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NO on People First Bellingham Initiative #4
NO on People First Bellingham Initiative #4

We all want a thriving community. We know that to build a healthy future for our community and economy we need to work hard and take care of each other, and it is not always easy.

Kragnes Family Farms
Kragnes Family Farms

Kragnes Family Farms A Deeply Rooted Farm, In Full Bloom By Alex Smith A sense of place is a powerful thing. Feeling a connection to the land and surroundings provides an intangible feeling of comfort and belonging. When Ben and Tyne first visited Whatcom County, this feeling was immediate. After meeting at the 10,000 lakes […]

14 Local Drinks You Need To Try
14 Local Drinks You Need To Try

Summer is in full, glorious swing in Bellingham and Whatcom County. We’ve been out relishing all the delights that this beautiful place has to offer. Maybe you’re off exploring Bellingham Bay or the San Juans in a kayak, sailboat, or paddleboard. Or perhaps you’re zipping around on your bike, marveling at the various shades of green that flash by. We’ve been enjoying picnics on the beach, too. There’s nothing like a spread of local food and drink enjoyed in the great outdoors, especially with friends or family.  

Farmer’s Bounty Bloody Mary
Farmer’s Bounty Bloody Mary

Farmer’s Bounty Bloody Mary If you stop by a Whatcom County farmers market in July, prepare yourself for absolute delight and wonder. That’s because the land’s agricultural abundance is on full display – tomatoes nestle in among spicy peppers, fresh greens, and ruby-hued beets. Of course, it’s thanks to the stewardship and hard work of […]

Rose-All-Day Sangria
Rose-All-Day Sangria

Rose-All-Day Sangria The days are long and the weather is what we’ve been waiting for all year long. It seems like there’s something to celebrate around every corner, whether that’s a major life event or simply breathing in fresh, clean air in the company of those you love. Whatever the occasion, it’s usually made a […]

Strawberry-Basil Sparkler
Strawberry-Basil Sparkler

Strawberry-Basil Sparkler This sparkler is the *royal wedding* of sweet and savory. It’s fresh, vibrant, and of course, everything is made infinitely more delicious with Whatcom-grown strawberries in the peak of summer. If you’re in a creative or experimental mood, feel free to switch out the basil for another herb, or add a few. A […]

Low-Waste Libations
Low-Waste Libations

Low-Waste Libations Doing good tastes good. At least, it can when you’re drinking some low-waste libations that use ingredients that might otherwise head to the compost or even the *gasp* trash. 30-40% of food in America is wasted. Not only does this significantly contribute to climate change issues, it also takes a toll on the […]

Gin and Tonic Cucumber Cooler
Gin and Tonic Cucumber Cooler

After a long day spent playing or working in the sunshine, there’s nothing like a refreshing beverage in your hand. Bonus points for filling up your glass with local produce and products that not only support your body but also support the vibrant agricultural and economic landscape of Whatcom County (yeah, a gin and tonic […]

Twin Sisters Markets
Twin Sisters Markets

Twin Sisters Markets: For Community, By Community by Annika Sampson You might know the Twin Sisters as the distinctive double peaks that tower on the Whatcom County horizon. They’re also the namesake of Twin Sisters Markets, a collaborative effort to bring healthy, local food to three locations across the county. Twin Sisters Markets operate three […]

Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture

CSA, or a farm share is an arrangement between a farmer and customer where you typically buy a subscription to a local farm in advance of the season.

PSE Awards Sustainable Connections Solar Grant
PSE Awards Sustainable Connections Solar Grant

MEDIA RELEASE PSE awards more than $1 million in solar installation grants All 15 recipients offer support services to low-income and BIPOC community members within PSE’s service area   BELLEVUE, Wash. (Feb. 25, 2021) – As an ongoing effort to provide assistance to our communities, an effort that is heightened by the ongoing impacts of […]

I Really Love Y’all
I Really Love Y’all

By Mark Peterson I can honestly say that I have never worked at a place quite like Sustainable Connections (SC). There are so many things that make this organization special and someone could write an enthralling short novel about the stories, shenanigans and massive impact this non-profit has achieved. It is not often you see […]

Local Collaboration for the Win!
Local Collaboration for the Win!

By Mark Peterson It was with great trepidation I listened to the presentation at our last Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting. The discussion centered around the ramifications of what may come to pass as we looked at the impending closure of a longtime recycling business, NW Recycling. Their representative shared they were calling it quits […]

Find Sweet Treats with the Sweet Sixteen
Find Sweet Treats with the Sweet Sixteen

Contact: Amy Vergillo, Communications Director Phone: 360-647-7093 x105 E-mail: Amy@sustainableconnections.org More Info: www.thinklocalfirst.org www.sustainableconnections.org/sasquatchs-sweet-sixteen/ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BELLINGHAM, WA, February 1, 2021 – Sustainable Connections is proud to announce The Sweet Sixteen, a specially curated list of sixteen sweet treats from locally- owned Whatcom County businesses.   From tried-and-true favorite desserts like tiramisu from D’Anna’s […]

Waste – Creatively Speaking
Waste – Creatively Speaking

By Mark Peterson As we head into what appears to be another tumultuous year for so many aspects of business and our daily lives, the world of solid waste will be no different and won’t be spared the inevitable disruptions we will all face. Lately, I have been reading about the waste trends we may […]

Growling At Your Beverages
Growling At Your Beverages

By Mark Peterson With all my recent articles about disposable items you may be wondering what I am growling at. Well, this time around I’m not growling at the plastic disposable water bottles that are way to ubiquitous in our daily lives. Instead, I’m growling loud and proud about and easy way for us all […]

Compost – YIMBY Please!
Compost – YIMBY Please!

There is no shortage in the news and in environmental articles around the world that the recycling systems are facing significant challenges. Our recyclers have been working hard to find solutions to the ever-growing amount of feedstock and declining market prices. Thankfully, reducing your organic waste first and then composting what you do have left over is an extremely effective strategy for reducing your overall waste footprint.

Game Changers
Game Changers

By Mark Peterson There is no doubt that bringing back Brad Smith, the speedy Aussie left back, will add even more firepower to the Sounders attack! He was a big piece of the Sounders run on their way to hoisting the 2019 MLS Cup trophy and he will make the team even more dangerous – […]

Return To Reusables
Return To Reusables

One of the habits that I so dearly miss is ditching the disposables and utilizing durable items whenever possible. Bringing my trusty reusable coffee mug was comforting to me in a number of ways.

New Eat Local First WA Directory to find local farms
New Eat Local First WA Directory to find local farms

Contact: Sara Southerland, Food & Farming Director Phone: (360) 647-7093 x 114 Email: saras@sustainableconnections.org WASHINGTON STATE, July 29, 2020 A new Eat Local First Washington Directory helps to connect Washington State residents with local farms and farmers markets in one place.   The Eat Local First WA Directory is a project of the Eat Local […]

Tip the Scales for Hunger Relief
Tip the Scales for Hunger Relief

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mark Peterson, Sustainable Business Manager, Sustainable Connections Mark@SustainableConnections.org 360-647-7093 x116   (Bellingham, WA) July 22, 2020 –Thanks to WSDA Food Assistance Program support channeled through Bellingham Food Bank, Farmers Market vendors and the Bellingham Farmers Market itself will see up to $35,000 in new income for their contributions to local hunger […]

Competing for Bandwidth
Competing for Bandwidth

By Mark Peterson If you’re like me and you have been working remotely there seems to be the constant battle for all kinds of bandwidth. Internet bandwidth is at a premium and with both my wife and I working and togging between Zoom and Team virtual meetings, my three kids finishing various levels of remote […]

Bellingham Public Schools
Compassionate, Collaborative Action

I have been working hard to retrain my brain to accept what is, celebrate what should be celebrated and remain steadfast in my hope. Thankfully, the work that has been my profession over the past two and a half years provides me daily examples of people being good humans, doing what they can to take care of themselves, their families, their friends and their communities large and small.

Farmer toolkit for direct sales and pickup sites
Farmer toolkit for direct sales and pickup sites

We’re acutely aware that getting products to market is challenging now more than ever and we want to help. We’ve been in touch with a number of food delivery businesses and have compiled a list of options for 1) opportunities to sell your products through an aggregated delivery service and 2) share business contact information […]

Watch Your Waste
Watch Your Waste

Recycling markets are in the tank and we and we continue to generate lots and lots of trash. Where are the bright spots you ask? Well, I have noticed as of late we are finally having real conversation about waste reduction, single use plastics, surplus food recovery and extended producer responsibility. These conversations are happening with an increased frequency and vigor and in many cases are going beyond just talk. Numerous acts of legislation are in the works that will undoubtedly make positive impacts whether it is single use plastic bans or direct and cooperative efforts from governmental agencies to encourage food producers to donate surplus foods.

Rethinking Repair
Rethinking Repair

By Mark Peterson We’ve all heard the news reports that recycling is dead, not sustainable and the myriad of other reasons to justify why we should all feel better about just throwing all our stuff in the landfill bin. There is definitely some truth in these reports about the recycling conundrum we find ourselves in. […]

Food to Bank On
Food to Bank On

Feeding the Community for 16 Years By Alex Smith January 2020 If you’ve been paying attention for the past 20 years or so, you may have noticed a trend in how people view food. Professional chefs and food critics are increasingly becoming mainstream celebrities, recipe sites and food blogs abound, and you may even have […]

Foxes in the Hen House
Foxes in the Hen House

By Mark Peterson It is no secret that we are being overrun by the ever increasing amount of plastic that deluges us every day. Just about everything we use in our modern society has some sort of plastic component to it. Even our glass bottle with a metal lid has the plastic tamper proof shrink […]

Bellingham Cider Company – What’s in a Name
Bellingham Cider Company – What’s in a Name

What’s in a Name  By Maressa Valliant You can walk into Bellingham Cider Company at any time during business hours, and you’ll have a knowing thought—this is where the locals go. It’s one of those places that locals bring their friends and family to make a good impression and make sure everyone in a varied […]

Guud Bowls
Guud Bowls

Good Things Come In… By Maressa Valliant November 2019 Finish this sentence: Good Things come in ___________. Maybe your mind went with: “small packages”, “pairs”, or “threes”. Regardless, in the case of this local business, all of you are correct, AND we’d like to add another adage – “Good things come in BOWLS!”  I mean, […]

Cascadia Mushrooms
Cascadia Mushrooms

Healing people and the planet By Alex Smith November 2019 It’s rare that a delicious food can have a positive impact on the environment. As a conscientious consumer, we try to minimize the environmental impact of the food we eat. Tasty, nutritious food that positively impacts the ecosystem is a holy grail of sorts. Salmon […]

Complex Conundrums
Complex Conundrums

By Mark Peterson Sustainability pursuits don’t exist in vacuum and despite our hopes and dreams they are still subject to Newton’s 3rd law of Physics. We sometimes refer to this law loosely as action-reaction, where the force exerted is the action and the force experienced as a consequence is the reaction. In many cases the […]

Ashes to Ashes
Ashes to Ashes

In our culture we often shy away from conversations around death and generally don’t talk about it at all, let alone the impacts related to how we end up at our final resting place. In a traditional burial many resources are utilized including reinforced concrete, embalming fluids, steel and hardwoods for caskets and cremation requires fossil fuels. Green burial is part of an ecological restoration and the process and body become a vehicle for restoring a natural ecosystem.

Sauk Farm
Sauk Farm

Constant improvement in harmony with nature By Alex Smith The Japanese language has a concept called “Kaizen”. This roughly translates as “continuous improvement.” It’s a concept often used in business to describe ways of making processes more efficient. Companies like Toyota have used this principle to reduce costs and create better products that they can […]


Cloud Mountain Farm Center

Growing Community Through Education  By Alex Smith September 2019 We all know that good food is important. Eating well is one of the most beneficial things you can do for general wellbeing. We don’t all eat well all the time, though. There are a number of reasons why, but in many cases it’s simply because we don’t […]

Late to the Party
Late to the Party

These and other like-minded businesses found a way to stay true to their values and find success and profit in spite of market forces perpetuated by the very same Business Round Table who now has had a change of heart. How long this change of heart will last, I’m not sure anyone really knows. Shareholders are already starting to revolt.

The Future of Food Recovery
The Future of Food Recovery

Thanks to the participating businesses, volunteers and agencies receiving the food we have recovered over 51,000 pounds of food, with over 47,000 pounds of that food redistributed to hunger relief agencies, who in turn served over 39,000 meals to members of our community experiencing hunger insecurity. That is no small feat!

Where is Your Passion?
Where is Your Passion?

If reducing food waste, providing over 30,000 meals to in-need community members, helping business reduce their waste and save tens of thousands of dollars and public education about waste reduction and sustainability is your passion, now is your chance to get in the door.

Kebab Casual
Kebab Casual

Building community one bite at a time By Alex Smith July 2019 The concept of “fast casual” is one that’s gaining momentum, and for good reason. Getting high quality food cooked right in front of you and ready to eat in minutes satisfies a unique place in answering the question “what do I want to […]


Abilitrek Launches Accessibility Certification Program

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.   […]

Mariposa Farm
Mariposa Farm

The Story of the Butterfly By: Ruby Dombek With the sun glistening off Mount Baker in the distance, it is difficult to imagine a more beautiful place to spend one’s day farming. Lis and Joaquin’s 8.5 acres in Everson, WA are some of the most picturesque I have ever seen. The pride and love they […]

Home Farm UPick & Events
Home Farm UPick & Events

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.”

Pride in Learning
Pride in Learning

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.

Farmers Markets
Farmers Markets

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
Pure Bliss Desserts

Pure Bliss Desserts is giving a wonderful gift to the community: tasty treats made with integrity and love.

Hoist Your Glass!
Hoist Your Glass!

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.

Oak Meadows Farm
Oak Meadows Farm

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. […]

PeaceHealth
PeaceHealth

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.

Bellingham Technical College
Bellingham Technical College

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.

Twin Cedars Farm
Twin Cedars Farm

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…”

Make Your Shot Count!
Make Your Shot Count!

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 […]

Lost Giants Cider Co.
Lost Giants Cider Co.

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.

2018 Sustainability Champion Lifetime Achievement Award
2018 Sustainability Champion Lifetime Achievement Award

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 […]

2018 Sustainable Business Development Sustainability Champion
2018 Sustainable Business Development Sustainability Champion

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!

2018 Think Local First Sustainability Champion
2018 Think Local First Sustainability Champion

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.

2018 Food & Farming Sustainability Champion
2018 Food & Farming Sustainability Champion

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!

Take Them Back!
Take Them Back!

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!

Paellaworks
Paellaworks

Meet Paellaworks, one of the best local catering businesses in Whatcom! Showcasing the best of PNW ingredients with this classic Spanish dish….

Grace Harbor Farms
Grace Harbor Farms

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!

Predictions and Inspirations!
Predictions and Inspirations!

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
Gothberg Farms

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!

Flying Bird Botanicals
Flying Bird Botanicals

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.

Going Big
Going Big

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 […]

Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants
Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

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 […]

Free Range Flowers
Free Range Flowers

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!

Making a Meal of It
Making a Meal of It

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
MIX

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
Lummi Island Wild

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 […]

Wild Acres Farm
Wild Acres Farm

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, […]

Big Love Juice
Big Love Juice

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.

Food to Bank On Farmers Win Award, Program Now Accepting New Applications
Food to Bank On Farmers Win Award, Program Now Accepting New Applications

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 […]

All Scrambled Up!
All Scrambled Up!

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.

Tasca Del Tinto
Tasca Del Tinto

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 […]

Sustainability Reporting Boosts Business Benefits
Sustainability Reporting Boosts Business Benefits

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.

Twin Brook Creamery
Twin Brook Creamery

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!

No Joke!
No Joke!

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.

Hauck’s Orchard
Hauck’s Orchard

Meet this family run orchard in Ferndale. Cherries, apples, pear, and plums grown with care and a dedication to sustainability.

Raven Breads
Raven Breads

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 […]

Building on Birchwood International Market Momentum!
Building on Birchwood International Market Momentum!

Press Release Contact: Diana Meeks, Media & Communications Specialist Phone: (360) 647-7093 x110 E-mail: diana@sustainableconnections.org 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 […]

Skiyou Ranch
Skiyou Ranch

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 […]

A Full Heart
A Full Heart

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.

Greenest Blue Van Sparks Changes at Sustainable Connections
Greenest Blue Van Sparks Changes at Sustainable Connections

Contact: Amy Vergillo, Communication Manager Phone: (360) 647-7093 x105 E-mail: amy@sustainableconnections.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 […]

Wishful Recycling
Wishful Recycling

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.

Barbies Berries
Barbies Berries

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: […]

Pepper Sisters
Pepper Sisters

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 Bellingham
Sweet Bellingham

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.   […]

Rabbit Fields Farm
Rabbit Fields Farm

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 […]

Five Cheese Sandwiches
Five Cheese Sandwiches

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.”

Keenan’s at the Pier
Keenan’s at the Pier

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 […]

Farm Fresh Workplaces Come to Life
Farm Fresh Workplaces Come to Life

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 […]

Pollen Folly Farm
Pollen Folly Farm

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 […]

The Rome Store
The Rome Store

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 […]

Busting Waste With Beers!
Busting Waste With Beers!

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!

Viva Farms: Growing delicious food & Launching the next generation of farmers
Viva Farms: Growing delicious food & Launching the next generation of farmers

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. […]

30,000 Pounds of Food and 12,000 Meals
30,000 Pounds of Food and 12,000 Meals

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.

Homeskillet: Wild, wonderful, and a little bit weird
Homeskillet: Wild, wonderful, and a little bit weird

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)!       […]

Appel Farms
Appel Farms

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, […]

Dandelion Organic Delivery
Dandelion Organic Delivery

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 […]

Sustainability, Business and Community
Sustainability, Business and Community

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.

2018 Sustainability Champion Awards
2018 Sustainability Champion Awards

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 […]

Growing farmers, growing community
Growing farmers, growing community

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 […]

Probably Shouldn’t Distillery
Probably Shouldn’t Distillery

  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 […]

Sea to Shore Seafood Co.
Sea to Shore Seafood Co.

Meet Chelsea and Peter, a young couple that has committed themselves to sustainable fishing and getting you all freshest most delicious seafood possible!

Bellingham Pasta Co.
Bellingham Pasta Co.

  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. […]

Serendipity As A Catalyst
Serendipity As A Catalyst

  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 […]

Alluvial Farms
Alluvial Farms

  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 […]

The No Good, Very Bad Week In Food Waste
The No Good, Very Bad Week In Food Waste

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.

My Housing Story
My Housing Story

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 […]

Triple Wren Farms: Fresh, local, beautiful flowers
Triple Wren Farms: Fresh, local, beautiful flowers

  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 […]

Down in the Dumpster
Down in the Dumpster

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.

Uncork and Unwind with the Vault Wine Bar
Uncork and Unwind with the Vault Wine Bar

  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. […]

Trashin’ it at Home
Trashin’ it at Home

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.

Boxx Berry Farm: A family farm for the community
Boxx Berry Farm: A family farm for the community

    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 […]

Q & A with Whatcom Community Foundation CEO Mauri Ingram
Q & A with Whatcom Community Foundation CEO Mauri Ingram

  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 […]

The 2017 Chef’s Farm Tour!
The 2017 Chef’s Farm Tour!

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 […]

Leading the way in sustainability reporting
Leading the way in sustainability reporting

  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 […]

What Goes Up Goes Somewhere
What Goes Up Goes Somewhere

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.

Riverhaven Farm: Nature oriented, permaculture driven, grass-based agriculture
Riverhaven Farm: Nature oriented, permaculture driven, grass-based agriculture

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 […]

Heliotrope Hotel: PNW Modern Lodging
Heliotrope Hotel: PNW Modern Lodging

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. […]

Blanchard Mountain Farm: Good food, great community, healthy ecosystems
Blanchard Mountain Farm: Good food, great community, healthy ecosystems

  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 […]

Hundred North: Modern Food and Drink
Hundred North: Modern Food and Drink

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 […]

Don’t forget the People!
Don’t forget the People!

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?

Lovitt Restaurant: Relaxed Farm to Table Eating
Lovitt Restaurant: Relaxed Farm to Table Eating

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 […]

Foothills Flowers: Environmentally Conscious Flowers With Lots of Heart
Foothills Flowers: Environmentally Conscious Flowers With Lots of Heart

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 […]

Greenwashing – Stretching the Definition
Greenwashing – Stretching the Definition

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: Committed to Community & Great Pizza!
Goat Mountain Pizza: Committed to Community & Great Pizza!

  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 […]

Osprey Hill Farm: A small farm taking big steps toward sustainability
Osprey Hill Farm: A small farm taking big steps toward sustainability

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. […]

What is Your Good Deed?
What is Your Good Deed?

Among the many wonderful aspects of my position here at Sustainable Connections, one of the best is the opportunity to work with and learn from such bright business people. I am truly amazed at the wealth of knowledge we have in our community and the overall ethos of many businesses among us that are working hard […]

Andy Leebron-Clay Wins Lifetime Achievement 2017 Sustainability Champion Award
Andy Leebron-Clay Wins Lifetime Achievement 2017 Sustainability Champion Award

Every year Sustainable Connections honors five local businesses that are taking steps towards achieving a healthy triple bottom line–taking care of employees, our environment, and the local economy–with a Sustainability Champion Award. Drawn from the four tenets of our mission, the awards celebrate local businesses who are leaders in Strong Community, Healthy Environment, Meaningful Employment, […]

A-1 Builders Wins Meaningful Employment 2017 Sustainability Champion Award
A-1 Builders Wins Meaningful Employment 2017 Sustainability Champion Award

Every year Sustainable Connections honors five local businesses that are taking steps towards achieving a healthy triple bottom line–taking care of employees, our environment, and the local economy–with a Sustainability Champion Award. Drawn from the four tenets of our mission, the awards celebrate local businesses who are leaders in Strong Community, Healthy Environment, Meaningful Employment, […]

The Leopold Retirement Residence Wins Healthy Environment Sustainability Champion Award
The Leopold Retirement Residence Wins Healthy Environment Sustainability Champion Award

Every year Sustainable Connections honors five local businesses that are taking steps towards achieving a healthy triple bottom line–taking care of employees, our environment, and the local economy–with a Sustainability Champion Award. Drawn from the four tenets of our mission, the awards celebrate local businesses who are leaders in Strong Community, Healthy Environment, Meaningful Employment, […]

Aslan Brewing Co. Wins Strong Community Sustainability Champion Award
Aslan Brewing Co. Wins Strong Community Sustainability Champion Award

Every year Sustainable Connections honors five local businesses that are taking steps towards achieving a healthy triple bottom line–taking care of employees, our environment, and the local economy–with a Sustainability Champion Award. Drawn from the four tenets of our mission, the awards celebrate local businesses who are leaders in Strong Community, Healthy Environment, Meaningful Employment, […]

Drizzle Lynden Wins 2017 Thinking Local First Sustainability Champion Award
Drizzle Lynden Wins 2017 Thinking Local First Sustainability Champion Award

Every year Sustainable Connections honors five local businesses that are taking steps towards achieving a healthy triple bottom line–taking care of employees, our environment, and the local economy–with a Sustainability Champion Award. Drawn from the four tenets of our mission, the awards celebrate local businesses who are leaders in Strong Community, Healthy Environment, Meaningful Employment, […]

Summer Energy Internship Opportunity
Summer Energy Internship Opportunity

Our Energy Efficiency & Renewables program is looking for an intern for this summer. Full posting link below–Application deadline is April 27th. 2017 Energy Program Intern

Q & A with WECU CEO Jennifer Kutcher
Q & A with WECU CEO Jennifer Kutcher

Recently, we were lucky enough to chat with President & CEO of Whatcom Educational Credit Union, Jennifer Kutcher, about her work at WECU and their role in our community. WECU is Whatcom County’s largest not-for-profit cooperative credit union, has a huge commitment to our community and is devoted to social responsibility. Whether through financially supporting […]

8 Questions with A Local Business Owner: Valerie Wade of the Wild Bird Chalet
8 Questions with A Local Business Owner: Valerie Wade of the Wild Bird Chalet

Open to wildlife lovers of all levels! The Wild Bird Chalet has all you need to entice the local wildlife into your backyard, from a variety of bird houses, bird and squirrel feeders (as well as squirrel proof feeders) books, art, puzzles, gifts, bulk seed, feed, and yard decorations. You name it, there are lots […]

The 90 Minute Shower
The 90 Minute Shower

Incredulousness abounds and you say to yourself, “What does hamburger have to do with a 90-minutes shower?” The cold hard truth is we consume the same amount of resources whether you take a 90-minute show or throw away one hamburger patty.

Culture Cafe at Kombucha Town: Live Healthy, Live Happy
Culture Cafe at Kombucha Town: Live Healthy, Live Happy

  The Culture Café at Kombucha Town is a place unlike any other in Bellingham, dreamt up by Chris McCoy, the Café has something for everyone. A brewpub with craft beer or kombucha, healthy bites or rich desserts, it’s the perfect place to meet friends for a board game or a date under dimmed Edison […]

Samish Bay Cheese: (crazy good) Organic Farmstead Cheese
Samish Bay Cheese: (crazy good) Organic Farmstead Cheese

  Driving down into the flats off of Chuckanut on a sunny day, skirting around Samish Bay, and landing in Edison is one of my favorite local day trips. Even better is when I get to stop in at Samish Bay Cheese, one of our most well-loved local creameries. Suzanne and Roger Wechsler have been […]

Sustainable Business Development Sponsor: Healthy Pet
Sustainable Business Development Sponsor: Healthy Pet

Healthy Pet® has engaged deeply with Sustainable Connections and takes part in the Toward Zero Waste, Community Energy Challenge, Eat Local First, and Sustainable Business Development Campaigns. Their Toward Zero Waste efforts have diverted over 80% of their waste from landfill, and their participation in the Community Energy Challenge was a partnership that led to the program’s largest LED lighting retrofit to date.

Sustainable Business Development: Raven Breads
Sustainable Business Development: Raven Breads

Raven Breads is a small, artisan bakery in Bellingham, WA, making whole grain, sourdough bread & pastries with organic ingredients grown and gathered (with a few tropical exceptions) in the Pacific Northwest. The selection changes from week to week, depending on the season and the baker’s whims. To keep tabs on Raven Breads, visit Sophie at the Bellingham Farmers Market or sign up for the newsletter.

Towards Zero Waste: Characterizing Your Waste & Grooving
Towards Zero Waste: Characterizing Your Waste & Grooving

Characterize Your Waste seems like an interesting phrase and is certainly open to interpretation. I imagine many of you thought this would be a great opportunity to pull out the crayons, create characters and illustrations, and jam with Macklemore and Oscar the Grouch. Grooving with Macklemore and Oscar is one way to get down with your waste and I encourage it, but keep reading to learn more about what the term means to those of us working in the Toward Zero Waste World.

Samson Estates Winery: Think and Drink Outside the Box
Samson Estates Winery: Think and Drink Outside the Box

This time of year, walking through the bare vines as Baker peaks over the foothills topped with heavy snow, the farm and vineyard are peaceful and quiet. It’s a beautiful place and is easy to imagine spending a summer afternoon picnicking next to the lavender that grows in the flower beds nearby. Samson Estates Winery […]

Evolve Chocolate: All you need is love and truffles!
Evolve Chocolate: All you need is love and truffles!

Carefully melted, simmered, stirred and rolled with love…Evolve is the perfect story for the month of amor. Co-owners Christy & Shannon Fox were married six years ago but have always been passionate about good food, the power of local, and yes….chocolate. They started Evolve wanting to share the bounty and flavors of our region, and […]

Dynamic Duo: Ed and Janet of Boundary Bay Brewery
Dynamic Duo: Ed and Janet of Boundary Bay Brewery

Janet and Ed of Boundary Bay Brewery are definitely a dynamic duo. They are tireless promoters of what it takes to have a true community, believing – and proving – that mentoring and collaborating creates a culture that’s good for business. They match affable natures with incredibly generous donations of time, product, and space – […]

Four Friends Create A Worker’s Coop:  Bellingham Bay Builders
Four Friends Create A Worker’s Coop: Bellingham Bay Builders

Back in 2003, four friends, Dave Brogan, Ross Grier, Tim Smith, and Brian Forth, with years of experience in building, woodworking and timber framing became interested in the idea of starting a worker’s cooperative. In 2004, that idea became Bellingham Bay Builders. As a values-based company and a workers’ cooperative, Bellingham Bay Builders was founded […]


Leading by Example: Diana Ambauen-Mead with Scratch and Peck Feeds

In 2012, Scratch and Peck Feeds became the first Non-GMO Project Verified animal feed manufacturer in North America and in 2013, they stepped it up to become Certified Organic, the first feed manufacturer in the nation to hold both badges. They produce organic and non-GMO feeds because they want to help lead this sustainable food […]

Commitment to Community: Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU)
Commitment to Community: Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU)

WECU is not only a leader in banking services, they also strive to support education, health and community concerns through nonprofit donations and volunteerism. They offer many financial education opportunities, free of charge, to promote the financial literacy of residents. In 2013 alone, WECU’s Social Responsibility Committee oversaw the donation of 112 thousand dollars directly […]

Innovative Business Model: Terra Organic and Natural Foods
Innovative Business Model: Terra Organic and Natural Foods

Terra Organic and Natural Foods meticulous sourcing of products for their store is undeniable. Their enthusiastic support of local food and farming businesses includes taking staff out to visit farms. They boast Whatcom County’s only all-organic produce department. And we have all been made more aware of Genetically Modified foods through the nationally-recognized labeling campaign […]

Committed Collaborator:  Caprice Teske of the Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Committed Collaborator: Caprice Teske of the Bellingham Farmer’s Market

The Bellingham Farmers Market is an amazing gathering place for our community and it is led by a committed collaborator, Caprice. The Market’s dedication to serving its customers and meeting the needs of its vendors is unparalleled. Chef in the Market, the Bellingham Chef’s Collaborative and the Farm to School program build vital bridges between […]

Taking Care of Each Other: Colleen Unema and her staff at Brio Laundry
Taking Care of Each Other: Colleen Unema and her staff at Brio Laundry

Brio Laundry is widely known for their use of high-efficiency machines and sustainable practices, believing that the old approach of wasting water, electricity and gas is neither sustainable nor justifiable when better options exist. Owner Colleen Unema also has an amazing commitment to her staff. Bri Laundry employs 9 attendants, working what’s typically a minimum-wage […]

Committed to the community’s health: Faber Construction
Committed to the community’s health: Faber Construction

Faber Construction was founded by Rick and Debbie Faber in 1987. While originally specializing in agricultural buildings, they have since expanded both in project volume and scope of work. They are now a full service construction company working in both the public and private sectors. Faber is committed to the health of the communities they […]

Saturna Capital
Saturna Capital

Saturna Capital has been an innovator and collaborator in our community since 1989. They’re constantly working on triple bottom line practices, have recently introduced sustainable funds, are a financial sponsor of Western Washington University’s Sustainable Business Lab, and donate at least 5% of their profits to local organizations each year. Their employees engage with the […]

A Seriously Sustainable Team: Chrysalis Inn and Spa
A Seriously Sustainable Team: Chrysalis Inn and Spa

The Chrysalis was one of the original participants in the Community Energy Challenge back in 2011. Since then they have done a series of measures to save energy in their building. Including installing; high efficiency boilers, water heaters, lighting sensors, and replacing existing lighting with LED bulbs. More recently they have done analysis on saving […]


Staying Connected From Farm to Fork

Staying Connected from Farm to Fork highlights the relationship between consumers and locally grown food in Whatcom County. Many thanks to Hand Crank Films for producing this beautiful film and to the WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Sustainable Whatcom Fund of the Whatcom Community Foundation for making it possible.


Green Communities Film Short – Saving Energy in Affordable Housing

The Bellingham Housing Authority was one of 35 communities in the country to receive $10 million to retrofit affordable housing with state of the art energy efficiency upgrades. See the businesses that made this project happen and the amazing outcomes of this 2 year project in our community. This project is setting trends to change affordable housing nationally.