Local restaurants respond to drought

SAN MARCOS — In kitchens all along Restaurant Row and beyond, it isn’t uncommon for chefs to use dashes, ounces, teaspoons, or liters during the preparation of signature dishes. But in this unique time of drought, there now is a more important unit of measure the Vallecitos Water District is happy to see eateries become more familiar with — the biodegradable cup.
Coinciding with the recent declaration of Drought Level 2 by the Vallecitos Water District board of directors, the district’s Conservation Department tried a unique approach in increasing conservation at restaurants by distributing free, biodegradable cups.
The overall goal: go beyond initial water savings in the dining room generated by serving water only upon request to decreasing use in the kitchen by eliminating water needed to clean glasses. It has been determined that it takes a half-gallon of water to clean a single glass.
Approximately 25,000 cups that featured a message about water conservation and their overall beneficial use to the environment were distributed to more than 20 San Marcos-area restaurants with favorable results.
In keeping with the environmental theme, Vallecitos distributed cups that are constructed of PLA biopolymer, a resin derived from cornstarch. These cups do not need to be washed after use. Instead, they can be thrown away, where they will biodegrade in 50 days instead of lingering in a landfill for 1,000 years, as studies show happen to their plastic cup or bottle counterparts that can’t be recycled.


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