Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House has a commitment to being ecologically friendly that far exceeds most restaurants’ efforts to “go green.” It starts with the building and equipment. We use only low-wattage, energy conserving compact fluorescent bulbs throughout the kitchen. A removable sink trap greatly reduces the amount of waste in the local water system and eliminates the need for garbage disposals. A preventative maintenance program ensures that all our kitchen equipment runs as efficiently as possible.
We pay attention to the products we use as well. Supplies for cleaning and dishwashing are natural and biodegradable, and do not harm the environment. We do not use any sort of Styrofoam packaging, containers, or cups: All of our carry-out containers are made from recycled plastic and have a special additive that accelerates the degradation process. It breaks down rapidly, producing water, which in turn produces plant life. They are printed with water-based inks, are fully recyclable and completely made in the U.S.A. There is a QR (quick response) code on the bag for Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House: Just scan it with your smart phone and go right to our website. (To learn more, go to www.epi-global.com.)
We recycle boxes, cans, plastic jugs, and paper, cutting our garbage production by half. All fryer and hood grease is recycled into biodiesel, which is used to run the buses for the Deer Valley School District. Because buying products locally boosts our area’s economy and reduces our “carbon footprint,” we buy as many products as possible locally and make sure our vendors know we prefer local produce and dairy products.
Our efforts extend to what is served in our dining room, because we are concerned about our customers’ health and well-being as well as the environment. We have not used trans fat oils for over four years. All our beef and pork can be traced back to the birth of the animal. All our meat in house is all-natural, which is free of steroids, antibiotic and growth hormones. All seafood is sustainable, and we support Native Seed/SEARCH and often use their Arizona legumes, helping to preserve native cultures and foods. We also use Tohono O’odham Community Action, or TOCA .
Studies have shown that most fair trade coffee money does not go back to the farmers. However, for or regular (not decaffeinated) coffee, we use organic beans from The Roastery of Cave Creek, and they source from an importer in Seattle who helps farmers directly and helps communities build schools. In addition, we support many local charities each year.