Memphis’ Margot McNeeley is on a roll and is gaining national praise.
The leading face of the city’s green restaurant scene was recently featured in The Washington Times for her work with Project Green Fork. She founded the nonprofit program in 2008 to contribute to a sustainable Mid-South by helping reduce environmental impacts, with a focus on strengthening homegrown restaurants.
She explained the six criteria that PGF-Certified restaurants have to meet in order to qualify, but cautions, “The last thing I wanted to do was cause these small restaurants to go broke trying to go green.” About 40 restaurants have been certified to date.
The nonprofit has “diverted” more than 3 million pounds of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and aluminum, according to the report. And recycled more than 130,000 gallons of food waste.
The article also said McNeeley wants to:
- Work with the city of Memphis on adding additional recycling opportunities
- Possibly create a city-wide compost program
- Sign on more cities in the Memphis area
- Ultimately expand into other U.S. cities
“After numerous requests to help other cities with a similar start up program, this year we finalized a Restaurant Sustainability Toolkit so other communities could easily start their own program,” she said.
McNeeley’s plans to expand Project Green Fork are the latest in what’s been a banner 14 months or so for the organization.
In March, McNeeley was honored by nationally syndicated radio show eTown with its E-Chievement Award. And it was just last fall that Project Green Fork expanded its outreach into Mississippi to include two restaurants in the Hernando area: Lady Bugg Bakery and Buon Cibo.