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Jan 14, 2010 08:38 AM

Good Stuff Eatery environmental charge?

I've emailed Good Stuff but haven't heard back yet. I noticed a $0.12 "ENVIRO CHARGE" on my receipt. The only bag I got was a paper one that all burgers come in.

If they charge per bag, I'd expect to see a $0.05 charge.

Odd, no?

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  1. That charge has been showing up since the day they opened more or less and I've often wondered what it was for as well. If you hear back please let me know.

    1. AFAIK, the new DC "bag" tax applies to all stores that sell food and/or liquor. Even your bag at Macy's because they sell candy bars somewhere in their store. It's a TAX. You are powerless so get over it.

      The "enviro charge" is one that Good Stuff can get away with. For most places, it would be considered part of normal overhead. GS sticks it on as an extra. Most customers who notice it will probably say," Aw, how nice that they're environmentally conscious."
      For the others? Will they eat somewhere else over $0.12? Probably not, because that would make them feel cheap.

      1. Okay, I got my answer, thanks for the responses:

        "Our enviro charge goes back into the restaurant recycling program and we opened the restaurant with the charge.
        At the same time we also unveiled a campaign to "plant a tree" starting last summer to help with our carbon footprint. In addition, everything in the restaurant is environmentally friendly, as much as can be, and the charge goes to that upkeep.

        I'm including an email that appeared in the washington post as well below. We are very happy to refund you the charge if you are uncomfortable with it, please let me know.

        "My wife and I just noticed an 'enviro charge' on the receipt from our meal at Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill," e-mails Washington reader Eric Goldberg.

        "What is this for?" he asks. "We're used to seeing these kinds of charges for disposing of used motor oil and old car batteries. We hope Good Stuff isn't using toxic ingredients in its food!"

        Far from it. Good Stuff Eatery, which promotes recycling and whose kitchen staff uses "bio-smart" towels, prides itself on "trying to be as green as we can," says Catherine Mendelsohn, the restaurant's director of operations and mother of chef Spike Mendelsohn, formerly of TV's "Top Chef."

        The enviro charge is "around 1 percent" of the bill, she explains, and "if anyone disagrees with it, we'll remove the charge." (So far, she has had no takers.) Why not just add the cost to the price of a meal? "I like people to know what they're paying for," says Mendelsohn. -- Tom Sietsema

        5 Replies
        1. re: sleepypenguin

          What BS. More and more restaurants these days are recycling. It saves them money. Most participate in programs like "plant a tree" through non-profits like Casey Trees, or Trees for Capitol Hill, but they don't charge their customers for it. They do it because they feel a corporate responsibility to do so, or think it's just good PR.
          Some restaurants encourage their customers to be "green" by rewarding them, NOT by charging them. For example, the Argonaut gives you $1 off your meal if you bring in the packaging from your last carry-out order. Then they recycle it.
          Greenwashing is bad enough, but expecting your customers to pay for it??? Sheesh!
          If she wants "people to know what they're paying for," why don't they list Spike's salary?

          1. re: MakingSense

            or as David Sedaris put it (paraphrasing) they only do a 'green' or guilt charge on things that don't really cost them anything in the first place.

            1. re: hill food

              The new word is "localwashing."
              Like the groceries in the Washington DC area have always gotten much of their produce from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. (Plus a few other Mid-Atlantic states)
              Always. Natural growing area for this market.
              But now they tout their "locally grown" produce and everyone thinks it's just wonderful.
              So sustainable.
              Used to simply be where the farms are for this metropolitan area.

              1. re: MakingSense

                well exactly, where are those pennies going and why all these years wasn't I being rewarded?

          2. re: sleepypenguin

            As a general rule, if it sounds like BS and Spike Mendesohn is involved, it's probably BS.