San Francisco’s newly opened The Perennial claims to be the most environmentally conscious restaurant in the world. Co-founders and restaurateurs, Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz align the establishment with progressive agrarian cuisine, which is classified as a sustainable way of farming and sourcing food.
This green philosophy extends through to every element of the restaurant, from how the produce is grown to responsible waste disposal and the design of the dining space. The main goal for the owners is to be a part of a positive food system by supporting the production of perennial grains, and using aquaponic agriculture and carbon farming systems.
Aquaponic agriculture refers to a farming system that involves growing plants and fish together in a mutually beneficial environment. When compared to soil-based farming, the method uses one tenth of the water and is six times more productive.
Myint and Leibowitz believe that we can reverse the negative effects of agriculture on the environment by planting perennial crops that improve soil ecosystems and supporting carbon farming, which is the practice of converting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into plant material and soil matter.
The restaurant interior is furnished with recycled, reclaimed and efficient materials, from the repurposed woodwork architecture to the recycled neenah paper menus, which are eventually fed to worms in their aquaponic greenhouse.
The Perennial also partners with non-profit organisation Zero Foodprint to develop a charter group of restaurants to participate in lowering their greenhouse gas emissions.