Got to eat at first carbon neutral cafe in the U.S. recently. Appeared modern and clean, with no obvious signs of being a "green" environment besides the bamboo floors and recycle/compost bins.

Carbon Neutral

On Wednesday, I had breakfast with my friend at a restaurant, Noble Cafe, in Oakland. While we were eating she noticed a card on the table stating that it was the "First Carbon Neutral Cafe in America." What we asked does this mean and how did they make this happen? Well here's what the cafe did to earn the moniker:

• All of the furniture, including the counters are handmade from reclaimed Monterey Cypress and low-VOC paint was used on the walls.

• Bamboo flooring and bamboo pendant lights with Phillips bulbs that use 16 watts and illumination of 100 watts. All lights are LED or halogen and are motion-sensor regulated.

• Eliminated storage and beverage refrigerators. Use only Energy Star certified machines.

• Uses "perfect" energy saving ice machine.

• "Green" espresso machine. (Only one in the world to have this)

• Use ice packs and cold plates to display food and have "sneeze guards."

• Use only 100% compostable to-go cups, dishes and napkins. *Note: remember compsotable and recyclable are different as we learned from Dan Weisenbach.*

• Offers room service and gets orders via texts.

• Recycle what can and have a composting machine on site.

• Donate $7,000 to Oakland parks for carbon neutral status.

• Hosts nonprofit community programs.

To learn more, visit