How to Combat Climate Change One Restaurant at a Time

By Noah Kaufman |

© Julie Ann Fineman

How sustainable can a restaurant be? Mission Chinese alums Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz want to find out by turning their forthcoming San Francisco restaurant into a “laboratory of environmentalism in the food world.” Called The Perennial, the new spot will have a 2000-square-foot aquaponic greenhouse that will generate virtually zero waste. Aquaponics, which uses live fish to nourish the water that plants live in, is not a brand new concept, but this souped up version will feature closed-loop permaculture. Basically, that means any unused food will be composted and fed back into the greenhouse. 

The pair is also partnering with groups like the Carbon Cycle Institute, which trains purveyors and meat producers in "carbon farming" to trap carbon in the soil rather than release it into the air as CO2.

Myint and Leibowitz hope that their project will prove that high-pressure, high-turnover restaurants can follow environmentally conscious practices. The Perennial is slated to open early next year and a successful Kickstarter to fund the greenhouse runs through the end of the week. They have received full funding of over $25,000, but if you want to show your support for their project (and pick up dinner at the restaurant as a reward) you can do it here.

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