Bret Chatalas, co-owner of Cactus Restaurants, receives the EnviroStar certificate of recognition. Cactus’s six locations are all working toward following environmentally-friendly practices. Photo courtesy of Kirkland Conserves Facebook.

Bret Chatalas, co-owner of Cactus Restaurants, receives the EnviroStar certificate of recognition. Cactus’s six locations are all working toward following environmentally-friendly practices. Photo courtesy of Kirkland Conserves Facebook.

Kirkland businesses recognized in first year of Washington’s Green Business Program

Local businesses earn EnviroStars recognition by taking steps to green their facilities.

Washington’s green business program, EnviroStars, has helped more than 150 businesses improve their sustainability over the program’s first year, including 18 Kirkland businesses.

The recognized businesses in Kirkland are Allysis, Black Lion Heating and Air Conditioning, Cactus Restaurant, Choice Insurance, City of Kirkland – City Hall, Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, JEMCO Components and Fabrication Inc., Lake Washington Christian Church, Livengood Alskog PLLC, Maelstrom Brewing Company, Neil Levinson Enterprises, Orion Education, PACE Engineers Inc., SRM Development, The Watershed Company, Twelve Baskets Catering, U.S. Cleaners and Waste Management Regional Administrative Offices.

EnviroStars is a free program that connects businesses of all sizes and types with local environmental assistance, utility rebates and resources. Businesses earn EnviroStars recognition by taking steps to green their facilities, such as replacing inefficient lighting with LEDs, composting food scraps and switching to safer cleaning products.

In its downtown Kirkland location, Cactus Restaurants is now officially an EnviroStar business. The restaurant is following environmentally friendly practices like composting all food scraps, farming locally, using compost made from their own food scraps, choosing recycled-content paper and reducing their amount of printing and switching to compostable straws and to-go packaging. Additionally, Cactus is making its building more sustainable by replacing lighting with LEDs, installing low-flow aerators in faucets, changing out equipment regularly to reduce its carbon footprint and using sensor-activated lights.

“It’s our responsibility to the community that we practice green and sustainable approaches to how we run our business,” said Bret Chatalas, co-owner of Cactus Restaurants. “It’s important to us that we are good stewards of the neighborhood we’re in — operate in a way that’s good for the community. It’s something that we’ve always wanted to do.”

Chatalas said everyone has the power and responsibility to make a difference. And that is exactly what Cactus is doing in all six locations.

“EnviroStars helps businesses implement best practices that save energy and water, generate less waste and pollution and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kirkland Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, who represents the city on the King County Cities Climate Collaboration, in a press release. “EnviroStars practices are good for business and good for Washington’s environment.”

The nonprofit, all volunteer Eastside Community Aid (ECA) Thrift Shop also took the steps to green their facility and operational practices.

Jody Orbits, president of ECA, said they recycle everything possible. From clothes to electronics, they recycle everything they can.

“Everyone needs to be doing it. Be stewards of this planet,” Orbits said about recycling. “We just all need to be doing it. Try to recycle as much as you can. Keep things out of the landfills. Every day, just try.”

To learn more about EnviroStars or to find a green business, visit,

More in Business

Hawaiian chef’s poke chain opens up shop in Kirkland

Chain offers Kirkland marina-goers fresh fish in Hawaiian marinades.

Selection and steady sales characterize local market

Buyers can enjoy additional selection this summer as they look for the home of their choice.

Choi joins staff at Kirkland Family Dentistry

Kirkland Family Dentistry has added a new dentist to the staff, Dr.… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
                                Locals celebrate Kirkland’s newest pot shop, The Evergreen Market, which opened April 25.
Evergreen Market opens fourth shop in Kirkland

The ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 25.

Microsoft reveals project criteria for $500 million affordable housing funds

The company will soon accept applications for projects related to affordable housing on the Eastside.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce celebrates with owner Kimberly Johansen, the Empowered Pregnancy team, friends, and family on the grand opening of Empowered Pregnancy, PLLC on May 9.
Second out-of-hospital birth center comes to Kirkland

Community welcomed Empowered Pregnancy Birth Center and Women’s Wellness Clinic on May 9.

‘Busy’ housing market enters pre-summer phase

As the pre-summer market begins, standing out from the crowd is crucial for buyers.

The data visualized here was compiled from Apartment List’s monthly rent reports. See an interactive chart below. Kailan Manandic / data illustration
Eastside rental market could balance out with the region

Eastside rent medians increased by 2.8 in the past year, a decrease in growth from previous years.

Boeing probe reaches Kirkland local after deadly crashes

The criminal investigation into Boeing’s 737 MAX certification seeks information from a local expert.

Kirkland Urban, the nearly completed mixed-use development in downtown Kirkland, will host Shake Shack along with about a dozen other tenants. Kailan Manandic / staff photo
Shake Shack to open in Kirkland

The East Coast burger chain will open in Kirkland Urban, the nearly completed mixed-use development.

The Kirkland Urban development as seen from the top floor of one of the buildings during construction in 2016. The first building in the development opened later that year in October. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
123,000-plus square feet of retail tenants committed to Kirkland Urban

The 12-acre development is off to a successful start.

The current Board of Directors for the Greater Kirkland chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of the the Greater Kirkland chamber of Commerce
Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce celebrates centennial

The 100-year celebration will take place during the chamber’s annual gala.