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Get the “Green” Scoop: Northside Social Coffee & Wine

Green Games staff recently interviewed with Northside Social’s General Manager Erin Hutchens for some insights about the coffee and wine shop’s sustainability practices.  Northside Social was an early participant in the Arlington Green Games program and  is looking to expand upon the commitments and efforts already underway to reduce their environmental impact.

  • What initiatives is Northside Social taking to make the restaurant more sustainable through energy and water conservation?

Locally-grown and locally-sourced food is big part of Northside’s identity.  The menu changes seasonally to reflect foods of the local farms.  Northside is also exploring ways to better seal the several entrances to the restaurant for more energy-efficient heating and cooling.  The building is a historical property so they are limited in what they can do, but they are committed to trying.  Northside is also working with Car-Free Diet to incorporate transit information on their website and will soon be featured on an ad with the campaign.

  • How is Northside Social engaging customers and staff in actions being taken to save energy and be greener?

Sustainability is part of the culture here ~ the menu speaks to that.  Customers can take coffee grounds to use in their own compost bins and customers can also purchase dairy products from the same local farm Northside gets its dairy ~ right inside the restaurant!  Northside is also part of a three-part conglomerate with Lyon Hall and Liberty Tavern.  Northside provides all the pastry for the three; Lyon Hall provides all the bread for the three; and Liberty Tavern cures and smokes meats for all three.

  • Did you know that consumers are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on the sustainability of businesses? How is Northside Social marketing its achievements to attract customers?

 Social media, Facebook and Twitter, and used heavily to promote the events, happenings, and specials at Northside.

  • What efforts is Northside Social making to “think globally, act locally”?

The menu! We are proud to partner with CounterCulture Coffee as our coffee roaster and supplier.  Counter Culture Coffee is a different kind of coffee company. Dedicated to finding and bringing to market the most exciting, authentic, and delicious coffees in the world, they approach their work with a passion for the ideal of coffee perfection, a dedication to real sustainability, and a commitment to cutting-edge education throughout the coffee chain.

We are equally excited to source our milk from Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA.  Trickling Springs Creamery opened in 2001 to provide fresh, wholesome dairy products to consumers.  They accomplish this today by using milk from local, family farms that take the best care of their animals and land.

Finally, we work closely with our friends at Rishi Tea to offer award-winning Organic amd Fair Trade Certified loose leaf teas, fresh each season and direct from tea gardens around the world.

  • How does Northside Social consider the environment when making purchasing decisions or selling products?

Greenware is used for cups and containers.  Other products used must be at least 10% recycled content.  Aware of ENERGY STAR and will look for energy-efficient products when replacements are needed.

  •  What’s next for Northside Social’s sustainability efforts?

 Great interest in expanding composting efforts! 

More interviews to come…come back and read on!   Visit to learn more about how you might be able to play!

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