Grill goes green at The Canyons
December 24, 2007
A restaurateur at The Canyons hopes to start a revolution.
"It’s a start," said Chris Wiltfang, general manager of Smokie’s Bar and Grill at the resort. "With more and more products hitting the market, it’s easy to become green."
Switching from plastic cups to clear cups made completely from corn "was the biggest change" toward making his business friendlier to the environment, Wiltfang explained.
"At The Canyons, we own the total experience," he said. "So, we have to own the rest of the experience too what comes afterwards. What happens after our guests leave?"
The new cups are 100 percent biocompostable, he claimed.
While managing a restaurant at Lake Powell, Wiltfang bought cups directly from corn farmers.
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"Now that’s sort of changed because everybody is into it," he said.
The restaurant industry must take responsibility for its immense amount of trash, Wiltfang said, adding that his establishment went through about 15,000 plastic cups in 5 months last ski season.
"It’s gut-wrenching The impact to the environment is staggering, really, when you think about it," he said. "As a whole, we need to take a look at the direction were going in. It hasn’t always been cool to recycle. Now, it’s the new thing."
But cups made from corn cost an additional six cents each, Wiltfang lamented, adding that he needed to sell management on the change.
"Once you do this, though, think about Smokie’s alone," he said. "We’ve got possibly the best mountain in the country, so, we’ve got to take care of it."
This year, Smokie’s also switched from Styrofoam too to-go containers made from renewable sugar cane and grass.
"You can put it in the trash and it’s guilt-free," Wiltfang said. "I don’t know how 15,000 plastic cups not going into the landfill, can’t make a difference?"