LEIBOWITZ: “I think that climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. What really brought it home for us was the birth of our daughter in 2012. It really does get you thinking about the future in a different, more urgent way.”

That’s Karen Leibowitz, co-founder of The Perennial, a San Francisco restaurant opening this spring. She and her husband began planning the restaurant when their daughter was just one, and the design is rooted in their environmental values.

LEIBOWITZ: “Food is a major part of the environmental equation that we have mostly overlooked, and so we want to bring food back into that conversation.”

At The Perennial, one innovation will be a closed-loop system from farm to table and back again. Food scraps are fed to worms, which are then fed to fish in an aquaponic greenhouse — where vegetables are grown in water instead of soil. The fish swim among the roots, fertilizing the plants. The plants filter the water, and both fish and vegetables are later harvested for meals.

LEIBOWITZ: “When we first started, we were motivated by a sense of anxiety about climate change, and as we’ve gotten into it and researched it, we’ve come out very hopeful.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photos source: The Perennial website.

More Resources
San Francisco’s Climate Restaurant: Test Lab and Social Experiment Too
The Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals (Food and Agriculture Organization)

Sara Peach

Sara Peach is the Senior Editor of Yale Climate Connections. She is an environmental journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Environmental Health News, Grist, and...