Pono Burger in Santa Monica has been certified as a Green Business by the Santa Monica Green Business Certification Program (SMGBC), making it one of only 13 restaurants currently certified.
Chef Makani of Pono Burger has always been a proponent of community, sourcing all of her ingredients locally and working directly with farmers. “What we take into our bodies becomes part of us. That’s why we source our ingredients from small, California family farms and ranches that care deeply about the quality of their products and the global impacts of their methods. First you taste the difference, then you feel the difference,” she says.
Another of Chef Makani’s goals was to “shift the consciousness” in her community, starting with her staff, to one of mindfulness of the environment. Starting with small practices, such as being mindful of the space around the restaurant, cleaning up garbage and planting drought-resistant succulents and native plants, Pono Burger recognized the ripple effect in their greater community.
The restaurant then implemented larger company-wide practices, training the staff on what could and could not be recycled in the kitchen, using recycled paper for office materials, menus and paper goods in the restaurant, and recycling all paper goods from service materials to receipts.
In order to cut down on the use of chemicals in cleaning, Pono Burger makes its own organic cleaning solutions that are used in the kitchen and dining room. Waterless urinals and low-water-flow faucets have been installed in response to California’s ever present drought.
Patrons of Pono Burger are also encouraged to bring their own bags or opt out of a bag, with a bag discount program.
The SMGBC is now in it’s 10th year and has completed 140 certifications since its program launched in 2005. A joint collaboration between the City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, Chamber of Commerce, Arts Earth Partnership, and Sustainable Works, the program hopes the recognition of green business will encourage more businesses to follow suit.
Santa Monica’s Green Business Certification is good for three years, at which time a company can re-certify by completing the program process and paying the small fee. For more information on the Green Business Certification Program and a full list of certified businesses visit www.smgbc.org
Pono Burger is a casual spot with a passion for delivering on the Hawaiian concept of pono or “doing things the right way.” Pono Burger serves from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Located at 829 Broadway in downtown Santa Monica, complimentary parking is available in the garage under the restaurant. For more information, call 310.584.7005 or visit www.ponoburger.com.