Elote is a Mexican restaurant, located in downtown Tulsa. Elote is working to not only bring great food to Tulsa, but also to do it in a green way. They do this by using local, organically grain-fed and raised meat, they compost, recycle their fryer oil for bio-diesel, use 100% recycled paper, and support local farms.We got the chance to talk to Elote owner Libby Auld about her business and being green in Oklahoma, here is what she had to say.
GO: What made you decide to start Elote?
LA: I decided to open Elote because the restaurant industry is all I know. I have been working in restaurants since I was 16. I knew I wanted to be downtown because I knew I could make the biggest impact in the growth and revitalization here.
GO: Why is it important to you that your business is eco-friendly?
LA: It is important to me that Elote is an eco friendly business because I want to see future generations enjoy nature the same way I did growing up here. I have worked in lots of restaurants and seen how wasteful the food service industry is. Little things like composting, recycling and using biodegradable to go products can have a huge impact with the volume of people we serve.
GO: What’s the best advice about going green you have ever gotten?
LA: The best advice I have received about going green is that it being eco friendly is not all or nothing. Every bit makes a difference and when you make a small change in a business you have a big impact on your consumers, your employees and the earth.
GO: What’s your favorite item on the menu?
LA: The Veggie Burrito is my favorite item on the Elote menu, it’s my comfort food. I am a life long vegetarian (this is what happens when you are raised by hippies) and I am often disappointed with vegetarian options here in Tulsa. I love that our Veggie Burrito is a filling meal that even a meat eater could eat and feel satisfied. Plus going vegetarian, even if it’s just 1 day a week, makes a huge impact on our environment. I think practicing “Meatless Mondays” is a great idea.
GO: Why do you feel it’s important to support locally owned restaurants?
LA: It is important to support locally owned restaurants because the money you spend there is staying in our economy and the tax dollars are staying in our city. Also, It is easier to make an impact with a local business owner then to try to track down there corporate office in another part of the country or world.
GO: What is your favorite thing to do in Oklahoma?
LA: My favorite thing to do is Geocaching with my family. It is basically a outdoor treasure hunt that you can do all over the world. It helps keep my kids spirits up during long road trips and anytime we have an hour to kill we just locate one on my iPhone and start looking.
GO: Other than your own business what is your favorite eco-friendly business in Oklahoma?
LA: Natural Farms Grocery store and Co Op. They make natural shopping easy. I get 1 or 2 co op bags every week.
Hope you enjoyed getting to learn more about Elote and the face behind the business. Be sure to let us know about other local green businesses you would like to see featured. Just post in the comments below, on our Facebook page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All photos are property of Elote.