The Benefits of a Kitchen Garden

Looking to make your business more sustainable, all while cultivating a green thumb?  If your business is in the service industry, growing a kitchen garden may be the perfect step for you.  Evidence of the growing farm to table trend, many restaurants and lodging establishments across the U.S. are growing their own ingredients for their menus.  This is because many chefs are recognizing the benefits of growing their own food at the location where they cook.

As a general rule, locally grown food tends to be of higher quality, and better tasting than alternative ingredients.  It’s impossible to get food that is more fresh than that grown on the premises, and harvested the same day someone orders it.  By growing its own produce, a restaurant is able to monitor pesticide use, and therefore has the opportunity to guarantee that their ingredients are organic.

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Maintaining a Green Building

The greenest building is the one that is already built. Less material is wasted without infrastructure changes.  Instead, simple modifications can be made to the heating, cooling, electric, and water systems. Weatherization assistance programs are available, giving subsidies from The Department of Energy. These can cover air sealing windows and doors, H.V.A.C., and insulation of attic and basement. Many businesses do bulk energy purchasing as well, sometimes getting as low as eight cents per kilowatt. In Germany there’s passive heating, which uses only body heat to heat the whole house, insulated by a thick envelope on the exterior of the house to keep it circulated inside. Continue reading

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Increasing Trend in Green Travel

Last week, TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com), the world’s largest travel site, released some information that is very encouraging for sustainable businesses.  For those who don’t know, TripAdvisor is a website that features advice and reviews from travelers on all aspects of travel; including lodging, restaurants, flights, etc….

TripAdvisor’s announcement included the results of its eco-friendly travel survey, which included more than 700 U.S. travelers.  What these results found is good news for businesses looking to increase their sustainability.  The results show an increase in green-mindsets among travelers.

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Creating a Second On-Season

Between May when the weather gets warm and when it starts to get cold in November, the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) brings thousands of potential customers through the towns along it’s length. During peak summer months and holiday weekends tourist destinations like Ohiopyle can be awash with visitors and their dollars. Finding ways to maintain and increase this seasonal traffic is a great way to increase profits, but the problem becomes what to do during those months of the off-season. For established businesses strong local patronage during the trail season is a bonus and the off-season brings slower but still good levels of business. The issue is really for those businesses that depend on the trail customers.

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Sustainable Business Suggestions

One man gathers what another man spills. Some organic farms have started to pick up on money saving strategies such as collecting designated scraps from local restaurants, and adding them to their compost. In this mutually beneficial relationship, the business saves on their garbage bill, and the farm gets free compost. In the way that nature’s living organisms play off of each other in an ecosystem, this is the most fundamental form of sustainability.

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Recycling Bottle Caps

Are you looking to increase your businesses’ sustainability?  While one big improvement for businesses is implementing a recycling program, this can be taken another step further.  Plastic caps, one of the Earth’s least commonly recycled items, are inevitably used at your business.  While throwing these caps away has long been standard behavior, Julia Joseph, owner of the Ohiopyle Bakery & Sandwich Shop, suggested a remedy for this practice.  Joseph participates in Caps Can Do®, a program that is dedicated to plastic cap recycling, promoting education, increasing awareness and providing solutions to the problems that littered plastic caps cause to Earth’s inhabitants.

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By the Power of the Bike!

It may seem the most obvious thing in the world to say, but appealing to bicyclists is an excellent strategy to sustain your sustainable business. Here is a reminder, and some opportunities to attract bike traffic that you may not be aware of.

Bicycles are a tremendously sustainable way to travel, and many avid bicyclists know and value that fact. The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) provides access to a tourist market that will not only want your services when they get off the trail but may be all the more interested in them because of your sustainable practices. You will want to let these bikers know you’re out there, make them want to come, and make it easy for them to do so.

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