IRAQ VETERAN A SUSTAINABLE INSPIRATION
Whole Foods Market offers sustainable seafood choices
AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market launches the first in-store color-coded sustainability-rating program for wild-caught seafood and commits to phasing out all red-rated species by Earth Day 2013. Through partnerships with Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium, Whole Foods Market is the first national grocer to provide a comprehensive sustainability rating system for wild-caught seafood.
Whole Foods Sustainability Rating
Blue Ocean and Monterey Bay Aquarium are highly respected for the strength of their science-based seafood programs. Both organizations evaluate species and the fishing fleets that catch them, based on life history, abundance, habitat impacts, fishery management practices and bycatch.
• Green or “best choice” ratings indicate that a species is relatively abundant and caught in environmentally-friendly ways; • Yellow or “good alternative” means some concerns exist with the species’ status or catch methods; • Red or “avoid” means that for now, the species is suffering from overfishing, or that current fishing methods harm other marine life or habitats.
The color-coded ratings offer shoppers transparent information about the sustainability status of wild-caught seafood. Anyone can go online and review complete species and fishery evaluations.
The new program expands upon the partnership that Whole Foods Market has had with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) since 1999, and the new ratings apply only to non-MSC-certified fish. The MSC is the world’s leading certification body for sustainable wild-caught seafood, and its blue ecolabel identifies wild-caught seafood products that are MSC-certified. The company’s new wild-caught seafood rating program and partnerships will complement its existing farmed seafood standards, which remain the highest in the industry. Farmed seafood at Whole Foods Market carries the “Responsibly Farmed” logo to indicate that it meets these high standards.
My Sust House
My Sust House is an exciting interactive game exploring what sustainability means.
Sustainable seafood the theme of ‘Woodstock for chefs’
SEPTEMBER 11, 2010
About 500 food industry types will gather this weekend in Duncan for what’s been dubbed the “Woodstock of chefs.” As it is the second annual Canadian Chefs’ Congress, there will be food and there will be drink. Some of the high-profile chefs in attendance include Michael Stadtlander, Jamie Kennedy and Michael Bonacini. This year’s theme is Oceans for Tomorrow. “The main goal of the congress is to get chefs together to communicate and create positive changes,” said Bill Jones, a co-chair of the Congress. “Chefs have a lot of impact on educating people and through their buying power and purchasing patterns, they can contribute to sustainability.” The West Coast, he said, is well ahead of the curve on sustainable food sourcing. “In Toronto, farmed salmon is still not considered a problem.”
The keynote speaker is David Boyd, an environmental lawyer and co-author of David Suzuki’s Green Guide. Other speakers include Mike McDermid of the Ocean Wise program, Christina Burridge of the B.C. Seafood Alliance and John Driscoll of Living Oceans Society. The $200 registration fee includes lunches and dinners today and Sunday, cooked by Canada’s leading chefs. Tonight’s dinner features a sustainable seafood smorgasbord cooked by some of Vancouver’s top chefs. Sunday’s dinner features Okanagan food. Publicist Cate Simpson said the shellfish aquaculture industry is featured at the event. “They’ve done a good job of being sustainable and the chefs want to support farmers who have made sure their methods were sustainable right from the get-go. Shellfish is a big part of the West Coast and they want to showcase it.”The biennial event takes place at Providence Farm in Duncan, a working cooperative farm that provides vocational training and horticultural therapy for people with mental and developmental challenges. There are still some tickets for the event. For more information, go to www.canadianchefscongress.com/british-columbia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Cooperative Farm Sets Sights on Sustainability
SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Farming in New England has never been easy. But Justin Torrico, with the help of his friends and family, is determined to give it a try. He, along with Tashiana Colston and Mael Raoult, have been working the fickle soil of Mount Washington and Sheffield in order to support Community Cooperative Farm, the most recent addition to a growing number of CSAs (community supported agriculture) in the area.”We’re trying to create a model of truly sustainable agriculture that largely doesn’t exist,” he said. “The problem right now is that there is such a heavy reliance on fossil fuels to run farms, even small ones. Everybody uses a tractor; we don’t.” Instead of tractors and machinery, Torrico and his band of merry farmers have taken an old-fashioned approach to farming, their hands. “Their approach seems like they’re trying to cut out the extra stuff,” said Sarah Johnston, a local gardener and Mount Washington resident who has been watching Torrico and his crew build their farm from the ground up. “They don’t use fuel or tractors. They even try to limit their trips up and down Route 7. I’ve watched them move huge fields of topsoil using a wheelbarrow.” Clearly, Community Cooperative Farm isn’t in it for the money. In fact, according to Torrico, the end goal is sustainability, not profit.
Tashiana Colston digs up weeds the old-fashioned way at the Sheffield plot of Community Cooperative Farm. “Social profit is the driving force,” he said. “We’ve made a little profit for our business. We all work largely for free, we have no debt. Realistically things can support quite a few people.” With ten CSA members, Torrico is hoping to double that number by next year. And that is just the beginning. In addition to recruiting new members and farmers, CCF has applied for nonprofit status and is anticipating a land grant from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. “People have been generally supportive,” he said. “We just need an audience to teach that farms should be used in an ecological, responsible manner. We’re looking to grow more farmers.” Currently, Community Cooperative Farm is one of 18 CSAs stretching from Pownal, Vt., to Sheffield. according to Berkshire Grown. What makes it unique, said Johnston, is education. “They’re all highly educated people,” she said. “Their background is definitely something that local schools would be interested in. The idea is great; they just need to find their niche here.” Torrico agrees that education is an inevitable component to CCF’s mission, especially given what he calls the “one size fits all” model of standard “organic” farm productivity. “It doesn’t leave room for the natural world,” he said. “We’re producing sustainable veggies using biodynamic and biointensive techniques. We use open-pollinated seeds on order to save our seeds for the next season. This way we can grow the best plants for our soil and they adapt well to changes in the environment.”
Keeping the farm contained and sustainable is easier said than done. But Johnston is confident that CCF will thrive on its current practices. “There are a lot of small, grass roots farms coming up now,” she said. “But Justin is really trying to be more organic than organic,” she said. “Everything they do is local, right down to the feed that they give their chickens. I’m excited to see them get this off the ground.” Torrico feels that sustainability is no longer a choice and plans to move forward with his vision.
“I felt that this was the most important thing I could do in my life,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be profit versus sustenance. It hasn’t always been that way. We can make a new model.” For more information on Community Cooperative Farm call 413-530-9919. Or stop in at the farmstand on 63 West St. in Mount Washington. There is also a farmstand on Route 7, just before the center of Sheffield, that’s open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
UF challenges community to use one less car
By Sara Clark: Correspondent
For more information What: One Less Car initiative to use alternative transportation When: Now through Nov. 19
The One Less Car program offers another option.
The program, which is hosted by the UF Office of Sustainability, has attracted 3,000 participants since 2008, said Ashley Pennington, the outreach coordinator at the Office of Sustainability. One Less Car is part of UF’s initiative to be carbon neutral by 2025 by encouraging alternative means of transportation like car pooling, bicycling and taking the bus. Students, faculty and staff will hopefully continue the tradition and rise to the challenge of taking cars off the road. On Oct. 6, the program will celebrate the benefits associated with using alternative transportation from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Reitz Union Colonnade and North Lawn.
There are prizes to be won on the One Less Car Facebook page, where students can participate in challenges. They include taking a photo or video of their craziest commute and writing an essay, poem or short story, drawing a cartoon, or making a video on why they use alternative energy.
The program kicked off with a recent Alternative Transportation Fair that featured booths from transportation and parking services, the Regional Transit System, the Bike Safety Education Group and Asset Management. “It’s a dream to get every single student, faculty and staff to use alternative transportation,” Pennington said. While there’s no concrete measure of the number of participants the Office of Sustainability is trying to reach, they do aim to have as many people participate as possible, whether it’s for one day or the entire semester, Pennington said.
UF organizations like TRiP, a student adventure travel group, Global Gators, Gators for a Sustainable Campus and the American Solar Energy Society have already signed up to participate. But the outreach has extended to UF departments and individuals across campus.
The program uses GreenRide to allow participants to track their trips using alternative transportation. It also allows participants to plan trips and set up carpooling with other people. To sign up and track trips using alternative transportation, visit https://uf.greenride.com/en-US/. More information can be found at http://www.sustainability.ufl.edu/.
U.S. Department of State Agency Sustainability Plan
LETTER FROM THE SENIOR SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER Dear Chair Sutley and Director Orszag:
In accordance with Executive Order 13514, as the Senior Sustainability Officer for the U.S. Department of State, I hereby submit this Agency Sustainability Plan on behalf of the Department.
The U.S. Department of State is committed to pursuing and promoting responsible environmental stewardship and complying with all relevant environmental and energy statutes, regulations and Executive Orders. Over the next decade, the Department is planning to improve energy efficiency throughout its facilities and vehicle fleet, reducing material consumption and waste, and surveying and lowering its greenhouse gas emissions. The Department has begun renovations on a Charleston, SC, facility with the goal of achieving LEED® Platinum and net-zero energy status, implementing lighting, water and steam efficiency measures for the Department’s domestic building portfolio, and exploring green training opportunities for employee development.
The Department is dedicated to ensuring the most effective U.S. foreign policy outcomes and promoting accountability to our primary stakeholders, the American people. With great pride I note that the Department has a record of incorporating sustainability into its operations. By harnessing our employees’ zeal for greening efforts, we intend to make even greater strides over the next decade and beyond. Sincerely, Patrick F. Kennedy Under Secretary for Management Agency Senior Sustainability Officer U.S. Department of State.
Jeehan Fernandez – AHN News Writer
Espoo, Finland (AHN) – For the second time in a row, global mobile phone giant Nokia was named as the world’s most sustainable technology company by the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes Review 2010.
Nokia was chosen as “Technology Supersector Leader” making it to the top spot of the world’s technology sector for two straight years. The selection covers 2,500 companies worldwide and the indexes are relied upon by leading institutional investors. The firm scores high on thorough analysis of all dimensions of corporate economic, environmental and social performance which are the bases of globally respected rankings Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. Nokia strengths are cited especially in areas of customer relationship management, risk management, standards for suppliers, environmental policy and management system, labor practices, talent attraction and human capital development, according to the index.
“The second consecutive number one slot across the entire global technology industry is a great recognition of continued and strong commitment by Nokia employees to sustainable business practices,” Timo Ihamuotila, Nokia executive vice-president and chief financial officer said in a statement. “Sustainability is not a trend but our way of doing business. We remain committed to action and continue to look beyond our own operations to harness the power of mobile technology to address environmental, social and economic issues,” he said.
Kum & Go Supporting Sustainability, Ethanol Blends
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Kum & Go recently broke ground on a larger, more sustainable store design in Clive, Iowa. The store at NW 86th St. and Harbach Blvd. is slated to be completed in December. Kum & Go President Kyle Krause said at a ground-breaking event last week that the new concept was developed with input from Kum & Go associates, and will include a variety of sustainable features, according to a report by the Des Moines Register. The chain plans to use sustainable materials to build 5,000-square-foot stores that will be constructed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements.
“We have a duty to be environmentally responsible,” Krause said. “It is a serious responsibility that continually benefits our customers and the communities in which we do business.” Kum & Go also hopes to purchase building materials from local companies. “We’re trying to be a good local citizen,” Krause added. Skylights will be installed at the Clive location, as well as energy-efficient refrigeration and lighting systems.
The new initiative will also feature a larger selection fresh food options, including made-to-order pizzas, the newspaper reported. In other Kum & Go news, the c-store chain is partnering with the Iowa Corn Growers Association on its latest initiative, Iowa Corn Fed Game Day. The promotion is designed to not only educate consumers about ethanol, but also inform them on how important corn is in their daily lives, a Domestic Fuel blog reported. Consumers can learn more about food, fuel and products — and register to win $5,000 in free food and $2,500 in free fuel — online at www.iacornfed.com. The Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board also planned to have an activity booth set up in the Krause Family Plaza during this Saturday’s Iowa State vs. Iowa football game in Iowa City. Kum & Go currently has 62 stations selling E85 fuel, 31 of which are in Iowa. In addition, every Kum & Go station offers consumers the choice to use E10 when they fill up.