Gold Star Requirements


Coastal Connection Two Stars

Gold Star

Achieve at least two of the following to get the gold:

  • Take away containers are not plastic (aluminum, fiber, bagasse, etc)
  • No plastic cutlery is provided or provided by request only
  • Provide environmental education for staff and/or customers.
  • Recycles or diverts at least one waste stream
  • Water fixtures are high efficiency (e.g. Watersense)
  • Implemented energy efficiency practices
  • Install energy efficient fixtures and appliances (e.g. EnergyStar)
  • Reduce light pollution from outdoor lighting.
  • All seafood is a Monterey Bay Seafood watch "best choice" or "good alternative."
  • Put strategies in place to reduce food waste.

Further explanation

Contact the Sustainability Manager at 561-393-7997 or for more information.

Provide environmental education to staff and/or customers.

Many of the practices on this list have as much to do with changing behavior as it does changing products used. Most people want to do the right thing including the most environmentally beneficial thing, but to do that they must understand what it is and why. Staff may more easily accept changes in their habits if they understand why those changes are important and similarly for customers. Creating an understanding of how the actions of your staff and customers contributed to the health and environmental quality of the coastal ecosystems is important. For staff, this education may come in the form of a formal training or it could be less formal but consistent reminders at the beginning of shifts. Posting reminders in key locations may also be a good tactic. For customers, posters, table tents, and even training staff to tell customers that the restaurant has joined Coastal Connection (and why) would spread the message.

Recycle Right Boca Raton

Recycle or divert one waste stream

Recycling reduces the demand to extract raw materials as well as reduced the energy, water, and carbon intensity of the materials. Restaurants produce waste which is recyclable, such as cans and bottles, but not all recycle on site. Recycling helps to protect coastal environments by reducing the amount of new plastics which could contribute to marine debris and reducing emission related to resource extraction. Work with one of the City's haulers to establish your collection and work with staff to develop appropriate collection within the business.


Institute water and energy conservation efforts.

Water and energy conservation efforts can come in many forms. Your restaurant may choose to install WaterSense fixtures in the restrooms and sinks, for example. Choosing low flow sprayers and Energy Star or Water Sense appliances can also reduce water and energy use. Switch light fixtures to LED. Other initiatives could include offering glasses of water only by request or reducing the size of your water glasses or maintaining doors closed while the A/C is running, utilizing daylight and switching off electric lights, or other innovative practices.


Reduce light pollution from outdoor lighting.


Artificial lights at night have many negative impacts on human health and wildlife. Exposure to light at night can interrupt sleep patterns and reduce health outcomes in people. Lights can confuse migratory wildlife and change mating behavior of insects. Improperly designed lighting, such as lighting with too much glare, decreases safety. Outdoor lights are particularly important in coastal communities because of their impacts on sea turtles. The City of Boca Raton has turtle lighting rules which apply to lights along the beach, but even with a developed dune system and lighting rules along A1A, hatchling sea turtles on Boca’s beaches still are confused by the sky glow originating from lights further inland in approximately 10%-15% of nests.


Visit the International Dark Sky Association ( to learn more about lighting which is night sky friendly. Lights outdoors should be fully shielded, meaning that they do not emit light above 45°. Lights intended for pedestrians should be at a pedestrian scale and security lights should be on motion sensors or timers. LED lights, which are recommended for energy saving, should be at a color temperature of 3000 Kelvin or lower. The City’s lighting ordinance requires that properties adjacent to residential areas prevent light from spilling over the property line and that the source of light not be visible from off the property.


The International Dark Skies Association outdoor lighting guides (


Digital: Provide documentation of the installed light fixtures and photographs.

Site visit: Show the program representative the fixtures and demonstrate any other policies or practices.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

All seafood is either "Best Choice" or a "Good Alternative" based on the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program.


Fishing and farming practices can have a heavy impact on the environment and the sustainability of the fish populations themselves. Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program looks at the impacts of the fishing industry and makes recommendations based on their scientific assessment of the health and sustainability of individual fish.


Using the Seafood Watch Florida Guide, serve only seafood which obtains a "Best Choice" or "Good Alternative" label.


Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. (

Put in place strategies to reduce food waste.


Americans waste on average 40% of the food we produce. Carbon emissions related to agriculture and waste management are both significant and reducing food waste is an impactful action against climate change. The warming climate is harmful to oceans; climate change is anticipated to lead to the loss of most of the world’s coral reefs and sea level rise threatens coastal communities.


There are many ways that this item could be implemented and the applicant will need to describe their actions and have them approved by the program managers. Some examples are listed below, but other actions could qualify if justified.

  • Adjust portion sizes to reduce food thrown away from customer plates.
  • Work with food distributors to use “ugly” produce which would have otherwise been thrown away.
  • Partner with local food banks and other organizations to recover food such as near peak produce.
  • Put in place a composing program to reclaim benefit from food waste.


The U.S. EPA's Sustainable Management of Food ( program.


Digital: Provide documentation of any food reclamation programs, composting, or other policies and practices.

Site visit: Show the program representative any on site implementation and explain policies or practices.