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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, […]

Grinding Gears and Shuttling Rubber
Grinding Gears and Shuttling Rubber

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
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.

  Sustainable seafood that’s dang good By Niki Wakefield   You don’t know what you don’t know until you know. I had no idea how little I know about fishing until I had the honor of sitting down with Chelsea and Peter Keutmann, the fishers and proprietors of Sea to Shore Seafood. Sea to Shore […]

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 […]