Program Assistant – Toward Zero Waste
Company: Sustainable Connections Closing Date: July 10, 2019
Company: Sustainable Connections Closing Date: July 10, 2019
Help create a more accessible world By Kyann Flint June 2019 Established in 2016 by Daman Wandke, AbiliTrek is disability-owned and operated with the mission of improving accessibility so people can trek without boundaries. AbiliTrek offers a search and review platform and they consult on website and app accessibility, onsite accessibility, and speaking/training workshops. […]
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Daniel Burdick grew up on a farm in Connecticut and has always wanted to return to his roots. Starting a farm was a chance to reconnect to the land and the community. He wants people to know that his family values transparency with community above all else, noting that “our farm is their farm.”
This in turn reinvigorates me in all aspects of the Toward Zero Waste work we do at Sustainable Connections including the stinky and slightly gross waste audits.
Capture the bounty of the Summer and meet your local farmers! Summer is nearly here and with that comes the bounty of local farms! Farmers markets are a great way to get your hands on local produce, meat, eggs, and craft goods, as well as meet the people growing your food. We’re incredibly lucky to […]
Pure Bliss Desserts is giving a wonderful gift to the community: tasty treats made with integrity and love.
Times like these, when it seems like the solutions and motivations to make changes are slim, are exactly when awards and recognition help keep us keeping on. I do my best to be a realist and also an optimist, and I still hold out hope that we can do better.
Healing the soil with happy animals By Alex Smith May 2019 One of the top challenges you’ll hear about in agriculture, and for our world, is topsoil. This component of the Earth enables essentially all terrestrial plant life to exist. And without plant life, humans and other animals would have a hard time surviving. […]
How is a nun from the 1880s and Bellingham’s local food scene connected? We’ll tell ya! Click through to learn how PeaceHealth set the stage for taking care of overall community health and wellbeing, and what that means for some of our local farmers today.
Let Your Tastebuds Travel the World with BTC Culinary Students! BTC is a Bellingham gem that is serving affordable and delicious local fare for a good cause.
Meet Twin Cedars Farm, totally dedicated to sustainable agriculture and growing delicious local food. “We start with the seeds, and decide what to grow based on flavor and cooking performance,” he says. “From there it’s a matter of making sure the soil has the right nutrients to produce a good final product…”
By Mark Peterson It’s no secret that I get a lot of joy out of the game of soccer. There are so many facets to the “beautiful game” that keep me enthralled as a referee, a soccer parent, and fan. I love the fluidity of the game that flows with relatively few stops in play […]
For the love of all things Bellingham… you need to get to know Lost Giants Cider Co. Pull up a chair and get to know friends and co-owners Chris Noskoff, Brad Wilske, and Abe Ebert.
Sue Sharpe The Lifetime Achievement award is given to a local business leader that has taken action to strengthen our community while also representing the principles Sustainable Connections stands for. Sue Sharpe has been an inspiring leader and has committed her career towards bettering the health of residents across Whatcom County. Her extensive career includes […]
Mount Baker Care Center has been early adopters of many sustainability practices. From local purchasing to waste reduction they do it all. They currently divert over 80% of their waste from landfill and were the first participant in our Food Recovery Initiative!
RMC Architects are strong supporters of affordable housing for all, and key collaborators for a variety of important housing projects. They are dedicated to helping create thriving local communities right here in Whatcom County.
CAZ goes above and beyond to make energy efficiency a reality for homeowners and businesses. They also prioritize meaningful employment (employees are some of the highest paid in the industry!).
Not only does ideal support local artists and craftspeople but they collaborate with a variety of local businesses, nonprofits, and students. They are dedicated sustainability stewards and are active participants in the Toward Zero Waste program.
Owners Azizi & Chris say that “from seed to plate” is a motto that encompasses both their history as food producers and their belief that understanding and supporting local food systems leads to a superior product. They are longtime local food buyers and champions!
Whatcom County just made a list that we can all be pretty proud of, and one in which the criteria is specifically prescribed (pun intended). Whatcom County is now the 10th location in the entire united states to have a Secure Medicine Return program. And it’s a big deal!
Meet Paellaworks, one of the best local catering businesses in Whatcom! Showcasing the best of PNW ingredients with this classic Spanish dish….
The Lukens family didn’t start Grace Harbor Farms with the intention of growing a commercial business. Fast forward a generation and Tim and Grace’s son, David, has helped grow the business into a dairy, creamery, and distributor that creates wholesome and natural products like kefir, yogurt, and milk!
No doubt there are plenty of dire predictions to go around but for my opening blog post of 2019 I’m going do my best to keep it a bit more real and share a few of the more inspiring predictions and trends I’m hoping take hold.
Gothberg Farms has proven to be one of the best goat cheese makers in the region, with their products highly sought after across the Pacific Northwest. Get to know this unique handcrafted artisan creamery!
Every time you brew a cup of tea, you promote peace and goodwill in your life and around the world. Because the integrity of the product benefits all the lives that have participated in bringing you a quality cup of tea. Meet Flying Bird Botanicals and the wonder woman behind it: Scout Erling.
By Mark Peterson “Wow.” Yes, that is what I said to myself as I have started to reflect a bit more intently on the occurrences of 2018. The turn of the seasons and the holidays ahead provide me an annual opportunity to take stock of the past 12 months and be thankful and enjoy the […]
Over 50 years of food and wine experience By Liz Hansen December 2018 If you’re anything like me, buying a bottle of wine for a special occasion consists of deliberating over the prettiest bottle on the sale rack. As you can imagine, I often get stuck with my sub-par and uncomplimentary bottle of wine […]
Local flowers are just as beneficial as your local foods and other goods. Celeste Monke, farmer, florist, and owner of Free Range Flowers, is here to tell us exactly why local flowers are so important!
This past month I had the distinct pleasure of working with multiple groups and stellar individuals to support a community meal, while showcasing the recovered foods and highlighting the businesses supporting the Food Recovery Initiative. Together, around a table at the Van Zandt Community Center, a plan was hatched to test the feasibility of feeding 100 people with recovered foods.
MIX employees are knowledgeable, cheery, and helpful! Abundantly Delicious By Alex Smith November 2018 It’s rare these days to find something that truly defies our expectations. We’ve been exploring the edges of absurdity for so long that things we might have once thought crazy have become normal and even expected. Food is no exception, […]
Lummi Island Wild Marketing Manager Riley Starks, President Keith Carpenter, and General Manager Ian Kirouac Saving our oceans, one fish at a time By Liz Hansen November, 2018 Long, long ago, in the Salish Sea, the Lummi people devised ingenious methods to harvest wild salmon. Their methods were meant not only to respected the sacred […]
The Cost of a Local Chicken By Diana Meeks I held the largest pear I’ve ever seen in my life at Wild Acres Farm, just outside of Bellingham. It was, without exaggeration, half the size of my head. They really know how to grow them! But, Wild Acres doesn’t sell fruit; they raise chickens, […]
I should have known better than to sell Staci and Craig short! I was blown away with when I learned the lengths they have gone to reduce waste.
Big Love Juice is designed to satisfy the entire body, mind, and soul. From the simple delight of tasty food to the long-term satisfaction of health, vitality, and community, it’s the heartbeat that moves love through the community.
Photo by FotoMataio Fotografia. 2018 Farm Fund Hootenanny Farmer Award winners! From left: New Farmer: Jen Finch & Colin Fischer, Wanderwood Farm. Innovator Farmer: Griffin Berger, Sauk Farm LLC. Bright Spot Farmer: Helen Solem, Sumas River Farm. Mentor Farmer: Geoff & Anna Martin, Osprey Hill Farm. Food to Bank On Farmers Win Award, Program Now Accepting New Applications […]
Honestly, my attitude about leftovers and what to do with them, especially as the third straight day of chili rolled around, hasn’t always been positive. I imagine those stuck in a room with me during this leftover stretch felt the same – hehe.
Traditional Tapas with a Bellingham Bend By Alex Smith Tradition and innovation are constantly involved in a complicated dance. Classically trained chefs may thumb their noses at the idea of something like Thai-Italian fusion cuisine. On the other hand, the fusion chef may look at their classically-trained counterpart and see an antiquated concept; a […]
Kombucha Town, Samson Rope Technologies, and Mallard Ice Cream have completed a new sustainability reporting process and uncovered opportunities to improve business performance and our local community with the help of our Sustainable Business Development Program.
high-quality is the 108th year Twin Brook has been raising, grazing, and milking cows in Lynden, WA. Learn more about this 5th generation dairy farm dedicated to sustainable stewardship of their land and high-quality care for their animals!
To help prevent my brain exploding from one more seemingly insurmountable global problem, I am instead reverting to my project management training and thinking in terms of a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. In the middle of the SWOT acronym is Opportunity, and in the case of wasted food, there is tons of opportunity–literally.
Meet this family run orchard in Ferndale. Cherries, apples, pear, and plums grown with care and a dedication to sustainability.
A beautiful mix of art, science, and a bit of magic By Alex Smith Wild fermentation is an intriguing term. Setting aside the fact that it could be a great name for a band or a party game, it turns out to be the source of some of humanity’s best creations. Fermentation is the […]
Press Release Contact: Diana Meeks, Media & Communications Specialist Phone: (360) 647-7093 x110 E-mail: email@example.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Building on Birchwood International Market Momentum! BELLINGHAM, WA, July 5, 2018 | Sustainable Connections is calling the first-ever Birchwood International Market, held on June 29th, a great success and is now in the process of planning […]
A Couple of Hard Working Animal Lovers By Alex Smith We all have that one friend. You know who I’m talking about. The person whose relationship with their pets is so strong that you often have to clarify whether they’re telling a story about one of their children or one of their dogs. This person […]
Who has inspired me the most isn’t the Executive Directors, the Food Service Managers or people like me managing programs; no it’s the kind souls behind the scenes quietly going about their business with care, commitment, and intention.
Contact: Amy Vergillo, Communication Manager Phone: (360) 647-7093 x105 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Greenest Blue Van Sparks Changes at Sustainable Connections BELLINGHAM, WA, May 24, 2018 | Sustainable Connections announces the departure of longtime Energy Program Manager, Jeff Aslan, and the promotion of Rose Lathrop to Program Director. Jeff, who has been with […]
I imagine most of us at some point in our Toward Zero Waste journey have ended up standing in front of the waste bins wondering if what we have in our hands is truly recyclable – I mean it has a recycling symbol on it so it has to be right?!? From clamshell containers to compostable cups decisions of what goes where is confusing…you just don’t want to toss it out and instead you succumbed to, you guessed it – Wishful Recycling.
A Dreamland of Berries By Alex Smith June in Whatcom County is well known for its fickle nature. Warm, sunny days begging for shorts and sandals give way to chilly rains that remind us we live in a maritime climate. Regardless of this variation in weather, one thing is almost a certainty come June: […]
Three culinary queens Celebrating 30 years of southwest success! By Diana Meeks When she chose the restaurant’s name, Susan Albert didn’t know she was creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. When Pepper Sisters was created, it was named to pay homage to the most important ingredients in Southwestern cooking: red and green New Mexican chilies. Their […]
sweet treats & strong community By Diana Meeks Nancy Babick has raised two beautiful children and founded two successful businesses. She’s a talented cake artist who can also build gorgeous in-store displays (how awesome is that table display pictured below?!). From humble beginnings to talented entrepreneur, she is a modern day renaissance woman. […]
Connecting good people to good food By Alex Smith Food is unique in its ability to bring together people of all backgrounds. There’s something about eating that helps us overlook differences and recognize that on a deep level, we’re all just humans moving from one meal to the next. This concept of food bringing […]
This quote from Albert Camus struck me – he wrote, “All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”
Casual, elegant…and damn delicious By Diana Meeks I have a terrible memory. It’s common for friends, family, even past boyfriends to ask – eyebrows held high, “how can you not remember that?!” Dates, places, and events slip into obscurity. Some, but not all. I remember the first time I ate at Keenan’s at the […]
Samson Rope connects the employees to local food One of the things we love most at Sustainable Connections is helping to make more local food connections. For the last 7 years, we have been connecting local employers with local farmers in the Farm Fresh Workplaces program, to get deliveries of farm-fresh produce straight from […]
A passion for fighting food deserts By Alex Smith Next time you drive down Mt Baker Highway, I want you to try something. Take the time to notice and count the number of places you can buy fresh produce. I know, it’s hard to take your eyes off of the breathtaking views of the […]
Farm to Table Food Without Any of the Fuss By Diana Meeks The Rome Store, on Mount Baker Highway, is more than a hundred years old. In 1915 the store was moved, atop giant rolling logs, from Goshen to its current location. It’s easy to imagine it as a bustling community hub, before Mount Baker Highway was paved, with all […]
n the beginning a massive beer party seemed like a daunting task and I had my doubts how we could make the Toward Zero Waste efforts a successful one. Events themselves pose additional challenges and each event has its own intricacies that complicate the process. When you combine hordes of people, music, food trucks, a festive atmosphere and a few adult beverages, at first one may think as I did, this could be a recipe for waste stream contamination disaster!
By Alex Smith The farming lifestyle is an alluring one. Waking up with the sun, spending time outdoors, the independence of knowing that your food is coming from within walking distance – what’s not to love? Given this idyllic picture of the American farmer, it may seem strange that we’re simply running out of them. […]
The recurring image of edible foods discarded into the compost bin or worse the landfill bin was constantly on my mind and a catalyst for a major initiative I was hoping someday Sustainable Connections as an organization could take on. Other local hunger relief organizations are working hard to collect and deliver non-perishable foods and redistribute them but where a large gap exists is prepared edible foods that need to be redistributed in a much shorter time frame.
By Diana Meeks If you don’t know these two, I’d like to warmly introduce you to Kirby and Tina White, owners of Homeskillet. Antartic dwellers, world explorers, artists, community builders, and comfort food extraordinaires. In 2012, they opened Homeskillet to instant fanfare–there’s been a line out the door since day one (seriously)! […]
By Mark Gardner, Legislative Analyst / December 18, 2017 The city of Bellingham tied for third place in the final round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP), a two-year, nationwide competition involving 50 communities to rethink the way America’s small and medium-sized towns and cities use energy. In the final round, 10 top-performing […]
The second generation of Appel Farms ownership, from left to right: Rich and Ann Appel, and Ruth and John Appel The Fine Art of Farmstead Cheese By Alex Smith, February 2018 Take a moment to think about the word ‘values’. It’s come to be used in a number of ways and can invoke different ideas, […]
The Dandelion Organic Delivery family, from left to right, Jonny, Thanos, Sotiri, and Maria Fresh & local, delivered right to your door By Diana Meeks, Feb 2018 Garlic parmesan shrimp scampi, veggie Thai curry with coconut rice, spicy buffalo wings and homemade ranch dipping sauce…scrolling through Pintrest feels exciting and wildly aspirational at the […]
The energy in the room was palpable and it was so inspiring to see the audience engaged and ready to take the next step in regards to measuring and improving their sustainability efforts. Businesses are thirsty for knowledge how they can be a more sustainable.
Thank you to Julien Scherliss for these great photos Congrats to our 2018 Sustainability Champion Award Winners! Sustainable Connections awarded four Whatcom County businesses and two individuals Sustainability Champion Awards last Thursday for their deep commitment to making a positive impact locally. The Awards are an annual recognition of Sustainable Connections members who are leaders […]
The Food to Bank on Program By Alex Smith How many farmers have you seen in a single room at once? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably between zero and two (unless you count the farmers market depot as a room). In fact, it’s really quite difficult to get a group of […]
What Happens When you do it anyways By Alex Smith When advice comes from friends, conventional logic states that it’s a good idea to follow it. But sometimes we have a tendency to eschew the best intentions of our trusted companions. Sometimes there are good reasons for this insubordination. Other times, we just […]
Meet Chelsea and Peter, a young couple that has committed themselves to sustainable fishing and getting you all freshest most delicious seafood possible!
Fresh Pasta, Made Simply By Alex Smith When I think of the holiday season, my mind immediately turns to good food shared with good people and a healthy amount of laughter. So it was perfectly fitting that I had the chance to visit the home of Bellingham Pasta Co and the owner, Katie Hinton. […]
This past summer Sustainable Connections hosted a workshop to educate restaurants and food-based businesses about ways they can reduce the amount of wasted food in their operations. One of the biggest myths we are working to overcome is that everything is hunky dory as long as we compost our wasted food. The facts remain […]
HIGH QUALITY PASTURED PORK FOR THE PUGET SOUND By Caitlin Singer With 13 years of combined farming experience, Katie Pencke and Matthew McDermott are practiced and accomplished farmers. From their roots in educational agriculture, they’re currently transitioning into providing local, organically-managed, pasture-raised pork. The term “alluvial” describes the fan-shaped deposits of soil at the […]
Along with active kids come packed schedules with varying soccer practice times and after school commitments and when combined with a few late nights of work on the parent side and you have a recipe for wasted food.
Everyone has a housing story. Whether you’ve told it to many people or you’ve kept it private, there is likely a story about where you live now and how you got there. Maybe it’s a feel good story that you are proud of or maybe it’s one you rather wouldn’t share. If you want your […]
Whether we see a slight increase in prices, a switch to service charges or other kinds of solutions, it is important for us to remember all that it takes to bring us a delicious plate of food.
It’s hard to describe how lovely a flower farm in the fall makes you feel. Sitting out in camping chairs directly between rows of exuberant dahlias and towering sunflowers, some at the zenith of their bloom and others that were slowly turning to seed, the air felt perfect. A light breeze blew, sunshine temporarily […]
The end result of our work, when done right is not an new Living Building, solar array or local menu item. Quite the contrary and somewhat paradoxically the result is next to nothing.
There’s a brand new spot that just opened up in Blaine that we’d like to introduce you too: The Vault Wine Bar. It comes by its name honestly as the building used to be a bank, and the original vault replete with its safe deposit boxes, still occupies a special corner of the business. […]
It has often been said that it is an indelible human tendency to overstate our own self-importance and good deeds. This is not to say that many of us do not do many good things but rather we have tendency to feel we are doing better than we really are. Sometimes it takes a good look around to gauge where we are really at and take stock of what efforts we are making.
The Boxx family has been rooted in Whatcom County for a long time – quite literally! In 1960, on twenty acres, Bill and Charlene Boxx put down some of their first berry plants. Bill’s dad had been a berry farmer before him and it seemed natural to continue in him family’s footsteps. Over […]
Recently, we were lucky enough to chat with President and CEO of the Whatcom Community Foundation, Mauri Ingram (pictured in the middle above). The Whatcom Community Foundation is one of three community philanthropy organizations in our county and has made an immense impact since opening its doors, over twenty years ago. To date, they […]
By Alex Smith Take a moment to picture this: a chef strolling through a row of tomatoes while a farmer describes to him what makes that variety unique. A couple of hours later, a pizza maker pets baby cows while an artisan cheesemaker explains how the cow’s mother magically turns grass and alfalfa into rich […]
We are excited to announce that Samson Rope, Kombucha Town, and Mallard Ice Cream submitted the winning proposals to receive free in-depth sustainability reporting services from the Sustainable Business Development Program! Integrative reporting had been a developing trend which incorporates appropriate sustainability information alongside financial information and provides organizations with a broad perspective of […]
Raising awareness of the issue is an important step in having a better outcome so fireworks debris won’t pose a threat to the public, wildlife, and our waterways.
by Alex Smith In today’s world, healthy and ethical choices can be challenging. Highly processed food and large carbon footprints often seem like the easy choice. It’s rare to find people who are producing healthy food in a way that’s also healthy for the planet. Richard Kauffman of Riverhaven Farm wants to change that by […]
Located in the Columbia neighborhood, just a short walk from the heart of downtown Bellingham, The Heliotrope Hotel celebrated its grand opening last weekend! Once a 1950s motel, the Heliotrope is exemplary of a beautiful transformation of a weathered historic property in need of some love, providing a much needed addition to the Bellingham community. […]
Have you had a chance to check out C•SQUARE, the new culinary adventure Skagit Valley Co-op opened last fall? There is so much good stuff going on down there! The new space showcases a handful of gourmet food counters new to the Skagit Valley Food Co-op and a restaurant & bar, the Third Street Café. The […]
There are many lives each of us could live, many different paths one could explore during the course of his or her life, and each comes with its own blessings and challenges. If we are lucky, or so predisposed, we get to experience many ways of being during this one lifetime. This is true […]
by Alex Smith Bellingham is leading the charge in a local food revolution. The city has the unique combination of community-based values and healthy lifestyles, as well as an abundance of great local food. The fertile valleys to the North and East are bursting with vegetables, berries, dairy cows, livestock, honey, and more. Look to […]
He said, “My most valuable asset walks out the door every evening–that asset being my employees.” The implication being that on the most basic level they were free to come back each day–or not, and if they indeed came back, what attitude would they have when they walked in the door?
by Alex Smith Think back to a time when you really, truly enjoyed a meal. What were some things that stood out? Maybe a standard ingredient was made from scratch rather than store-bought. Maybe there was a personal connection – ingredients grown by friends or from farms you’ve visited. More likely than not, it was […]
What’s your favorite season and why? Do you like the cool breezes of spring or the smell of dried leaves in the fall? Or maybe you excitedly await the return of peonies in the summer and pine wreaths in the winter? Just like local food, locally grown flowers are a perfect reflection of the […]
Our aim is to help you get to where you want to be. Due to the generous support of the Whatcom Community Foundation and their Community Development Grant, we can do just that!
Imagine my surprise when yours truly, the supposed Toward Zero Waste expert, fell victim to my own personal definition of “sustainable” leading to my purchase of the wrong product. As we work to reduce food waste and increasingly divert organic material from landfill, contamination is the bane of a commercial composter’s existence.
Goat Mountain Pizza almost ended up in Brussels and not Bellingham. One of our favorite local pizzerias – famous for their pies fluffy crust, creative toppings, and farm to table ingredients – could have very well been a European hot spot, and not the downtown gem many of us enjoy. Owners Charlie and Chas […]
by Alex Smith A paradigm shift occurs when a person or a group of people have a fundamental change in their underlying assumptions about the world. The story of Osprey Hill Farm is one of two paradigm shifts – first, a stunning realization, and later a journey to create a new way of making food. […]