Through Chef Daniel Bortnick's leadership, Firefly is proud to be one of the most committed restaurants in town to the sustainable food movement. Through our partnership with Hotel Madera, we are Green Seal® certified at the Silver level. Many of the food options on our menus are organic, local and seasonal. An all-American wine list supports domestic winemakers and reduces shipping costs and distances traveled. Our team vigilantly composts and recycles everything from paper to plastic, glass to aluminum, and even wine corks.
While we embrace all the principles of Kimpton's EarthCare program, we like going the extra mile, and have implemented some of our very own practices. Here are some highlights of just how green we are at Firefly:
- Local and Sustainable Ingredients. We support our local farmers and source organic produce as much as possible. Our purveyors include: Endless Summer Harvest ~ New Morning Farm ~ La Pasta ~ Prime Seafood (wild Alaskan fish) ~ Gretna Farms Virginia Beef ~ Pipe Dreams Dairy ~ Eco Farm ~ Eberly Organic Poultry ~ Eco Friendly Foods ~ Kreider Dairy ~ Cherry Glen Goat Farm ~ Cowgirl Creamery ~ Baxter's Crabs ~ Tuscarora Organic Growers Coop ~ Northern Neck Farm.
- Organic Herb Garden. While not as extensive as some kitchen gardens, Firefly maintains an organic herb garden, which is used to season and garnish dishes daily.
- Organic and Local Beverages. All coffee is organic, shade grown and/or fair trade. Firefly offers 15 organic and/or biodynamic wines, an all-American wine and beer list, freshly squeezed organic orange and grapefruit juices, and several organic liquors. Our bar staff infuses many spirits with fresh seasonal ingredients, vs. purchasing commercially flavored products.
- No Bottled Water. At Firefly we eliminated all bottled water and installed Natura®, an on-site water purification system allowing us to serve both carbonated and non-carbonated purified water. We serve water in reusable and elegant Natura® branded bottles.
- Composting. We compost everything we can: fruit pulp from cocktails, leftover meals, egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels. In fact, we compost up to 3,500 pounds of waste a month. In 2010, we composted almost 42,000 pounds of scrap.
- Fryer Oil Recycling. Through our business relationship with DC Biofuels, LLC all cooking oil is recycled and locally converted into renewable biodiesel fuel that is blended and used in public and private vehicle fleets, and a grease trap intercepts greases and solids before they enter the sanitary system.
- Paper, Plastic, Glass and Aluminum Recycling. Our back-of-the-house recycling program is strictly enforced. Glass, aluminum, paper, plastic and cardboard are recycled. And we reuse before we recycle, especially our old menus, which are used for fry cones, doilies and plate liners.
- Cork Recycling. Firefly is an official cork recycling drop-off site for ReCork by Amorim. Anyone can drop off old wine corks in the recycled wine barrel located in our entry vestibule. Instead of filling our landfills, corks will be recycled into shoes, flooring tiles, building insulation or automotive gaskets.
- Recycled Paper Products and Soy Inks. All menus, daily specials, check presenters and other materials are printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Cocktail napkins, to-go bags and paper cups are made of unbleached and recycled paper. In the bathrooms and kitchens, recycled paper hand towels are dispensed from automatic roll dispensers.
- Biodegradable Products. Disposable utensils, straws, and packaging have been replaced with 100% biodegradable corn-based materials, and to-go containers are made of sugarcane. Sandwich and beverage picks are made of bamboo. As a policy, Firefly does not use any coasters at the bar or in the restaurant. Instead, bar napkins are used, and later composted.
- Recycled Furniture and Accessories. Handmade pottery from Eco Farm, one of our purveyors, is part of our dinnerware collection. Our tabletops are made of reclaimed wood, and our water glasses are made from recycled wine bottles. As a rule, tablecloths are no longer used, so as to reduce water waste from washing.
- Cleaning Supplies. Our restaurant is cleaned with environmentally friendly and toxic-free cleaning products. The floors are also cleaned with eco mops, made from recycled material.
- Energy Conservation. All lighting is retrofitted and audited to ensure that fluorescent or CFL bulbs are used. Low temperature dish washers and sink/faucet aerators are in place to conserve energy.