Building Community from scratch in 2006 gave us the luxury of building green whenever possible. The first thing we did was save and "recycle" the floors in the space, which we simply refinished. The restaurant's mill work was fabricated on site which reduced waste and -- most importantly -- meant fewer C02 travel emissions, given that the materials weren't transported twice. Our communal tables and bar top were custom made from reclaimed Pennsylvania wood by the folks at citilogs.
In the restrooms you'll find high powered excelerator hand dryers: No paper waste, less energy use. The bathrooms also have automatic low flow toilet flushers and automatic faucets.
For lighting, we use halogen based light sources and low voltage “lamps” which produce 30% more lumens than incandescent lamps. All of our track lighting uses electronic transformers which draw less energy to operate. And we have LED sources in our micro step lights. In our other areas, we have florescent lighting which run on electronic balast and use a low energy florescent lamp, which produces more lumens per watt than old lamp technology
As for the special "Conga" and "Star" lights that decorate the dining room: these are handmade from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified maple wood by the designer/architect, Khader Humied, of metaform studio. His lights have been stained with nontoxic waterbase stains, and the lightbulbs are compact energy-efficient.
In the dining room and kitchen, we recycle dishware, as well as kitchen equipment. Much of our newer equipment is energy-star quality.
For power, we belong to Con Edison's green program, which enables us to pay for whatever percentage of power we'd like to source from wind farms upstate, and in turn that amount of power is put into the statewide grid on our behalf. Since it's physically impossible to get actual "green power" piped directly to our building, this -- we were told -- is the best alternative. Once we've purchased that amount of power from the wind farm, no one else will be able to claim it as theirs. The New York Public Service Commission tracks these purchases of green power so that the supply will never be "over-subscribed."
Eating naturally requires consciousness: we use only grass-fed, antibiotic free beef. All poultry is free-roaming and corn-fed, eggs are cage-free. All bakery flours, sugar, vanilla are organic. Coffee is organic and fair trade certified. Espresso is rainforest alliance certified.
Lastly, we have a rigorous recycling and composting program in place for our waste. Our takeout plateware and cups are from NatureWorks, LLC, and our to-go cutlery is made of potato starch.
While our aim is true, we are always looking to better our methods. We have had many suggestions from diners in the community and we gratefully appreciate them all.