The Chicago restaurant Uncommon Ground has been featured on TreeHugger before—the restaurant uses green building principles, composts waste, and the executive chef designs the menu after popping upstairs to the restaurant's rooftop garden and finding out what's ripe that day.
But it's just broken even its own record and been named the greenest restaurant in the country by the Green Restaurant Association. Right behind Uncommon Ground at #2 is, well, the owners' second Uncommon Ground location.
The restaurant is recognized for 116 steps it has taken to become a four-star Certified Green Restaurant, including use of recycled and efficient furniture and building materials, rainwater collection, solar panels, energy-efficient lighting, locally-sourced materials, and of course the rooftop garden.
"This year we produced well over 700 pounds of produce, which isn't bad, we've only got about 640 square feet up here," said rooftop farm director Dave Synder according to ABC, which also reported that the garden is serving as a model for other restaurants, including in Mumbai, India.
But the owners aren't done. Co-owner Helen Cameron invites other restaurants to outdo Uncommon Ground with even greener efforts: "We truly care about operating a Certified Green Restaurant and we challenge restaurants around the U.S. to exceed our record of environmental accomplishments," she said.