Who: Jose Duarte, chef/owner

What: Taranta restaurant, Boston

Size: 70 seats

Concept: Southern Italian meets Peruvian cuisine

Volume: less than $1 million annual sales

Opened: July 2000

Green milestones: Became certified green restaurant in 2007 by the Green Restaurant Association ; City of Boston Green Business Award, 2008

Case Study: A Success Story in Saving Green by Going Green

An independent operator shares his story.

Like most independent operators, Jose Duarte, chef/owner of Boston's Taranta, is always seeking ways to control costs. His road to green, eco-friendly practices was paved by simple mathematics. "I started looking into ways I could save money through cutting down on the restaurant's operating overhead," says Duarte. "The results were amazing, so it snowballed from there. If you save energy, you save money—it's that simple."

Since starting his quest two years ago, he has implemented more than 30 green upgrades to his restaurant, including the installation of tankless water heaters, water-conserving spray heads and energy-efficient lighting. Through his efforts to save money on energy costs, he has found his calling in life. "I now look at every business decision with an eye toward being eco-friendly," he says. On top of the cost savings, Duarte says there are other windfalls. "Eco-friendly practices have become relevant to our customers," he says. "They care, and although we don't market ourselves as a green restaurant, they find us. And the press! You get a lot of press when you make strides for the environment."