Uncommon Ground Competes With Self for Greenest Honors

By Patty Wetli | Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Uncommon Ground ranked first and second greenest restaurants in U.S. Credit: Flickr/arnoldinuyaki

When it comes to green restaurants, Uncommon Ground is in a class by itself, with itself.

The Green Restaurant Association recently announced its list of greenest restaurants, with Uncommon Ground Lakeview, 3800 N. Clark St., ranked second in the U.S.

Who’s #1? Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon Ave.

Owners Michael and Helen Cameron boast two of only five restaurants in the entire country to earn coveted four-star ratings from GRA (and the only two in Chicago). Uncommon Ground Lakeview, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this past summer, scored with its insulated boilers and pipes, Energy Star reach-in refrigerator, and commitment to vegan, organic and vegetarian purchases, for a total of 339.9 points

Uncommon Ground Devon tallied a whopping 365.15 points, drawing kudos for its LED lighting, rainwater collection and reuse, furniture made from reclaimed wood, and solar panels that not only heat the restaurant’s water but provide a free source of renewable energy. An organic rooftop garden, the first in the country to be certified as such, truly separates this location from its peers. Where “local food,” one factor in determining green-ness, is often defined as within 300 or 100 miles, Uncommon Ground can measure its food source in feet.

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