St. Louis Green Blog

Sustainable Backyard Tour Seeks Yard Hosts

Posted Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Andrea

Sustainable Backyard Tour Seeks Yard Hosts

Fourth-annual area-wide event welcomes new participants

 

WHAT: The St. Louis Sustainable Backyard Tour

WHEN: Sunday, June 22 from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Private yards and gardens throughout St. Louis City and County.

COST: Free

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Slow Food St. Louis, St. Louis Audubon Society

MEDIA PARTNERS: Gateway Gardener, R3 St. Louis, Healthy Planet magazines.

www.sustainablebackyardtour.com

 

(ST. LOUIS): The Sustainable Backyard Tour, held each year in June, is a unique opportunity to see firsthand how homeowners in St. Louis City and County are transforming their yards in a range of environmentally sensitive ways.   

More than 80 families have welcomed tour goers into their yards over the past three years, demonstrating such practices as composting, organic gardening, chicken and beekeeping, native plant landscaping, rainwater conservation, renewable energy production and backyard habitat creation. Attendees design their own routes, choosing from addresses and descriptions in a map booklet, available around town and online beginning mid-June.  

As the tour grows, more hosts are needed to keep things interesting as well as to give past hosts a break. “We have a few charter hosts, who’ve been generous enough to be on tour every year, but we always want new yards to show that these things can be done anywhere,” says tour founder Terry Winkelmann. “Practices like homesteading and edible landscaping are spreading into every neighborhood and municipality—we want to find the trailblazers so we can shine a light on their efforts.”

While many host sites are traditional backyards of single family residences, apartment buildings, rooftops, frontyards, and school gardens are particularly encouraged. The deadline to register or suggest a potential host is May 1st. Visit www.sustainablebackyardtour.com for details and a link to the online registry.

 Saint Louis Beekeepers, Grow Native!

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EarthDance receives $10,000 from Godiva Chocolate!

Posted Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Andrea

EarthDance Organic Farm School Receives $10,000 from GODIVA  

St. Louis, MO - The Lady GODIVA Program has recognized local lady Molly Rockamann, Founding Director of EarthDance, as a 2014 Lady Godiva Honoree.  The Lady Godiva Program supports extraordinary women who embody the spirit of Lady Godiva through their attributes of selflessness, generosity, and leadership.  Molly Rockamann is the first of these women to receive recognition for work on behalf of the environment.   

Rockamann founded EarthDance in order to preserve Missouri’s oldest organic farm, the Mueller Farm in Ferguson, MO. When the last farming member of the Mueller family passed, there was a significant risk that this historic property would be forgotten and lost to urban blight and decay. Ms. Rockamann recognized the need to preserve the site as a productive farm and a center for agricultural education. In 2008, Molly founded EarthDance and launched the organization’s flagship program, a part-time organic farming apprenticeship, designed to be accessible to urban dwellers from all walks of life.  In addition to the Farm and Garden Apprenticeship Program, EarthDance now offers fresh produce, a Community Supported Agriculture Program, farm tours, classes, youth programs.  In 2012, Rockamann realized her goal of preserving the Mueller Farm when EarthDance purchased the 14-acre site. Currently, the organization is working to place a conservation easement on the property to ensure that it will remain farmland for perpetuity.   

Along with her award, Rockamann is the recipient of a $10,000 award from Godiva Chocolate. Rockamann says, “I was honored to be chosen as a local Lady Godiva.  I accept the award on behalf of everyone who has contributed to the making of EarthDance. Preserving healthy, bountiful farms takes many hands. I hope that EarthDance can serve as a model to others who want to preserve farmland and educate the next generation of organic farmers.”   

To watch the video that Lady Godiva filmed of Molly in action, click here. 

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Sun Ministries Opens in Hyde Park Neighborhood

Posted Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Andrea

Public Service Announcement

For Immediate Release

St. Louis, Missouri

Sun Ministries announces the opening of the Sun Cafe in the Hyde Park neighborhood of north St. Louis. The cafe opened after an extensive rehab of one of the most prominent and historic buildings in Hyde Park. Sun Ministries is a non-profit organization working to rebuild the Hyde Park neighborhood.The cafe will serve as a resource for their work in helping to feed, employ, train and empower local residents.

The cafe features extensive use of re-purposed and up-cycled materials. The main coffee bar and bakery case are made from re-purposed shipping pallets. Many of the decorative items are salvaged from the neighborhood. The cafe also features locally made hand crafted re-purposed products. These items include wood items and items made from burlap coffee bean bags.

The Sun Cafe serves a full breakfast and lunch menu as well as a full coffee and ice cream menu. The cafe is located at 1435 Salisbury Street St. Louis Missouri 63107. The hours are Monday – Friday 6:30 am – 3:00 pm and Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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Green Seal Launches New Sustainability Standard

Posted Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Andrea

Green Seal, In Conjunction with The Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition and The Rosenthal Group, Launches New National Sustainability Standard For Restaurants and Food Services   

GS-55 Minimizes Restaurant Environmental Impact By Addressing

Food Sourcing, Waste Management, Energy and Water Use  

Eight Chicago Area Restaurants Are First To Receive Certification

 

Chicago, March 12, 2014 — Green Seal, the nation’s oldest independent non-profit providing sustainability certification for products and services, today launched a new sustainability standard for restaurants and food services in conjunction with The Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition and The Rosenthal Group.   

The standard, GS-55, covers retail restaurants and institutional food service operations through rigorous criteria that minimize environmental impact in several categories.  These include food sourcing through use of foods produced in a sustainable manner; waste management, including food waste, compostable waste, recycling and water quality management; energy use; water consumption and the use of other environmentally-preferable products and services.

 GS-55 is the result of a pilot program conducted in partnership with The Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition (GCRC), an organization dedicated to protecting the environment and conserving natural resources by helping the Chicago foodservice industry reduce its collective environmental footprint.  The pilot was conducted with Chicago restaurants using criteria developed on the basis of a study by the Green Restaurant Research Team at the University of Chicago in cooperation with GCRC. 

In the pilot program, one participating restaurant achieved 96% diversion of its waste, while another was able to limit waste to just a few gallons per year.  These gains came about through compliance with the standard’s criteria for composting, food donation, recycling of solid waste and grease and limiting disposable packaging.

Eight Chicago restaurants and food services, including two in McCormick Place, have achieved certification so far. These include: 

  • ·         Autre Monde Café & Spirits
  • ·         FIG Catering
  • ·         Food For Thought
  • ·         Sandwich Me In
  • ·         La Brea Bakery Café
  • ·         West Hall Food Court at McCormick Place
  • ·         Cicchetti
  • ·         The Soprafina Marketcaffé 

An additional 12 Chicago area restaurants are in the process of being evaluated for certification. Unlike other green programs, Green Seal verifies, monitors, and holds each restaurant accountable for meeting requirements. Green Seal conducts a complete review of purchasing records, processes and communications, as well as on-site audits. 

“According to the EPA, more than 36 million tons of food waste were generated in 2011, 96% of which was thrown away into landfills,” says Arthur B. Weissman, Ph.D., President and CEO of Green Seal. “With our new standard, nearly 100% of waste can be diverted from the landfill. With nearly 1 million restaurants in the U.S., adoption of our standard would have a significant impact on the environment.”   

“It is always encouraging when pointed research yields such tangible results. The launch of GS-55 answers the call of a defined market need for options in independent foodservice sustainability certification,” says Eloise Karlatiras, President& CEO, Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition. “This standard provides food service businesses nationwide with a comprehensive, third party option to measure, track, verify, and improve upon operational sustainability. As these efforts serve to reduce the food service industry’s environmental impact, we are delighted to have been a part of such important work.”   

“Environmentally friendly practices and good business practices should go hand in hand,” says Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago. “These actions will help establish Chicago’s long-term livability as we secure a more sustainable future. We congratulate Green Seal, the team and local participating restaurants on launching a national standard based on pilot work done in Chicago.”   

“We’ve been involved in the creation of this standard from the outset and are thrilled that it will now be available on a national scale,” says Dan Rosenthal, President of the Rosenthal Group.  “There is no other sustainability standard for restaurants out there that can rival GS-55 for its thoroughness or scientific basis. It is truly the gold standard for any restaurant that wants to validate its sustainability efforts.” 

The Rosenthal Group’s Sopraffina and CICCHETTI restaurants participated in the Green Seal pilot and are among the eight local restaurants to receive the initial certification. 

For more information about GS-55, including certification tools, application information, and to obtain a download of the standard, visit www.GreenSeal.org.   

About Green Seal  

The original “Green Seal of Approval” was founded in 1989 to help safeguard the health of people and the planet. As an independent, science-based standards developer and certification body, Green Seal identifies products and services that are environmentally responsible, and provides public education for creating a more sustainable world. Call (202)872-6400 for more information, or visit www.GreenSeal.org for links to all Green Seal standards and certified products and services.   

About Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition  

Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition is an organization dedicated to protecting the environment and conserving natural resources by helping the Chicago foodservice industry reduce its collective environmental footprint.  

The GCRC provides educational resources to Chicago foodservice outlets, increases the availability and accessibility of sustainable goods and services in Chicago’s foodservice industry, and educates consumers about environmentally sustainable dining options. The GCRC also provides members with cost savings, personalized sustainability assistance, and access to a comprehensive online database of sustainable goods and services.

www.buygreenchicago.org

 

About The Rosenthal Group  

The Rosenthal Group, Inc. has been developing and managing high quality restaurant concepts in Chicago since 1988.  Founder and owner Dan Rosenthal has also been a leader in Chicago’s environmental and sustainability arena for the last 8 years, devoting much of his time to correcting the huge negative impact that his and other Chicago restaurants have on the environment. His 2 newest restaurants, Sopraffina and CICCHETTI, have just been certified as sustainable by Green Seal, the nation’s preeminent certifying body for environmentally friendly products and services, and his 7 other restaurants are awaiting final Green Seal approval.   

In 2007 he founded the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition, an organization whose mission is to educate Chicago restaurant chefs and owners about sustainability and to bring products and services to Chicago area foodservice operations that are both sustainable and affordable. That organization now has nearly 200 active members.   

Rosenthal has also been a passionate advocate for eliminating the non therapeutic use of antibiotics in the raising of animals for food, and has spoken widely on the issue. His restaurants serve over 30,000 meals a week, and purchase over 700,000 pounds of animal proteins a year, every ounce of which has been certifiably raised without antibiotics.

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Final Light Sorting With St. Louis Green!

Posted Thursday, February 13th, 2014 by Andrea

lights

 

….Okay, luckily we don’t have THIS many lights left in our warehouse, but we do have enough that we are seeking volunteers to help us this Saturday February 15th from 9am – Noon. We are looking for at least a dozen volunteers to help us with our final push to turn in the lights we have remaining at our warehouse in Maryland Heights. Gather some family, coworkers and friends and help us keep these lights out of our local landfills!

St. Louis Green’s Warehouse
11721 Dunlap Industrial Drive
Maryland Heights MO 63043

We ask that you bring work gloves with you if you have them.

Please join us, this is a great volunteer opportunity that helps the environment and St. Louis Green in the process (which is greatly greatly appreciated!).

Call (314) 222-8004 or email us at lights@stlouisgreen.com for more information.

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Applications For RainScaping Rebates Program Extended!

Posted Thursday, February 13th, 2014 by Andrea

 

DCAWaterGraphicDiagram_flat_20130827_545x550

 

The Deer Creek Watershed Alliance has exciting news for applicants of the RainScape Rebates Program. The application deadline date has been extended to Friday March 21st.  The purpose of the program is to improve water quality in Deer Creek and it’s tributaries by installing landscaping that helps capture rain where it falls, instead of allowing water to run off-site. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of the rebates for this program and help improve the storm water run-off at your residence.

Landowners in the following municipalities are eligible to apply:

  • Brentwood
  • Clayton
  • Creve Coeur
  • Crystal Lake Park
  • Des Peres
  • Frontenac
  • Glendale
  • Huntleigh
  • Kirkwood
  • Ladue
  • Maplewood
  • Olivette
  • Richmond Heights
  • Rock Hill
  • Shrewsbury
  • Town & County
  • University City
  • Warson Woods
  • Webster Groves

RainScape Rebates is a voluntary program that financially assists landowners in the Deer Creek Watershed wishing to landscape their yards to improve stormwater management.

Download an application here

Learn more about this program

 

Posted in Activism, Gardening, Local News | No Comments »


Green News

Posted Monday, February 10th, 2014 by Andrea

Interested in green news?  Take a look at the following articles and share them!

These links are provided by Tony Calandro, Sr. Partner at VOX Global.  Check out the website: http://voxglobal.com/issue-areas/corporate-sustainability/   Tony can also be found on Twitter:  @TonySustain

17 leading philanthropies pledge fossil fuel divestment – A group of 17 leading foundations has announced a new initiative to encourage fossil fuel divestment by the philanthropic community.  Called Divest-Invest Philanthropy, the new effort launched Jan. 30 in support of a growing movement among other nonprofit endowments, including academic, health, pension and religious foundations.  http://bit.ly/1bZikwK via @triplepundit

Banks feel heat on Climate Change—Some banks, including Bank of America, Chase and JP Morgan, are being pressed to disclose more about lending to firms that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.  http://on.wsj.com/LF0LLB via @WSJ

Transformative innovation meets global challenges – rather than feelgood CSR – Targeted innovation is where companies aim new kinds of commercial propositions at the big social and environmental hotspots in society. They build on their own competencies and creatively intervene within their sector or adjacent sectors to tackle the local and global challenges. http://bit.ly/Lz0auR via @guardian

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Green News

Posted Monday, February 3rd, 2014 by Andrea

Interested in green news?  Take a look at the following articles and share them!

These links are provided by Tony Calandro, Sr. Partner at VOX Global.  Check out the website: http://voxglobal.com/issue-areas/corporate-sustainability/   Tony can also be found on Twitter:  @TonySustain

Wilmar’s ‘no deforestation’ goal could revolutionize food production–In the very late hours of what had been a long Singapore day, on 5 December 2013, global palm oil giant Wilmar quietly posted a press release on its website. It announced a far-reaching new policy commitment – no deforestation, no exploitation, no peatland development in any of its business. http://bit.ly/LpHnm2 via @GuardianSustBiz

Why CFOs are sustainability’s surprising new superheroes – What is driving this shift from the perception of sustainability as soft stuff to sustainability as a value driver? CFOs realize that a sustainability lens can improve enterprise risk management, including physical asset, compliance, supply chain and reputation risk. Already, they have seen improved profitability from early investments in resource efficiency. http://bit.ly/1b2Hyxe via @GreenBiz

Tricks of the trade that block climate change progress – One of the things that investment in clean energy more challenging is the amount of money that goes from corporate coffers into politics, aimed at blocking any constructive action on climate and energy policy. Much of this is so-called dark money, spending that is difficult or impossible to trace to an ultimate corporate sponsor. http://bit.ly/1b2Hyxe via @GreenBiz

 

 

 

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White Roofs or Green Roofs?

Posted Friday, January 31st, 2014 by Andrea

It’s not a question that is considered a lot, but cities are moving away from the traditional black roof.  Black roofs absorb the heat from the sun, making buildings warmer.  This makes air conditioning use go up, hence electricity use goes up.

There are alternatives to the black roof–white or green.  Check out this post from conservationmagazine.org that helps you decide which roof works for you!

Click here for the article.

 

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Green Building | 1 Comment »


Growing Green Award Nominations Extended

Posted Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Andrea

ggalogo

The U.S. Green Building Council- Missouri Gateway Chapter is proud to celebrate and recognize the individuals, groups and organizations actively transforming the built environment while sharing their knowledge of green building and sustainable practices.

Nominations NOW OPEN for the 2014 Growing Green Awards! Download the nomination package  – deadline extended to Monday, February 3!

The celebration & dinner will be March 27 at the Mad Art Gallery.  Learn more information here

Awards include:

Emerging Leader

Education

Operational Excellence

Restoration

Innovation

Community Champion

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