When you walk into Donovan's Reef restaurant it looks just like any other restaurant.
It's not until you take a closer look that you realize how green it is.
Greg Bozzi has owned Donovan's for nearly two decades, but now they're looking forward to the 21st century, making the restaurant as eco-friendly as possible.
"You're making that decision for the customer. Sometimes it's hard to do at home like the composting or the recycling, " said Bozzi. His restaurant goes green in ways the typical patron may not be able to at home, reducing everyone's carbon footprint.
Donovan's has compact fluorescent lights, timers in the bathrooms, along with recyclable take-out containers and utensils. Some of the food items also have been selected to reduce the impact on the environment. For example, grass fed beef from a local farm in East Lyme or locally grown vegetables while in season. Buying locally reduces the amount of food that needs to be shipped and therefore the amount of oil or gasoline burned.
While at the bar, don't be surprised to see the bartender using non-toxic chemicals to clean up a spilled drink.
In the bathroom the faucets are low flow to save on water.
What really sets the restaurant apart is the composting. Food scraps are gathered a few times a week by a recycling company and then the scraps are distributed to a local farmer to be used as compost.
The Green Restaurant Association audited Bozzi's restaurant and gave him 11 steps needed to become designated as "green."
After completing the steps the restaurant was designated as "green" in December of 2008. Bozzi said, "to realize all that hard work going for something it's pretty nice to be the first one. Hopefully not the last."