Sustainability is a complicated concept, especially when it comes to food. Let’s face it: no one can consume one hundred percent sustainable cuisine all the time. Even if you raise your own livestock, grow your own fruits and veggies, and churn your own butter, at some point you’re likely to need a supplemental ingredient whose packaging has an impact on the planet. But luckily sustainability isn’t an all or nothing proposition. It operates on a sliding scale. The point of living and eating sustainably is to reduce your carbon footprint, not eliminate it altogether. Here are some of our simple tips for eating sustainably without completely changing your lifestyle: Eat Local Produce There are dozens of reasons to buy local foods. First, they usually have less of an environmental impact. Oftentimes the produce stocked in grocery stores has been flown or driven thousands of miles before it lands in your shopping cart. Produce from local farms, however, doesn’t put nearly the same strain on the Earth’s resources, simply because it has far fewer miles to travel. And because you’re getting your food much more quickly, it tastes fresher and infinitely more delicious. Seek Sustainability From The Sea Here in Florida, we are fortunate to be surrounded by water teeming with some of the freshest seafood in the world. However, it’s critical that you get your seafood from sustainable sources. If you’re shopping on your own, look for fish certified by the Marine Stewardship Council in order to protect overfished species. Or just dine here with us at the Waterfront Restaurant: we get our fish daily from small local vendors, so you can be ensured that it is fresh, local, and sustainably-harvested. Frequent Your Local Farmer’s Market The farmer’s market is a great place to find all of that lovely, luscious local produce we are so smitten with. But it is chock full of other wonderful surprises. On any given day you can find anything from farm-fresh eggs to locally-harvested honey to handcrafted pasta to homemade salsa made from locally-sourced ingredients. You can grab a week’s worth of groceries without driving all over town, and know exactly where everything you consume is coming from. Dine Out Responsibly Just like you shouldn’t have to grow a massive garden in order to eat more sustainably, you shouldn’t have to cook dinner for yourself every night. There are plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy a sustainable meal. Stay away from places that order massive quantities of frozen food, and instead look for places that buy daily from local vendors and make as many of their ingredients from scratch as possible. At The Waterfront Restaurant we’re proud of our strides toward sustainability: we prepare as many of our ingredients on-site as possible, from baking our own breads to making our own stocks. The result is fresh cuisine that it is as good for the planet as it is delicious.
Pine Avenue is known as “The Greenest Little Main Street in America” for very good reason. Places like the Anna Maria Island Historic Green Village have brought cutting edge green technology to residential and retail spaces while simultaneously preserving the charm and authenticity of some of the Island’s most treasured historical buildings, and projects like Pine Avenue’s Edible Community Gardens have demonstrated innovative ways to make landscaping eco-friendly and beneficial to the community. Image Source: Bradenton.com But there’s another even simpler reason why Pine Avenue is such a gem. It is a truly walkable community. It’s incredibly rare to find one street that flourishes with such an array of businesses, but you really can find just about everything you could possibly want or need along one stretch of road. Here are just a few of the businesses that are contributing to this flourishing eco-friendly destination: Image Source: Sauipesswimwear.blog.com Relish Marketplace is one of the area’s flagship businesses, and from day one, they have been proving that sustainability can be fun and fashionable. They offer an array of handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories and home goods made by local artisans, as well as a curated collection of quality vintage clothing and creatively upcycled fashion. The neighboring AMI Outfitters specializes in eco-friendly coastal gear and apparel, and is the only place on the Island that sells clothing exclusively for men. Meanwhile, just down the road, you can find hand-fabricated sterling silver jewelry incorporating natural stones at Tide & Moon Jewelry. Image Source: Sarasotaweddings.com While The Waterfront Restaurant is not technically located on Pine Avenue, we are very close neighbors. We have also been serving sustainable cuisine featuring organic produce and seafood caught by independent local fishermen for a decade. And many of the new businesses springing up along Pine are embracing a similar eco-friendly ethos. Among them? Poppo’s Taqueria which features tasty affordable Mexian food made wholly from organic and hormone-free products. Even their water bottles are biodegradable! Even the convenience stores are green: the Anna Maria General Store offers a wide assortment of organic snacks. Image Source: Tripadvisor.com All of this is just a small taste of what Pine Avenue has to offer all within walking distance. For a truly green weekend, book a stay at one of the Anna Maria Guest House Rentals, which are a shining example of how green construction can still feel chic and laid-back. We guarantee you’ll forget all about your car for a few days while you revel in this eclectic walkable community