When we saw that our partner LEAF had come out with its list of Canada’s Greenest Restaurants, we thought, “What a great opportunity to share some wisdom!”

Each of the restaurants has worked with LEAF to attain a level of green certification, making a commitment to environmentally-friendly food and practices. They’re on the cutting edge of sustainable restaurants—so they know their stuff.

We wrote to some of the restaurants on the list, asking for their top tips for going green.

Chantal Zimmer, who runs the Purple Pastry Chef catering and food truck in Calgary, wrote that, although she didn’t have a bricks-and-mortar restaurant, there were still things she did to stay green. “My tip for food trucks—or any other vehicle, for that matter—is to switch to propane. Our truck totally runs on propane—it’s much cleaner, greener, and cheaper.”

She added that it’s the little things that can make a big difference. “An important step in the greening process are all the small, simple things that can be done, like recharging batteries, composting, and recycling. So many things are easy to do, don’t cost money, and make a big difference.”

Nicole Fewell of Cheezy Bizness Grilled Cheese, another Calgary food truck, gave us a call to chat green tips, and emphasized the importance of local, local, local. Fewell reduces her carbon footprint by buying locally sourced meats, cheese, and baked goods through local suppliers. Even her truck, which is set to get rolling later this month, is local—it was built in Calgary, rather than being shipped from Vancouver.

Laura Bonin, the daytime manager at Toronto’s Gilead Cafe and Bistro (whose delectable yogourt/granola/hazelnut breakfast is picture above) echoes Fewell’s commitment to local food. Indeed, as one of Toronto celeb chef Jamie Kennedy’s restaurants, Gilead serves seasonal, local food as a matter of course. “Buying local decreases your carbon footprint,” says Bonin. “It makes your company greener in a BIG way.”

She also points out the significant role that packaging plays. “It’s very important to use containers that can be recycled or are biodegradable,” she says. “Check out Green Shift, a great Toronto-based company, for this.”

There are still several restaurants who are due to weigh in with their green tips—so look for a follow-up post shortly.

What about you? What are your tips for going green?

Image credit: Linda N.