New Brunswick eatery goes green with water supply

Two owners of a restaurant who had a carbon footprint that stretched as far away as Europe are changing the way they do business.

Does it matter if spring water comes from the Italian Alps or West Orange? Francis Schott, a co-owner of Stage Left - prides himself on using local produce and says northern New Jersey water is just fine.

?Instead of getting hundreds and hundreds of bottles shipped to me from Italy, I have the five-gallon jug sent to me from a lovely spring locally and carbonate it myself," Schott says.

A machine called the Penguin turns spring or tap water into a pressurized fizz that sparkles when it hits the glass. The cost of the machine, bottles and special caps is expensive. The wait staff is responsible for cleaning the bottles and refilling them for the next day.

?It's a little more work, but it's much better and all these bottles don't go to a landfill and that makes us all feel good at night,? Schott says.

In one month, the restaurant normally would go through about 500 bottles of sparkling water alone. Now they're hoping their water needs result in no trips to the landfill, except for the occasional broken bottle.

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