As the sun comes out and the Everest-like snow piles begin to melt, it’s clear that we are at the beginning of another season out on the trail! Spring cleaning is officially upon us, so besides having time to dust off your shelves and spruce up your window displays, it is equally as important to reassess how to cut down on your monthly overhead. And surprise, surprise! Being green can help you accomplish this.
Simple steps to cut down overhead include:
-turning lights off when you leave the room
–power strips when not in use can be turned off
-lowering the thermostat down after work hours
-using compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent
We already have some great ideas for lowering your monthly overhead and simultaneously becoming a more sustainable business archived right here in the GAP SBN blog all available as a resource for your perusal. Also, we at the Trail Town Outreach Corps want to remind you that we are another valuable resource available to help you research sustainable practices, help you write grant applications, or find you the assistance you need to make your sustainable business vision a reality!
Also, please remember that the GAP Sustainable Business Network is a place for you, the forward-thinking local businesses along the trail, to engage in dialogue as a community about how to better your sustainable business practices by sharing new ideas, detailing your own challenges, or reaching out for assistance.
This is your network to build as you see fit so be sure to make the most of it!
What does historic preservation have to do with sustainability? Lots!
The National Trust for Historic Preservation explains, “The conservation and improvement of our existing built resources, including re-use of historic and older buildings, greening the existing building stock, and reinvestment in older and historic communities, is crucial to combating climate change… The construction, operation and demolition of buildings accounts for 48% the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions.”
Not to mention, reusing older buildings preserves the historic character of the towns and takes advantage of the walkable, accessible layout that can be found in many of the Trail Towns. Currently there are a number of historic properties for sale all along the Great Allegheny Passage that would be perfect for opening a business. Check out www.historicproperties.com (Search Connellsville, Meyersdale and Rockwood) or www.downtownproperties.net (Select “Trail Towns”) to check them out.
Here are some businesses are already occupying, renovating and enjoying historic buildings along the Great Allegheny Passage.
- Confluence Cyclery – Confluence, PA: Brad and Maureen Smith renovated and revamped a major historic facade in Confluence’s Town Center. Their improvements have saved them money and enlivened the look of downtown Confluence.
- Youghiogheny Station – Connellsville, PA: The Youghiogheny Opalescent Class Company‘s (one of six stained glass manufactuers in the U.S.) retail outlet is now housed in the beautiful 1911 Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Rail Line station. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building still boasts original features like the ticket office, departure board, lighting fixtures and marble mosaic floor. This building also happens to be for sale.
- La Boheme – Connellsville, PA: Lucy and John King, owners of La Boheme art glass shop on Connellsville’s West Side are currently renovating the upper floors of their building to be a bed and breakfast highlighting the rich cultural heritage of Connellsville. Choosing this location was a conscious decision for the Kings, infusing life and beauty into downtown. They are also hiring local workers to complete the improvements!
- Rockwood Mill Shoppes and Opera House – Rockwood, PA: The old lumber and feed mill and opera house built between 1898-1905 has been painstakingly restored to its former glory by the Pletcher family. They de-grimed, de-greased and restored the lower floors and the hidden treasure of the opera house. They chose colors and finishings based on historical information and are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Mill Shoppes and Opera House are now highlights of any trip to Rockwood.
- Hostel on Main – Rockwood, PA: Another Pletcher family endeavor, the Hostel was once a general store, built in 1900. With the old ice box, tin ceilings and original wood floors the Hostel is oozing character. Not only did they renovate, but they purposefully bought energy star appliances, windows and insulation to “green” the property.
- Levi Deal Mansion Bed and Breakfast – Meyersdale, PA: The 15-room former home of coal and timber baron Levi Deal was finished in 1900 and recalls the grandeur of the gilded-age. The restored B&B feautures stained-glass windows, round towers, and a ballroom on the top floor.
You can explore more great features on the National Trust’s website on Historic Preservation and Sustainability including: how green is your main street, how to make your historic building energy efficient, sustainability by the numbers, and more!
Other ideas or stories about historic preservation? Post them below!
Join the Trail Town Program for a great KICK-OFF EVENT for the Great Allegheny Passage Sustainable Business Network!
We are hosting a half-day summit on Wednesday, November 18, from 10:00am – 2:30pm.
No matter where you are in the process of making more sustainable choices for your business— whether you’re thinking about ways to save money, wondering what “sustainability” is all about and how it affects you, recycling or composting, or making even bigger changes— we hope to see you there.
At the summit we’ll…
- Meet Eric Martin of Wilderness Voyageurs who will give a quick intro and talk about why he’s signing his businesses on to the program
- Hear from Mike Dreisbach of Savage River Lodge about his impressive greening efforts, and the money he saves as a result
- Discuss the SBN program and also give a brief demonstration on the FREE sustainability assessments that we offer
- Walk or carpool to Lucky Dog Café for a fresh, local lunch
- Visit the Confluence Cyclery to check out their energy efficient HVAC system and weatherization efforts
- Hand out FREE CFL light bulbs to participating businesses
- Give practical, economically AND environmentally sound solutions for running your business
- Network and brainstorm with other Trail Town businesses interested in sustainable business practices
The cost to attend is $10 and covers lunch. Please register with the Trail Town Outreach Corps by November 13. Call (724) 603-3151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.