Wal-mart announced this week that they will be buying more local produce to stock their groceries. As the world’s largest retailer and controller of a massive food distribution network (world’s largest?) this brings questions of purchasing power and respect for those growing our food. The world’s largest retailer has been plagued by labor relations and predatory practice issues for many years.
Will Wal-Mart use it’s purchasing power to bully local growers (not small mom/pop growers) with operations large enough to perform. Or will the Wal-Mart sustainability index take a turn to the human component and deliver a more truly sustainable product with respect for the people, planet and profit involved in the delivery of food to your plate?
What does this mean for the local, yes factory style, farming operation and it’s ability to supply regionally based grocery stores?
Nice to see that at the end of some political wrangling the White House will be back on the clean energy bandwagon. The new panels will certainly be more efficient and hopefully longer lasting than the previous.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley today announced plans to install solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House Residence. These two solar installations will be part of a Department of Energy demonstration project showing that American solar technologies are available, reliable, and ready for installation in homes throughout the country. Secretary Chu and Chair Sutley made the announcement during CEQ’s 2010 GreenGov Symposium, which is bringing together leaders from federal, state, and local governments, nonprofit and academic communities, and the private sector to identify opportunities around greening the federal government.
Full Story here
The City of Columbus has initiated a fund to promote LEED buildings through incentives to reimburse certification fees to individual projects.
Green Columbus Fund
Encourages sustainable development and redevelopment with a primary focus on the inner city. Private businesses and non-profit organizations in Columbus are eligible to receive reimbursement grants in the two broad areas of site clean-up and green buildings.
$1,000,000 is available in the first program year running from October 2010 through September 2011. Applicants may apply for funding up to the following amounts:
- $200,000 for land acquisition or phase I and II environmental assessments for brownfield sites.
- Qualifying LEED-NC buildings (new construction and major renovation) can receive reimbursement up to triple the USGBC certification fee
More info here
With Local Foods Week beginning in a few days here in central Ohio, the idea of turning old unused buildings into food production facilities is especially poignant.
It really doesn’t get more local than community revitalization and food production in former factory buildings. Many potential benefits for people, the planet and profitability!
CHALLENGE #1: TAKE THE PLEDGE.
As part of Greenovate’s continuing community support, we encourage you to make a commitment to local food.
In conjunction with Local Matters’ Local Foods Week from October 2-8th, we’re kicking off the Eat Local Challenge and giving Central Ohio residents another way to support their region’s local small farms, sustainable agriculture and locally produced foods. Through fun and healthy challenges that will last year round, you can help us…
- Activate the community to eat local.
- Teach all ages about the importance of knowing where your food comes from and making healthy choices.
- Support Ohio’s resources, from farmers to not-for-profits like Local Matters, who are dedicated to making local food accessible to all.
GET STARTED: All you have to do is fill out the ELC Pledge Card, committing to three or more ways you plan to “eat local” this month. Whether you pledge to cook a meal using local ingredients, patronize a favorite local restaurant or volunteer to help teach kids about local food, we appreciate your support!
Submitting your card will make you eligible for great prizes like a 26 Week Subscription to the Greener Grocer’s Weekly Fresh Market Bag, cooking classes and a subscription to Edible Columbus or a full pantry makeover with local foods. Check out the Pledge Card for more ideas on how to eat local.
Interesting intro to 5 companies and their green supply, delivery and logistics efforts. Check out the survey, we’ll look forward to the results report.
Zerolandfill is a program to collect used samples from interior designers, architecture firms, product representatives and other industry sources of used product samples. The samples are then donated to schools, community programs and artists for use in creative projects of all kinds, keeping the materials out of the landfill!
From the Zerolandfill Site:
ZeroLandfill™ is an award winning upcycling program held seasonally that supports the supply needs of local artists and arts educators while reducing pressure on local landfill capacity. Since 2006, the ZeroLandfill™ project team has partnered with the architectural, interior and graphic design community in identifying, diverting from local landfills and re-purposing back into the community over 308,000 pounds of expired specification samples that hold value for other audiences.
learn more here
A good friend of Greenovate, who happens to be in a leadership position for a very large building material manufacturer, mentioned Kohl’s retail department store as an example of sustainability and the benefits for the bottom-line. Both of us are (what some would call) enlightened, community centric and totally committed, so with his recommendation we looked into Kohl’s a little deeper.
We found some impressive and measurable practices and policies on their website. Who knew that they had so much going on?
We found their LEED guidelines to be particularly interesting. There happens to be a LEED Kohl’s store nearby in Delaware, OH.
On September 9, a high-capacity cargo rail route, dubbed the “Heartland Corridor,” will open.
Norfolk Southern’s new corridor will link Columbus to the Port of Virginia and allow freight trains to more efficiently reach its container-transfer facility near Rickenbacker International Airport. Additional information is available from Business First of Columbus.
Today (Tuesday, August 31) has been declared an Air Quality Action Day, with the AQI (Air Quality Index) remaining above 100.
High levels of smog continue to make regional air quality “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” For more details, and to sign up for air quality notifications, visit airquality.morpc.org.