This summer, we launched our Sustainable Earth Small Business Awards (SESBA) and selected 15 winners who showcased outstanding sustainability commitments. Our new podcast, The Green Scene, dives into conversations with SESBA winners about their journey as sustainable business owners.

In our eleventh episode of the Green Scene, HighWire | Downtown Restaurant Cooking Up Sustainable Solutions, we interviewed our next SESBA winner, founder Nick Wayne with HighWire Lounge. HighWire is a restaurant and community space in Tucson, Arizona.


Greening HighWire has been crucial to Nick from the start by making sure waste is being properly recycled and working to reduce waste created as a whole. This led to Nick figuring out how to waste less water, and low-water restroom fixtures including sinks and toilets were installed during a recent remodeling.

HighWire has faced a number of challenges when it comes to sourcing sustainably. They have recently switched from plastic to compostable straws and cups at a higher cost to them. But they have started giving out these items upon request, so fewer of them are being used. Once Nick became focused on switching to green initiatives for his business, he decided on low-energy LED lights for his restaurant. Nick has made it a priority to create a community of sustainability-minded individuals among his employees, who attend training on these sustainability initiatives twice a year by professionals in the field. 

He has installed a 1600-gallon rainwater harvesting system where the rainwater is then collected and re-distributed to water the plants and vegetation in the Downtown Tucson area. 

Nick says that one of the best moves that he has made in his journey to incorporating sustainability into his business practices is getting involved and making strategic local partnerships. He has become involved with Local First Arizona and has attended events to expand his network of sustainability partners and professionals in the Tucson community. 

If you live in Tucson, check out HighWire in the Downtown area! Stay up to date on events happening there by following @highwiretucson on Instagram.