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Initiative Aims To Combat Climate Change By Charging Restaurant Customers An Extra 1% On Their Bills

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Changes could be coming to your favorite restaurant thanks to a statewide initiative just being announced Wednesday, called Restore California Renewable Restaurants.

Restaurant owners have the option of charging customers an additional 1% on their bills that would go to help stop climate change. Payments will be gathered by the California Air Resources Board and spent on implementing carbon plans on farms and ranches across California, boosting healthy soil, according to the Perrenial Farming Initiative.

"There's always going to be the people who say, why is this on the bill? I don't want to pay it. I don't care what it's for. I don't want to pay it," Christopher Barnum-Dann, the owner of Localis, said.

Talking to people in Sacramento Tuesay, they are split on the idea.

"I wouldn't be interested in doing that. Leave the climate alone," one resident said.

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"We're not asking our fixed-income people to pay that on their property tax. We're asking that of someone who had made a choice to go out and spend money," another resident, John Peters, said.

If the restaurant you're eating at is a part of the program, you don't have to pay the 1% if you don't want to. You can just ask your server to take it off your bill.

"Well I live in California and I don't know if you know this or not it's pretty freaking expensive here. One percent to somebody who doesn't make that much money ain't a lot but it's a lot more than they have," resident Mike Mattingly said.

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Organizers say 1% might not sound like a lot, but if enough restaurants sign-up, it would add up quickly.

"There's 78,000 restaurants in California, so if half of them join on that's almost 40,000, so that's a decent chunk of money," Barnum-Dann said.

Organizers hope to start the program by the fall and have 200 restaurants sign-up by the end of the year.

You can learn more about the initiative on the Perennial Farming Initiative website. 

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