EARTH DAY MEANINGFUL IN DOWNTOWN WEST PALM BEACH

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (April 18, 2019) ­– April 22 is Earth Day, designed to keep environmental awareness and regulations top-of-mind. Accordingly, the war on plastic straws is escalating in Downtown West Palm Beach as more of the businesses go greener.  According to the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, a handful of companies and organizations are taking the lead in the local effort to create awareness and ultimately to take actions that help protect the environment, from turning off lights during the day to banning unnecessary plastics.

Leila, a popular Syrian-Lebanese restaurant located at 120 S. Dixie Hwy., is a family-run business making a real effort to change its daily impact on the environment. It’s decision to use more recyclable materials prompted the switch from plastic straws to paper. It’s also transferred 50 percent of its foam-container use to foil wraps, and the majority of its to-go bags are now paper as well.  A like-minded restaurant colleague, Pistache French Bistro located at 101 N. Clematis St., is also joining the fight and now use paper straws, recyclable to-go containers, and paper bags.

Another dimension of environmental responsibility has been adopted by the Prado Salon & Spa. Located at 600 S. Dixie Hwy., this forward- thinking beauty destination uses only eco-friendly hair and cleaning products, plus carries a botanical-based skincare line. The Prado Salon & Spa has also recently implemented a new recycling program and features energy-saving electrical outlets.  The salon plans to add a vegan café soon, spreading its “green initiatives” on a broader scale.

                The West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) also takes steps to ensure their cleaning and maintenance activities do little or no harm to the environment. In 2012, they launched a partnership with Green Earth Power Washing and Recovery, so that the regular power-washing of sidewalks occurs with very few or completely non-toxic chemicals and re-used water. One of the strategies is to clean with only hot water (200+ degrees), so no chemicals are released into the soil. Green Earth Power Washing and Recovery cleans over 1,000,000 square feet of sidewalks annually, and the DDA has never had reports of any loss of plants or ill effects from cleaning.

Another Downtown sustainability star is the office of Visit Palm Beach, located at 100 N. Clematis St. A destination for visitor information and recreational activities, it stepped up to the WPB Green Business Challenge last year and made a number of changes to the way it operates. According to manager Kami Kreaps, it has reduced its paper usage by 25 percent in the last year, and its electricity use for lights throughout the work day. The center’s staff makes sure to power down all computers at night in a further effort to conserve energy, as well as incorporating green cleaning products into their daily routines.

 On the waterfront, Visit Palm Beach only employs recreational activity vendors who are also making an effort to become more sustainable. It’s asking its partners to avoid any Styrofoam containers or plastic straws, and insists on no smoking and no littering during any recreational activity.  Boat tours are also being used to provide kids with more information about sustainability. Every activity requires participants to pay a $3 water conservation fee that goes towards water cleanups orchestrated by the staff at Visit Palm Beach.

For more information about the Downtown West Palm Beach District, visit downtownwpb.com.

About the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority

The DDA is an independent taxing district with a mission to promote and enhance a safe, vibrant Downtown for residents, businesses and visitors through the strategic development of economic, social and cultural opportunities. For more information about Downtown West Palm Beach and its incentive programs, contact the DDA at (561) 833-8873 or visit downtownwpb.com.