Many individuals, schools, county employees and businesses are working to "green" Wheaton. One of my objectives in these blog posts is to tell Wheaton residents about Wheaton businesses that are working to make our community and nation more sustainable. I think we can learn from one another about simple ways to reduce our environmental impacts.
While many Wheaton residents are familiar with the great Hong Kong style cuisine at Hollywood East Café at the Westfield Wheaton Mall, how many of you know what the owner of the café is doing to help make our community greener and more people-friendly?
According to its website, Hollywood East Café teamed up with Wheaton’s All Eco Center during the early stages of its interior renovations, resulting in one of the most environmentally friendly upgrades in Wheaton. By considering green features in the early stages of the renovation, the owner of Hollywood East Café, Janet Yu, was able fully utilize the sustainable design expertise offered by the All Eco Center.
The design included eco friendly carpeting, water saving fixtures in restrooms, recycled ceramic tiles, and energy saving kitchen equipment (Energy Star rated) and lighting systems. The energy saving kitchen equipment and the new LED lights substantially reduced the café’s electrical use. Because Ms. Yu did her homework and took advantage of incentive programs, the energy efficient equipment and lights are saving the café money. The electricity the café does require comes from renewable energy sources through a Clean Currents Contract.
Lately, Hollywood East Café staff has been focusing on increasing their use of local sustainable food sources when feasible. Recently for example, the café started purchasing all-natural, cage-free chicken. Sometimes, of course, this is not an option when serving Hong Kong cuisine! In addition, Ms. Yu uses environmentally friendly cleaning products.
In addition to reducing the café’s environmental impacts, Ms. Yu is very active in the community and seeks to “give back” by contributing her time to the growth and well being of Wheaton and the larger community. Ms. Yu is an active member in several organizations, including the D.C. Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI). This organization is an international organization of women leaders who create a supportive culture in their communities to achieve excellence in the food, beverage and hospitality professions. Though LDEI, Ms. Yu works with D.C. Central Kitchen to mentor young at risk women.
At our last visit to Hollywood East Café, my family enjoyed the reasonably priced food and I would encourage you to check it out the next time you are shopping at Westfield Wheaton Mall. I especially enjoy patronizing a small business that is so actively involved in creating a better Wheaton. The Hollywood East Café is conveniently located a few minutes’ walk from the Wheaton metro station.
Are you interested in learning firsthand what Ms. Yu has done to Hollywood East Café? Come to our April 17 (Wednesday) Small Business Energy Efficiency Workshop at Montgomery Blair High School. The workshop is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Ms. Yu, Susan Marinelli, the Pepco EnergyWise Rewards Program manager and several others will be at the workshop to show how you to save energy and money and improve performance. Visit the event website to learn more about the workshop and to register. http://smallbizsaveenergy417.eventbrite.com/#
Are you doing anything to green your lifestyle at home or in your Wheaton business? Let me know, and I will try to feature what you are doing.
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