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!
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 […]
Still Here, Still Resilient
This is where I feel triumphant through the good deeds of our volunteers and exemplary performance of my coworkers. In a time of need where everything seems to be just that much harder, we have found a way to be successful beyond my wildest expectations.
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!
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.
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 – […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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
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.
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 […]
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
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!
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 […]
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.”
Pure Bliss Desserts
Pure Bliss Desserts is giving a wonderful gift to the community: tasty treats made with integrity and love.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.