Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Virginia Green

Virginia Green

Bier Garden
Portsmouth, VA

Virginia Green is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s campaign to promote environmentally-friendly practices in all aspects of Virginia’s tourism industry. Virginia Green has established "core activities" specific to each sector of tourism, and these practices are considered the required minimum for participation in the program. However, Virginia Green encourages its participants to reduce their environmental impacts in all aspects of their operations, and this profile provides a full list of all their “green” activities. These are the activities that guests / customers can expect to find when they visit this facility.

Bier Garden

“Our establishment is a family owned and operated restaurant in Olde Towne Portsmouth. We have been in operation since October of 1997, and when we started we only sat around 10-15 people. Now on a busy night we can pack in as many as 200, which we like because it really helps with the heating bill. :) ”

“Since we opened 11years ago we have wanted to have our bottles recycled like the way they do in Germany where many of our beers come from. No one was willing to pick them up with out a monster fee and some would even charge us to drop them off. Considering we were going through up to 2000 bottles a week, we needed to do something. We have do everything else that would could to be good to our environment, like water retention, equipment management, and watching our electricity and gas consumption; reuse and recycle have been part of our family since I was a child. Now that we have TFC to actually pick up our recyclables we have really felt like we have made more of the impact that we want to make. I will be honored to show our Virginia Green stickers to everyone that walks into our establishment.”

"To save energy we have split unit A/C units help reduce electricity use and are sealed. We also have a local Suffolk man that comes many times a week to pick up all of our food scraps for the past 4 months and now some other restaurants have become interested in getting their scraps picked up as well. Altogether, our efforts have cut down or garbage by 40%. We even recycle employees, even after they have been fired multiple times we still take them back. "

Virginia Green Activities

This facility pledges that they:
Minimize the use of disposable food service items
- Use disposable containers that are compostable and direct this material to available composting operations in your area 
- Use disposable containers that are recyclable 

Recycle Grease
- Store the grease and have it picked up by rendering company 
- Periodically pump the grease traps 
- Filter the grease to prolong its life 
- Other Activities: A grease company in Suffolk picks up used oil and uses it to make dog food

Recycle and Reduce Waste
- Glass (required for Virginia Green) 
- Aluminum Cans 
- Steel Cans 
- Plastic 
- Newspaper 
- Office Paper 
- Cardboard 
- Packing Supplies 
- Fluorescent Lamps (may required by law) 
- Batteries 
- Electronics equipment - computers, etc. 
- Track overall waste bills 
- Use reusable dishware and glassware & minimize use of disposables 
- Provide condiments, cream and sugar, etc. in bulk 
- Use water pitchers and filtered water to minimize the use of single-use bottles 
- Use Virginia Green logo to indicate organic, local, or sustainable menu choices 
- Use screen based ordering systems 
- Use bulk soap dispensers in public restrooms 
- Use high-efficiency hand dryers 
- Purchase recycled content paper towels and toilet paper 
- Use a last-in/first-out inventory & effective labeling systems 
- Encourage suppliers to minimize packaging and other waste materials 
- Use electronic correspondence and forms 
- Purchase durable equipment and furniture 
- Use reused building materials or those from sustainable sources 
- Use less toxic materials 
- Minimize use of pesticides and herbicides in landscaping 
- Other Activities: Have started saving boxes to return to suppliers when they deliver the next time

Use Water Efficiently
- Track overall water usage and wastewater 
- Perform preventative maintenance to stop drips and leaks 
- Have low flow bathroom sink faucets and showerheads (sink faucets use no more than 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), showerheads no more than 2.5 gpm) 
- Have low flow toilets (use 1.6 gallons or less per flush - 1.6 gpf) 
- Have automatic faucets or toilets in public restrooms 
- Discourage water-based cleanup (sweep first) 
- Have an effective landscape management plan 
- Utilize drought tolerant species 
- Utilize metering and rain gauges 
- Minimize lawn areas 
- Have rain gardens 
- Other Activities: Are in the process of working with a contractor to start their green roof adventure!

Conserve Energy
- Track overall energy bills 
- Have evaluated existing ovens and other kitchen equipment for energy efficiency 
- Use high efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs in all rooms and in canned lighting 
- Use ceiling fans 
- Have a high efficiency heating & air conditioning (HVAC) system 
- Have individual thermostats for each room 
- Use natural lighting
Source of energy

Bier Garden    Bier Garden

For more information on Bier Garden, see or contact Stefanie Osfolk at or 757-393-6022.

For more information on the Virginia Green program, see

Virginia GreenVirginia Green is a partnership supported by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Hospitality & Tourism Association, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Virginia is for Lovers