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

A comparison of how many life science companies are on the Eastside and in other Washington cities. Photo illustration by Kailan Manandic
Life science hits its stride on the Eastside

Life science has strong roots in Washington, contributing economically and scientifically.

OfferUp founder Nick Huzar makes customer safety a core pillar

Bellevue-based CEO wanted a simpler solution to his own problems

Tech set to continue driving Seattle-area housing market in 2019

A look at what’s the real estate market in the coming year.

Kirkland’s Imagine Housing receives $75K grant from Premera

The grant was part of $3.3 million in community grants focusing on behavioral health.

Two new businesses coming to the Village at Totem Lake

Two new businesses have been announced for the Village at Totem Lake… Continue reading

Staff at the Factoria Green Theory retail location. From left: Ari Emadi, Charlie Naughton, Marina Bridenbaugh. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo
Kirkland-based Higher Leaf acquires Green Theory locations in Bellevue

Recreational cannabis retailer Higher Leaf has announced the acquisition of Green Theory in Bellevue.

Google, Facebook to pay more than $400,000 to Washington state in campaign finance cases

Both are in the top 10 largest campaign finance recoveries in Washington state history.

Kirkland transitioning business license processing to state

Businesses will be able to apply for or renew licenses online or by mail.

Managan joins midwifery care at EvergreenHealth

Managan couples her clinical background with personalized and compassionate care.

Investor Sharks returns to Kirkland

The second annual event allowed local startups to pitch to angel investors.

Kirkland boutique allows customers to shop with a Purpose

Purpose Boutique partners with empowerment brands to fight human trafficking

Chainline was able to successfully crowdfund a full deck to accompany their tap room. The community-oriented business is open to all ages and pet-friendly. Kailan Manandic/staff Photo
Chainline Brewing Co. is Best of Kirkland

The brewery opened its doors in 2015 and has since been embedded as a community gathering place.