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Forget square: it’s hip to be green

Nightclubbing hardly seems like an eco-friendly activity, but more new party venues across the U.S. are touting sustainability along with hipness.

Witness, for example, San Francisco’s Temple Nightclub and Zen Compound, which actually has on its staff a director of sustainability. Among the club’s claims to greenness: it recycles or composts all its food and drink waste, donates all kitchen grease for conversion to biodiesel, offsets all its energy consumption and keeps 89 percent of its trash out of landfills. The club is also testing a vertical garden on its exterior walls and plans to start growing some of its own food in a geodesic dome.

Then there’s Greenhouse, which opened last month in Manhattan. The two-story club features energy-sipping LED lighting, waterless urinals and furnishings that are top-to-bottom recycled or recyclable. Designer Daniel Husserl told the New York Times, “People who view the nightclub industry as typically vain and hedonistic and self-interested — we wanted them to see that such an industry can take on a moral initiative like sustainability.”

Another club that’s jumped aboard the sustainability bandwagon is Chicago’s Butterfly Social Club, where employees provide power for the DJ booth and drink machines with a bicycle generator and all the drinks and mixers are organic. The club even offers “eco-friendly party packages” in which a carbon-offsetting tree is planted for every 20 guests and invitations go out via either email or recycled paper.

Sustainable clubbing: it won’t eliminate those after-party hangovers, but it might at least make you feel a bit less guilty about your planetary footprint.

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