Our Love for the Ocean Doesn't Stop When We Leave the Beach...
Plastic pollution is suffocating our ocean and the many animals that call it home. Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean with the number continuing to grow every day. This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems, wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish, and turtles, and plastic fragments are even displacing plankton at the base of the food chain. So what’s the best way to combat this global epidemic facing our ocean? It’s simple: we need to stop the problem at its source! The Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program does just that. One restaurant, one customer at a time, increases awareness, drives change in behavior and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce our plastic (and water!) footprint.
Dine at an Ocean Friendly Restaurant in San Diego County
What Makes a Restaurant "Ocean Friendly?"
The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program offers restaurants an easy way to show their commitment to making sustainable choices for our ocean. Interested in becoming a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant Member?
Restaurants participating must follow the first five criteria:
- No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).
- Proper recycling practices are followed.
- Only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining, and disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request.
- No plastic bags offered for takeout or to-go orders.
- Straws are provided only upon request.
And choose a minimum of two of these criteria:
- No beverages sold in plastic bottles.
- Discount is offered for customers with reusable cup, mug, bag, etc.
- Vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis
- All seafood must be a ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch or certified as sustainable.
- Water conservation efforts, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, are implemented.
- Energy efficiency efforts such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, are in place.
Restaurants who meet all of the criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant.
Interested in becoming a Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant Member?
How Can You Help?
- Show your support by frequenting our registered Ocean Friendly Restaurants and letting them know you found them on the OFR webpage.
- Ask for water and other drinks in a reusable glass instead of plastic.
- Bring your own reusable mug for coffee, and remember to ask for a reusable mug when ordering “for here.”
- Bring a reusable bottle to avoid purchasing plastic bottles of water.
- If you think you may have leftovers, bring your own reusable container from home instead of getting a disposable one from the restaurant.
- Always bring your own bag when picking up takeout.
- Say “no straw” whenever you order a drink (even takeout & drive-thru), and take the No Straw Pledge.
- Register your favorite restaurant – anyone can become part of the OFR team and register restaurants in their community. Join us at a committee meeting to find out exactly how the process works!
Vicki Conlon, OFR Lead I learned about the Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant program 4 years ago at a Surfrider/5Gyres screening about microplastics in our oceans.