The Green Restaurant Association has named the Extra Thyme Cafe, an eatery inside Graybar's Centerpoint facility in Maryland Heights, Mo., its newest certified Green Restaurant in the St. Louis area. Extra Thyme Café, owned and operated by Kim Cuddeback, earned the Two-Star Certification for its efforts to go green and is only the third restaurant in Missouri to do so.

Extra Thyme has been serving breakfast and lunch to Graybar employees and guests for more than eight years. Cuddeback had wanted to use more eco-friendly packaging for years but had nowhere to compost or recycle it. Once Graybar started implementing its green building strategy, which included building-wide single-stream recycling and composting, things changed.

“We used to have six overflowing trash cans each day,” Cuddeback said in an announcement on Graybar's Facebook page. “Now we fill less than a three-gallon bucket with trash. The rest is composted and recycled.”

The savings in waste are due largely in part to Kim switching to new types of packaging that are compostable or recyclable. This packaging switch also gave Kim major points for her Green Restaurant certification. Next she plans to shoot for the GRA's three-star level, which will involve more local sourcing of food and further reductions in packaging.

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