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California restaurants’ climate change ‘surcharge’ could quickly raise $10M, group says

Prepare to pay a little more for your next meal in California — but only if you want to.

Some restaurants in the state have implemented an optional 1 percent surcharge onto customers’ bills this month as part of an ongoing effort to fight climate change.

The extra money will fund Restore California, a collective of restaurants, farmers and diners managed by nonprofit Zero Foodprint. The new group provides funding to food growers needed to create healthy soil and foster a renewable and efficient food system, according to its mission statement.

Restore California shifts “acres of farmland from extractive to renewable practices” in the same way utility companies improve the grid by funding renewable energy projects,” Karen Leibowitz, executive director of Zero Foodprint, said in a press release.

And the group thinks its program could quickly raise $10 million. Estimates suggest a 1 percent surcharge in California’s near-$100 billion restaurant industry could tally up the funds in year one.

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Copyright 2019 John B. Wells