Green Award 2014

On a busy Friday night, you might not guess that there’s more to The Parker than just great vegetarian fare. Designed by owner Martin Warren (who also helms a sustainable construction business, Vanglo) with his business partner Steve Da Cruz and architect Michel Laflamme, the space itself is tiny-just 550 square feet-and holds about 20 customers at any one time. But here’s where size matters: every square inch is thoughtfully, sustainably designed, right down to the output of the kitchen. The Casprini chairs that diners perch upon are made of 100-percent-recycled plastic, and the barstools, recycled aluminum. The room is decked in plywood-itself recycled wood-and water-soluble building materials. “From there, we looked at every facet of the business,” says Da Cruz. Both the dishwashing and hand soaps are biodegradable. Urban Impact picks up the restaurant’s compost and recycles its soft plastics (including wraps and baggies), and local producer Sole Food drops off its produce in reusable containers. Even the Matchstick coffee comes in glass jars-because Da Cruz can reuse and recycle them, and he can’t the traditional metal-lined paper bags. The result is that the restaurant, 18 months in, creates just one pound of waste per month. Dare you to try that at home. -