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Sugar and Olives Earns Three Green Stars

The Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national non-profit dedicated to providing restaurants and cafés with convenient, cost-effective options for “greening” their businesses, has just given Fairfield County’s Sugar and Olives a three star rating.

“I worked really hard for over two years at this,” says Sugar and Olives owner, Jennifer Balin. “Restaurants can be so wasteful. But with my little business, I buy exactly what I need. We feel like we have a very little footprint.”

Having a small environmental footprint, as Balin mentions, is part of what GRA encourages businesses to do. From the food a restaurant serves, to the containers they serve it in, and just about everything in between, GRA takes all of it into consideration before issuing a rating. “This is not only an opportunity to lower your own environmental impact,” notes the GRA Website, “but once you have made internal improvements, it’s a way to communicate to your clients the level of seriousness,” with which a restaurant regards these issues. Having been on the scene for two decades, GRA is an established arbiter of environmentally conscious dining.

“We do what we can do,” says Balin. “We compost, we use post-consumer products for our packaging, we collect water in a rain barrel. I think that for people who pay attention, these efforts make a difference.” And with three-stars -- GRA’s second highest rating -- more people will be paying attention, as Sugar and Olives is currently the only restaurant in the state of Connecticut to score this high.

How important is a restaurant’s environmental policy to you when choosing a place to eat? Share your thoughts here, or email me at

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