Why dining at this Manchester restaurant is good for the environment

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Many diners are becoming increasingly socially conscious nowadays and are choosing restaurants not just for their food but for their sustainable practices or ethical stance, too.

If this sounds like you, why not head down to Zouk Tea Bar & Grill.

The award-winning restaurant off Oxford Road, which serves up to 2,500 covers a week, wants to help discerning diners feel good about their meals by giving them the option to make a small donation for a good cause.

Tree planting in Uganda with Carbon Free Dining

They have joined the Carbon Free Dining movement which enables restaurants to offset the carbon created in the production of their meals by planting fruit trees in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

The initiative is helping to end the cycle of aid reliance in some of the developing world’s poorest communities by charging an optional 99p donation on top of the price of their meal. This has huge benefits for the environment and impoverished communities, who gain a valuable source of income as well as invaluable skills for the future.

The initiative, which is managed by United Nations environment partner Green Earth Appeal, is supported by top chefs like Marco Pierre White and James Martin, and has already helped to offset the carbon footprint of over 600,000 meals.

Marketing director Helen McCarthy says Zouk decided to get involved in the initiative when owner Tayub Amjad read about it online.

“He cares about the environment and is always looking to ensure the restaurants are ethically-run and sustainable. He felt that Carbon Free Dining was a simple, effective way to do that.

“It means our diners have the option to feel good about their meals by making this small donation. Many of our clients are millennials, who are discerning customers. They love to be given a wonderful experience but also want to feel they are doing good, and they choose brands who help them to do that.

“The donations help make our restaurants sustainable and give dignity and a future to farmers in the developing world. The response from our customers has been very positive and their generosity has meant that nearly 7,000 trees will be planted in the first eight weeks of Zouk joining the scheme”

Alongside planting trees to offset emissions, communities involved with the Carbon Free Dining scheme are provided with education in agroforestry and land management, tools and infrastructure, in a bid to end extreme poverty and encourage self-sufficiency.

The project aims to take entire communities who are currently reliant on aid to survive and provide them with sustainable and self-sufficient farming co-operatives to give them new independence over the next three to five years.

“Zouk is a fantastic restaurant and I am so pleased to be able to call the company a Carbon Free Dining-certified partner”, says Marvin Baker, CEO of Green Earth Appeal.

“This is a huge win for their sustainability credentials and the environment, a huge win for their diners and a huge win for the communities the trees will empower.”

5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5QS

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