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GOLFING GREENS

Sustainable Education & Careers Give-Back Getaways

Tom Colicchio Citizen chef’s food fight


A N S W E R T H E C A L L O F C U R I O S I T Y.

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PREPARINGTOMORROW’S LEADERSTO SOLVETHE WORLD’S GREAT CHALLENGES MARYAM IS PASSIONATE ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY That’s why she’s developing the world’s first guiding principles for green energy grid storage. It’s a big undertaking, with funding from NSF and DOE and help from students and faculty across campus. In the end, Maryam’s work will help ensure that solar, wind, biogas, and other clean energies become a mainstay of our future. Maryam is among thousands of students, scholars, and practitioners at the University of Michigan working together to create a more sustainable world. Join us. Read more about Maryam and her work at http://snre.umich.edu/news/maryam

Introducing the new School for Environment & Sustainability - Master of Science - Master of Landscape Architecture - Doctor of Philosophy - Certificate of Graduate Studies In partnership with the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute, Graham Sustainability Institute, Program in the Environment, Planet Blue Initiative, and the University of Michigan’s 18 other schools and colleges.


GREEN SPRING/SUMMER 2017

LIVING

52 HOLE IN ONE

Nine golf courses that boast hip, sustainable practices

PROVIDED BY LOS ROBLES GREENS GOLF COURSE

FEATURES

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30

38

44

I DO

FOOD FIGHT

Many couples are opting to treat the Earth like a special guest on their wedding day

Tom Colicchio pushes for improvement, innovation among chefs, farmers and consumers

ONE MAN’S TRASH FISH

YOUR SMART, GREEN HOME

How underutilized fish are becoming favorable dishes for your palate and plate

New products, appliances and building methods elevate your abode

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LIVING

DEPARTMENTS OUTDOORS 62 Skip the cab and use bike shares in these big cities

BUSINESS 64 One family’s bid to sustainably log a national forest

68 Global-scale companies tout corporate sustainability initiatives

EDUCATION 72 Top colleges for studying natural resources

78 The Great Barrier Reef’s massive coral bleaching

LIFESTYLE 80 Green guru Danny Seo shares his love of the environment

84 Rover and Mittens can

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live sustainably, too

HEALTH 86 Tech company aims to raise awareness of health hazards

TRAVEL 90 USA TODAY 10Best’s readers rate eco-friendly hotels

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LIVING

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you beautiful, naturally

GOLFING GREENS

Tom Colicchio Citizen chef’s food fight

ON THE COVER: Tom Colicchio PHOTO BY: Jim Franco All product prices and availability are subject to change.

96 Companies help you recycle all your wine corks

world a healthier, hoppier place

12 The meat-mimicking Beyond Burger steals the show

14 Whole Foods Market’s Responsibly Grown program gives consumers more choices

LIVING GREEN 18 These revamped lobster traps are coastal delights

20 Four awesome, inspiring books to nourish the mind

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good while you’re at it

FOOD + DRINK 10 Five breweries that make the

Sustainable Education & Careers Give-Back Getaways

BEAUTY 8 Plant-based products keep

92 Delve into nature and do some

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

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Earth Tu Face’s Jasmine Balm perfume, $78 at earthtuface.com

BEYOND MEAT; JERALD COUNCIL

SP R I N G / S U M M E R 201 7

UP FRONT


FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS PREMIUM PUBLICATION EDITORIAL

DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com

PROVIDED BY THE CONTRIBUTORS

MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com

CINDY KUZMA

BRIAN BARTH

SARAH SEKULA

MARY HELEN BERG

A freelance health and fitness writer in Chicago, Kuzma is a contributing editor at Runner’s World, and a frequent contributor to USA TODAY publications, Men’s Health, Prevention, VICE and many other print and online outlets. As a marathoner who trains in an urban area, she often thinks about the effect that air pollution has on her body — so she was glad to learn and write about a new company, Upstream Research (page 86), which aims to make information about environmental health hazards more accessible to the public.

As writer-at-large at Modern Farmer magazine, Barth covers the intersection of food culture and agriculture. An American transplanted to Toronto, he’s a devoted container gardener and horticulture buff and wrote about Tom Colicchio and combating food waste for our cover feature (page 30). “Since working on this piece, I’ve become even more determined about using everything in my fridge before it goes bad.”

As an awardwinning, Florida-based journalist and video host, Sekula travels the world looking for extraordinary stories to tell and has written for USA TODAY publications, CNN.com, NBC. com, foxnews. com and espnW. com. So far, her assignments have taken her to 32 countries on all seven continents. She especially loves when travels involve giving back to Mother Nature, as detailed in her story about being a vacation hero (page 92).

Berg is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to USA TODAY publications. She’s written about how to make your home, school and pet more Earthfriendly, and while researching green weddings for this issue (page 22), she discovered dozens of ways to be eco-friendly at the event. Evidence of recycling at her own wedding? Her engagement ring once belonged to her husband’s grandmother.

EDITORS Patricia Kime, Elizabeth Neus, Sara Schwartz, Tracy L. Scott, Debbie Williams DESIGNERS Miranda Pellicano Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka INTERNS Antoinette D’Addario Rosalie Haizlett CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Diane Bair, Brian Barth, Mary Helen Berg, Robin L. Flanigan, Seánan Forbes, Stacey Freed, David Klenda, Cindy Kuzma, Peter Ogburn, Shelley Seale, Sarah Sekula, Adam Stone, Annette Thompson

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Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

A Leader for the Environment

Learn with Us. Change the World. From science to sustainability, offering academic excellence and innovative experiential learning to change the world. Longstanding values in environmental and social justice. A curriculum that drives students to think critically, engage with the community and solve complex problems as leaders in the 21st century. Enriching classroom learning with real world internships, research, service-learning and study abroad.

Green City. Green Campus. Green Building. Burlington, VT – first U.S. city to draw 100% of its electric power from renewable energy sources. University of Vermont – ranked 2016’s 9th greenest college in the U.S. by The Princeton Review. LEED Platinum-certified Aiken Center – home to the Rubenstein School. A living laboratory educating students, the campus community and beyond about environmental sustainability and inspiring the School to work toward a goal of net zero energy.

Undergraduate Programs Environmental Sciences Environmental Studies Forestry Natural Resources Parks, Recreation & Tourism Wildlife & Fisheries Biology

Graduate Programs

www.uvm.edu/rsenr 802-656-2911 | rsenr@uvm.edu

Ph.D. in Natural Resources M.S. in Natural Resources M.S. in Leadership for Sustainability


GREEN LIVING

UP FRONT

IN THE NOW, IN THE KNOW

BEAUTY 8 | FOOD + DRINK 10 | LIVING GREEN 18

BAD BUZZ

CLAY BOLT | CLAYBOLT.COM

The rusty patched bumblebee is in trouble. Since the late 1990s, the population has plummeted 87 percent. In January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended adding the pollinator to the endangered species list for the first time in a “race against extinction.”


U P F R ONT | B EAUTY

Good Roots

Plant-based products keep you naturally beautiful

L

iving green can extend to your beauty regimen, too. Whether you’re trying to avoid harsh and synthetic ingredients, or prefer ones you can pronounce, these plantbased products will soothe, hydrate and freshen your skin.

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1

Peet Rivko Balancing Face Oil Organic avocado, jojoba and prickly pear oils work together to nourish and moisturize your skin. $56, peetrivko.com

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Fig + Yarrow 4 Season Steam Kit Almost too pretty to use, these packets of dried botanicals include chrysanthemum, linden, lavender and red clover to hydrate while cleansing pores. $28, figand yarrow.com

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Youth to the People serum Kale, spinach and green tea extracts, plus vitamins C and B5 blend with anti-aging tripeptide-37 and moisturizing hyaluronic acid to rev up your skin. $62, youthtothe people.com

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Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask Pineapple, papaya and white willow bark blend with blue tansy, an oil that reduces redness and soothes irritated skin. $48, herbivore botanicals.com

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Little Barn Apothecary Aloe + Rosewater Face Toning Balance Mist Long days call for the calming effects of rose, aloe, hibiscus and witch hazel. $16, littlebarn apothecary.com

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JERALD COUNCIL; ILLUSTRATION BY ROSALIE HAIZLETT

BY SARA SCHWARTZ


If it were any more

ENVIRONMENTALLY

FRIENDLY it would be a pinecone.

GreenEarth toilet paper and paper towels are made from 100% recycled paper and are FSC So they’re as good for you as they are for the planet. ®

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U P F R ONT | FO OD + D RINK

ALASKAN BREWING CO. JUNEAU, ALASKA

Sustainable Sips Four breweries making the world a healthier, hoppier place

With a goal of being good stewards of the land, Alaskan Brewing Co. works to reclaim, reuse and recycle as much of its waste as possible. In a process dubbed Beer-Powered Beer, spent grain from the brewing process — about 1.5 million pounds in 2016 — fuels a steam boiler the brewery developed to power the brewhouse. And since 1998, the brewery has captured carbon dioxide from fermentation for use throughout the facility, creating a closed-loop system with no off-gassing. Available in 18 states. alaskanbeer.com

BY SEÁNAN FORBES AND SARA SCHWARTZ

T

o produce thirst-quenching IPAs, ales and stouts, craft breweries use lots of water — it takes three to seven barrels to make just one barrel of beer, according to the Brewers Association. And the grains and hops are typically grown using pesticides. But as the craft brewing industry grows, the push for more organic and sustainably created choices does, too. In 2003, U.S. organic beer sales made up $9 million; in 2015, sales topped $100 million, according to the Organic Trade Association. Here are four breweries working to make a difference:

SMART BEER NEW PALTZ, N.Y.

PORTLAND, ORE.

Founded in 2007 with its first batch of beer, Hopworks Urban Brewery has two locations in Oregon and one in Vancouver, Wash. The brewery recycles or composts 85 percent of its waste. In 2012, it switched to canning some beer in-house to reduce fuel consumption during transportation, and in 2015, it became the first Salmon-Safe certified brewery in the world. Available in Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Utah and Washington. hopworksbeer.com

UINTA BREWING SALT LAKE CITY

Named for the Uinta mountain range, this brewery has run entirely on sustainable energy since 2001 when it began purchasing energy from a wind farm in Wyoming, later adding solar panels to the brewery roof. And its brewing system captures steam from one production cycle, using it to heat the next. Spent grain is donated to a nearby rancher. Available in 31 states. uintabrewing.com

HOP TO IT: The 2017 Organic Beer Fest runs June 22-25 at Overlook Park in Portland, Ore. organicbeerfest.org

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PROVIDED BY THE BREWERIES

HOPWORKS URBAN BREWERY

Stating it is “New York’s first organic beer company,” this brewery earned the organic label by using a minimum of 95 percent organically produced ingredients. Its two brews — a golden ale and an IPA — are made without using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or GMOs. Available in New York and New Jersey. smartbeer company.com


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Masters • Athletic Training • Data Analytics • Environmental Education • Health Informatics • Park & Resource Management • Physician Assistant Studies

Doctorate • Physical Therapy

Educational Centers • McKeever Environmental Learning Center • Storm Harbor Equestrian Center • Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research

Health, Environment, and Science 1 Morrow Way Slippery Rock, PA 16057 724.738.2015 sru.edu/apply


Ethan Brown

‘Meat’ of the Matter How one company is flipping the script on where a burger should come from BY SARA SCHWARTZ

W

hen Ethan Brown was young, his family bought a dairy farm in rural Maryland, spurring a life-long interest in animal welfare. And while his career in the energy sector had him working on hydrogen fuel cells — aligning with his concern for the environment — one question nagged: Does the protein at the center of our plate have to come from an animal? Propelled by that, he created Beyond Meat in 2009, to create plant-based products that replicated meat and to address four key issues: human health, climate, natural resources and animal welfare. “If you can basically create a piece of meat without using an animal, you can solve four problems at once,

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and that was too enticing to turn down,” he says. While the company sells frozen Beyond Beef Crumble (made with pea protein using no genetically modified organisms, or GMOS), frozen Beyond Chicken Strips (made with non-GMO soy and pea protein) and frozen Beast Burgers and Beastly Sliders (made with non-GMO pea protein), it took a big step when it debuted the Beyond Burger. The non-frozen, plant-based burger patties are made to resemble, cook and taste like a beef burger, and in a coup for the company, are sold in select Whole Foods Market meat cases. “We have more urgency than ever because we finally got to the big stage,” Brown says. “Let’s make sure we get a new product in there next year that’s even better, and let’s

THE BEYOND BURGER

is available at select Whole Foods Markets. To find a location near you, go to beyondmeat. com/storelocator.

change the case from being a meat case to being a protein case — that’s a big goal for us.” The Beyond Burger has 20 grams of plant protein, no GMOs, soy or gluten, and is antibiotic- and hormone-free. And in a bid to mimic the taste and texture of real beef, the burger sizzles and appetizing juices seep out — made from beets, of course. As far as taste, it comes fairly close to a beef patty. (We recommend grilling it and adding all the fixings.) Each Beyond Burger has 290 calories, 22 grams of fat and 450 milligrams of sodium. In comparison, a 1/4 pound ground chuck 80 percent lean, 20 percent fat beef patty has only a few more calories and less sodium. Still, it’s a good step if you’re looking to reduce your meat consumption or stop eating it completely. “We need to figure out how to take the animal out of this process or we’re not going to have a climate left,” Brown says.

BEYOND MEAT

U P F R ONT | FO OD + D RINK


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U P F R ONT | FO OD & DRINK

Pacific Tomato Growers

Produce Partners Whole Foods Market’s Responsibly Grown program highlights sustainably positive farming practices BY ADAM STONE

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These practices are worthy of highlight for consumers, says Michael Rozyne, Red Tomato’s founder: “There is no recognition for the different problems in different growing regions, and so there is little recognition of what our growers do.” While the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “certified organic” label recognizes some best practices in farming and remains the gold standard, there’s room for complementary ratings. Among them are those given by Whole Foods

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

Market, which, in 2014, introduced its Responsibly Grown certification program as a way to recognize and reward the efforts taken by conventional, non-organic suppliers and distributors like Red Tomato and give farmers credit for eco-friendly agricultural production methods not covered by the USDA’s organic program. Responsibly Grown embraces practices that aim to positively affect crops, people and the planet. Certification goes to growers who maintain good soil

100+

suppliers participate in the Responsibly Grown program

health, reduce waste, ensure farm workers have safe working environments and encourage biodiversity. “There are many certification programs that are available to customers and that speak to some issues, but there is no system program that covers all of the bases,” says Matt Rogers, senior global

CRUZ PORTRAIT DESIGN

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ed Tomato in Plainville, Mass., holds its 40-plus growers to a high standard. The nonprofit distributor of regionally grown fruits and vegetables requires producers to use strict eco-friendly farming practices, such as employing insect predators as pest control or using pheromones to disrupt the pest reproduction cycle. Some protect pollinators by managing wildflower growth, while others emphasize crop rotation in order to build healthy soil.


Plant-based diets use 1/11th the oil • 1/13th the water 1/18th the land • 50% less CO2 and ZERO animals* as compared to meat-based diets. Plant-based foods are kind to you, the animals, and the environment. Learn more at vegfund.org/why-veg. *cowspiracy.com/infographic


U P F R ONT | FO OD & DRINK

RESPONSIBLY GROWN Introduced in 2014, the Responsibly Grown program defines “responsible” growing in broad terms. The certification includes:

Waste reduction, including reducing packaging and recycling farm materials such as plastic and oil.

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produce coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “We felt we Responsibly Grown needed a framework so that we could have a consistent looks at each farm’s progress conversation with our suppliers about all these issues.” in key areas of More than 100 suppliers have signed on to the sustainability. program. Those interested in being considered pay a subscription fee and fill out an online questionnaire. Then Whole Foods Market decides whether to include them. If a supplier doesn’t meet requirements, the fee isn’t charged. Whole Foods Market and its partners validate the information using a combination of certificates from third-party audits and may request additional information as needed. Rogers notes that all organic produce and flowers are automatically labeled “Responsibly Grown,” and conventional produce can also qualify, but the program is not tiered with levels or higher marks. The program has evolved since its launch in 2014. In mid-2016, Whole Foods Market got rid of a set of “good-better-best” indicators in favor of a single Responsibly Grown banner in the store. “It proved to be a bit much for people to try to understand, so now we have made it simple. Now it either is (responsibly grown) or it is not,” Rogers says. More recently the company announced that, based on recent research, it would expand its list of prohibited pesticides. Some growers say that is the kind of change that makes their participation in the program worthwhile. “When we as farmers find something that works, we tend to be satisfied with that,” says Jon Esformes, CEO of Sunripe Certified Brands, a produce grower in Palmetto, Fla. “This program always evolves. If they say you have to stop using a certain chemical after a certain date, then that forces us to find better alternatives. It helps us be better growers.”

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Ecosystems and biodiversity, which asks farmers to protect native species and sustain area wildlife by planting wildflowers that attract pollinators.

Farm worker welfare, ensuring workers have protective equipment and farms use third-party safety audits.

GETTY IMAGES; WHOLE FOODS MARKET

Soil health, which may include composting, crop rotation and scientifically advanced techniques to measure and enhance the nutrients in the soil.

Air, energy and climate, with efforts to track greenhouse gas emissions and use of renewable energy sources.


YO U R D E S T I N AT I O N F O R T H E F U L L K I TC H E N A I D C R A F T CO F F E E CO L L E C T I O N


U P F R ONT | LIV ING GREEN

Oh, Buoy! Reincarnating Maine lobster traps when their work is complete BY DIANE BAIR & PAMELA WRIGHT

M

GETTY IMAGES

aine is Lobster Central, producing about 90 percent of the lobsters consumed in the U.S. But a few local folks have found a way to get more out of lobster traps than just the delectable crustaceans, and they’re keeping discarded lobstering gear out of landfills to boot.

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SUNGLASSES From under the sea to on your face. Traps Eyewear founder John Turner and business partner Daniel Dougherty repurpose oak from salvaged lobster traps to make the temples of their upscale, handcrafted shades. In styles like the Jack Havana (inspired by John F. Kennedy), they’re giving new life to wood weathered in the cold Atlantic. The Portland, Maine, company also makes oak cufflinks for $30. Sunglasses start at $280; trapseyewear.com

FLOAT ROPE

PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

BIKE BASKETS Jim Huebener, an engineer, cycling enthusiast and lobsterman from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, turns discarded lobster traps into removable bicycle baskets. Perfect for a jaunt into town or a trip to the beach, the baskets come with bait bags that are ideal for holding small items like keys and a phone. $52 to $70; kettlecove enterprises.com

After a federal fishing ban limited the use of float rope to connect traps on the ocean floor, Maine lobstermen and women were stuck with extras. To solve this, Mike and Liz Norcia of Stern Lines in Kittery, Maine, reuse the rope transforming it into doormats and coasters. “If it can withstand the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean, it can handle whatever your dog and kids can dish out,” Mike says. Mats, $44; coasters, $18.99 for four; sternlines.com

SEA BAGS OK, so they’re not made from lobstering gear, but these bags are so cool, we couldn’t resist. Sea Bags, based in Portland, Maine, takes cast-off sails from around the world and transforms them into jaunty totes, diaper bags, wine bags and wristlets. Totes start at $130; seabags.com

BIRDHOUSES Using remnants of rough-cut Maine cedar, Peter and Nikki Sullivan of Bowdoinham, Maine, make buoy-shaped birdhouses. The houses are hung with hangers made of recycled lobster rope that the Sullivans salvage from beaches and lobstermen. Birdhouses start at $44; lobsterbuoybirdhouse.com

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Fresh Reads

W The Reducetarian Solution by Brian Kateman

The author coined the term “reducetarian” to describe a person who is deliberately reducing his or her consumption of meat, and expands on this idea in more than 70 essays from various authors. Influential thinkers, including Seth Godin, Bill McKibben and cookbook author Pat Crocker, share how cutting a percentage of meat from one’s diet can positively affect the planet.

BY SARA SCHWARTZ

hether you’re looking to live more consciously or just learn wild facts about our world, these four books nourish the mind.

This Phenomenal Life: The Amazing Ways We Are Connected with Our Universe by Misha Maynerick Blaise

Children and adults alike will appreciate Blaise’s vibrant illustrations paired with a bevy of scientific facts. Whether they be atoms or our enormous universe, these eye-catching depictions detail how closely connected we are with the natural world. $14.95, Lyons Press

The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America by Mark Sundeen

A mix of social history and wellcrafted journalism, this book relays the deeply personal stories of today’s pioneers — people who searched for and found a way to live more sustainably, more consciously and more simply. $26, Riverhead Books

Seeds on Ice: Svalbard and the Global Seed Vault by Cary Fowler

Don’t let the coffeetable look mislead you. This gorgeous and educational tome illuminates this state-of-the-art storage facility deep inside a mountain on a Norwegian island, detailing the efforts taken to save the past and protect the future of agriculture. The vault preserves nearly 900,000 crop varieties as a hedge against disease or disaster. $45, Prospecta Press

The whimsical illustrations in This Phenomenal Life will inspire readers to look at the world in a whole new way.

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JERALD COUNCIL

$16, TarcherPerigee


S OMET H ING

GETTY IMAGES; ALLISON WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY

GREEN

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Tip s f or a s us t a in a b l e w ed d in g BY MARY HELEN BERG

O

n a stormy, sticky, summer Chicago evening in 2016, Brittany and Benjamin Drummond were joined in marriage. Their nuptials included a planting ceremony, and as rain fell on the Windy City, they watered a milkweed shrub, adding compost from their parents’ gardens. Later, a rumor circulated that the bride hugged a compost bin during the reception. Not true — but almost. “We try to live our lives as sustainably as possible,” says Brittany, a 29-year-old sustainability coordinator for North Central College in Naperville, Ill. “I devote my life to that — and my job. It’s who I am and it’s very important to me.”

CLAUDIA + RYAN

chose Mignonette Bridal in Chicago, a member of the Green Wedding Alliance, to make her stunning green wedding dress.

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MET H ING GREEN

Naturally, the couple designed their wedding to have “as little of an impact as possible” on the environment, she says. They are in good company: In 2016, 31 percent of couples strived to plan an eco-conscious wedding, says Liene Stevens, president of Splendid Insights, a wedding market research firm. And green weddings continue as a top trend in 2017, according to The Knot’s annual wedding report. That’s good news for the planet. Nearly 2.2 million U.S. weddings each year generate about 63 tons of carbon dioxide and up to 600 pounds of garbage per event, estimates Kate Harrison, green wedding expert and author of The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget. The key to a green wedding is to think small — limiting guests means limiting waste, wedding planners say. But no matter the size of your event, there are dozens of creative ways to reuse, reduce and recycle to ensure that your once-in-a-lifetime event reflects enduring values. With a little research and thoughtful planning, your big day will express your love and respect for both your partner and the planet. “I call it putting on a green lens,” says wedding planner Corina Beczner, founder of Vibrant Events in northern California’s Bay Area. “It can be different shades of green depending on what choice we’re making — whether it’s catering or flowers or dress or transportation.”

THE INVITATION The wedding invitation often sparks friction between parents

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NATALIE + KYLE IMAGE: MATUSHEK PHOTOGRAPHY; CRISS + CHRIS IMAGES: COACHHOUSE PICTURES

S


NATALIE + KYLE

chose flowers from eco-friendly florist Fab Flora and used bicycle wheels as place card holders to showcase their love of cycling.

CRISS + CHRIS

used vintage picture frames to hold place cards. Their cake was made by Elysia Root Cakes, a Green Wedding Alliance member.

and eco-conscious couples, green wedding planners say. The older generation can sometimes insist that Aunt Gertrude will be offended if she receives anything less than a formal, engraved paper announcement consisting of multiple pieces of thick card stock separated by tissue. Meanwhile, many couples prefer paperless email communication that’s waste-free and efficient. Indeed, online invitation sites like Paperless Post have scores of designs from which to choose. But if a traditional invitation is non-negotiable, try a sustainable compromise. For example, you can send an electronic “save-the-date” announcement instead of a paper one. Later, mail out your one-page invitation on recycled paper stock with soy-based ink. Conserve further by using tree-free hemp, bamboo or cotton-based papers. If you print your invitation on seeded paper, (paper embedded with herb or flower seeds), your guests can plant it in honor of your event. Additional event details, such as directions, accommodations and RSVPs, can be neatly handled on your wedding website. One couple took the invite debate straight to their guests and conducted a survey regarding invitation preference, recalls Beczner. About one-third of guests strongly favored tradition and received a paper invitation; the rest received an electronic version. “It definitely was more complicated,” Beczner says, but the hybrid approach persuaded the parents to allow the couple

to follow their values. “The couple felt like they were satisfying their obligations around etiquette without offending people, which is typically why people wouldn’t send a wedding invitation by email,” she explains.

THE RINGS The glitter of a diamond and gold engagement ring dims when you consider its human and environmental cost, green event planners say. Profits from the diamond industry have funded wars in Africa that have cost millions of lives, while mining gold and other precious metals destroys landscapes and contaminates soil and water supplies. Vintage jewelry and family heirloom pieces offer an alternative now trending with ecoconscious couples, says Carlene Smith, owner of Naturally Yours Events in Chicago. Brittany Drummond, for example, chose to wear her great-grandmother’s ring, and no other band, because two rings seemed wasteful. Her husband, Benjamin, bought an inexpensive recycled metal ring online. Many green grooms now opt for non-precious metal rings, often made of tough tungsten, says Ellen Hockley Harrison, who plans “occasions with a conscience” as founder of Greater Goods Events in Jersey City. You also can seek an ethically sourced diamond, but ultimately, Smith adds, “no one says you have to have a diamond for your wedding ring,” when emeralds, opals, rubies and sapphires offer gorgeous, more eco-friendly alternatives. And if you find

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MET H ING GREEN

a vintage ring that isn’t your style, you can always repurpose the stones or melt the metal to create a new setting.

If you want a green wedding day, “don’t go white,” advises Smith. White wedding dresses may look like they’re out of a fairy tale, but they’re sometimes processed with bleach and toxic chemicals that create an environmental nightmare, she warns. Don’t worry — many gowns in other shades are both elegant and eco-friendly. Try blush, ivory and champagne as fairly traditional alternatives — or literally go green with a shamrock-colored dress. Seek out gowns made with sustainable fabrics such as organic linen and lace and hemp-satin or hemp-organza blends. Claudia Mattison opted for an emerald green wedding dress, made by Mignonette Bridal in Chicago, a member of the Green Wedding Alliance. “Green has always been my favorite color, and I wanted something unique,” she says. And if the idea of wearing a new dress only once offends your commitment to recycling, try on your mom’s gown or repurpose pieces of it. Check consignment stores for used gowns at discount prices; or find a new one that you can revamp after your ceremony to wear again as a cocktail or casual dress.

FLOWERS Cascades of perfect roses and exotic orchids make lush wedding bouquets and dramatic centerpieces for your reception.

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MATUSHEK PHOTOGRAPHY

THE DRESS


TARA + MITCH

opted to use fresh blooms from Fab Flora, an eco-friendly florist in Chicago.

But flowers that are out of season or travel long distances create a huge carbon footprint, says green guru Hockley Harrison. In addition, most U.S. florists use imported blooms that have been sprayed with pesticides and preservatives that pollute air and water and will contaminate compost with the same toxins. Luckily, you have plenty of alternatives. The “slow flower movement,” a twist on the slow food movement, emphasizes bouquets featuring locally grown flowers and foraged materials. Foraging is what’s “hip and happening right now in flowers,” Beczner says. “It’s all about low toxins, local, seasonal and ‘foraging,’” which utilizes found natural objects, like branches, leaves, stones and shells. Drummond’s bouquet contained wildflower blooms grown locally by a flower farmer and florist who uses seasonal flowers. She repurposed the bouquets that decorated the wedding aisle to use as table centerpieces for the reception and composted them afterward. Another idea is a “no-kill” wedding that bans cut flowers, like the event Smith planned for a vegan couple. Instead, they chose centerpieces of succulents in terrariums that guests could take home as favors, leaving no wilted flowers behind. Or, if you’re a do-it-yourself type, invite your bridal party on a field trip to a local flower farm to pick your bouquets and corsages. When the party’s over, either compost your flowers or donate them through a company like Repeat Roses, which uses a

nationwide network of service providers to collect the bouquets and distribute them to nursing homes, hospitals or other local nonprofits.

THE VENUE A backyard garden? A rolling ranch? A forest? The great outdoors automatically connects your wedding to the earth and reminds guests about the importance of preserving natural resources. You also can go green by booking a LEED-certified building. Or, look for a venue that already has natural light, greenery and unusual architectural features so you don’t need to add décor that will end up in the landfill afterward. If compost and recycling aren’t available on-site, ask if you can bring in a service to handle all those food scraps and champagne bottles. Finally, hold your ceremony and reception in the same location to save fuel emissions from your guests’ cars.

THE MENU Think organic, seasonal and local. With these in mind, your menu will be slightly more restricted, particularly in winter, but you’ll serve a meal that’s deliciously healthy for your guests and easy on the planet. If vegetarian choices won’t please your crowd, do your bit to reduce greenhouse gases and try to keep beef off the menu. Cattle produce about 65 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions created by livestock, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Serve your seasonal feast as a plated meal. Buffet service often means wasted food,

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S

MET H ING GREEN

I CALL IT PUTTING ON A GREEN LENS.” — Corina Beczner, founder of Vibrant Events

wedding planners say. If you have leftovers, don’t let the kitchen toss them. Share them with a homeless shelter or other nonprofit, says Hockley Harrison. “Most cities have organizations that do food rescue,” she adds. “Prearranging food rescue for after your wedding is huge, because at eleven o’clock on the night of your wedding you don’t want to say, ‘Oh no! I have all this food!’”

HAPPILY EVER AFTER No matter how thoughtfully you planned, you’ll probably have stacks of stuff that you’ll never use again. Fortunately, you can recycle almost everything at events like the Chicago Green Wedding Alliance’s annual Wedding Recyclery. If there’s no local program, try consignment shops and online marketplaces where you can sell everything from flower girl baskets to your gently used wedding dress.

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GREEN GIFTS A traditional wedding registry is designed to help newlyweds set up a household together. Here’s an eco-friendly gift list for couples who want their registry to reflect their sustainable values:

Every meal will be elegant with the striking Bolo flatware, made from 100 percent recycled steel. $28 for a five-piece set, bambeco.com

These 400-thread-count Morgan banded bed sheets contain no irritating chemicals. Bedding sets start at $368, potterybarn.com

Mexican artisans handcraft unique Web stemless wine glasses from broken and recycled bottles and jars. $85 for a set of six, uncommongoods.com

THARA PHOTO CREATIVE SERVICES PRODUCT IMAGES PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

BottleCloth’s woven cloth place mats, made from recycled plastic bottles, come in four styles and a variety of colors. $56 for a set of four, bottlecloth.com

BRITTANY + BENJAMIN

are devoted to living sustainably and that sentiment translated to different aspects of their wedding.

Farmstead Stoneware rectangular bakers are made from all-natural clay, reclaimed water and scrap materials from other Farmstead products. $40, bambeco.com

This 10-piece stainless steel Greenpan nonstick cookware set is crafted from recycled postmanufacturing content. $250, westelm.com

— Mary Helen Berg and Antoinette D’Addario

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food fight Top Chef star and farm-to-table restaurateur Tom Colicchio wants you to rethink the way you eat BY BRIAN BARTH

JIM FRANCO

Y

ou may know him as the steely blue-eyed judge of Bravo’s Top Chef, the reality TV-style cooking competition now in its 14th season. Or perhaps you’ve indulged in the critically acclaimed farm-to-table fare at one of his eight restaurants scattered across the U.S. But the five-time James Beard Award-winning chef Tom Colicchio would like you to know that he’s a committed environmentalist and activist. And for the last five years, he’s been working toward a monumental goal: addressing the multi-faceted challenge of fixing our broken food system. Colicchio’s political awakening happened in the mid-2000s, when he and his wife, filmmaker Lori Silverbush, became mentors for a young girl who struggled in school. The two helped enroll her in a private school, where they hoped she would get the extra attention she needed, only to hear from the principal a week later that she’d been found scrounging in school dumpsters for food.

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food fight

ENVIRONMENTALISM IS CENTRAL TO COLICCHIO’S FOOD MOVEMENT VISION

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Tom Colicchio, right, chef José Andrés and other chefs met with members of Congress in 2014 to present a petition signed by more than 700 chefs asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to label genetically engineered foods.

MARK NOBLE

Her previous school offered free breakfast to children of low-income families; her new school did not, which meant she started class on an empty stomach. She isn’t the only child wondering where the next meal will come from. In 2015, roughly 42 million Americans were “food-insecure,” including 13.1 million children. The experience inspired Silverbush to produce A Place at the Table, her 2012 film on hunger in America. Colicchio took the issue to Washington. “I realized people are going hungry in this country, not because we don’t have the resources to feed people, but for political reasons,” Colicchio says. “When kids show up for school hungry, they can’t learn. How can we expect them to be productive, to get a good education, to break the cycle of poverty? This is what woke me up.” In 2012, Colicchio co-founded the Food Policy Action (FPA), a nonprofit organization with the goal of improving food access. But this was not to be just another


MARK NOBLE

anti-hunger campaign. Having already volunteered for several similar groups, Colicchio had drilled down into the root causes of hunger. He saw how inextricably linked they were with other challenges plaguing America’s industrialized food system: incomes too low to support farming families; egregious farmworker abuses; animal welfare abuses on factory farms; subsidies and incentives allocated for crops largely grown for livestock feed and fuel rather than for programs to make fruits, vegetables and sustainable agriculture more economically viable; and a litany of environmental assaults, including the infamous “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico (a product of fertilizer runoff throughout the Midwest) and clear-cutting the Amazon to graze cattle for American fast-food chains. This industrialization has also led to cheap food, a boon for consumers looking to stretch the dollar, but a mindset opposite of what it should be, Colicchio says: “Because of fast food and the idea of disposable food, people don’t have the same connection to food that our grandparents had.” To help change that, FPA brings foodies, farmers, environmentalists, agribusiness executives, social justice advocates and animal welfare activists together in a common vision of a healthy, just and sustainable food system. “A lot of these groups were working off in their own silos,” he says. “Coming together, finding a

During the 2016 presidential election campaign, the “Plate of the Union” food truck encouraged voters and candidates to think critically about food policy.

common cause, pooling resources and aligning their vision to support each other is why we started Food Policy Action.” This united front has given unprecedented political clout to what Colicchio broadly refers to as “the food movement,” which until the last few years, he says, was “a loosely organized social movement, not a real political movement.” Now consumers have a means to put their food choices — and their vote — where their values are. The organization’s most well-known initiative, a scorecard that rates members of Congress on their voting record on food-related issues, allows consumers to assess the political landscape of the food system with a few clicks at foodpolicyaction. org/scorecard. Another initiative was the “Plate of the Union” campaign. In the fall of 2015, the Food Policy Action Education Fund (FPA-EF), a nonprofit sister organization of FPA, worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists and the HEAL Food Alliance to urge voters and presidential candidates to think more critically about food policy. In July, the Plate of the Union unveiled a food truck that visited the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and toured more than

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Some of the nation’s top chefs and food advocates, joined Food Policy Action Education Fund co-founder and chef Tom Colicchio, right, in May 2016 to present Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, with a petition asking Congress to enact smart food waste reduction policies.

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20 cities ahead of the election to call on the next president to be a food system reform leader. At the end of the cross-country tour, the tactic had collected more than 110,000 signatures. After a short hiatus, the FPA-EF and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revived the Plate of the Union initiative to continue to fight for food reform. “Everyone eats, and everyone should have a say in what they eat and where it comes from,” says Colicchio, who often took part in the truck initiative. Also central to Colicchio’s food movement vision is environmentalism. Since 1994,

when he worked with Danny Meyer to open his first restaurant, Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan, Colicchio has made a point of sourcing ingredients from local, sustainable purveyors. But that’s the easy part, he says. Twenty years ago, it took considerable sleuthing, but these days those with the means and the determination can find responsibly raised meats, dairy and produce in many corners of the country. The acreage of certified organic farmland in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2003 to 4.1 million acres, which the environmental movement can certainly count as an accomplishment, but that figure is not as impressive once you realize it represents less than 1 percent of total U.S. farmland. How to lessen the environmental impact of the remaining 99 percent? Ken Cook, the president and co-founder of EWG, an environmental advocacy organization, suggests a novel approach: Eat more of the food that farmers produce. Said another way:

LARRY FRENCH/GETTY IMAGES FOR FOOD POLICY ACTION EDUCATION FUND

food fight


5 WAYS TO COMBAT FOOD WASTE AT HOME The average family wastes about 20 percent of dairy and meat products, nearly 40 percent of grain products and about 50 percent of fruits, vegetables and seafood, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Here’s how to cut back: BE ORGANIZED Practice FIFO (first in, first out). When you bring home groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge, freezer or pantry, so you’re more likely to use them before they go bad. Become a food preservation aficionado by freezing, canning and pickling anything that can’t be used while fresh. Donate extras to local food banks. Research whether a local supermarket or delivery service sells “ugly produce.”

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Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., meets with Colicchio before presenting the food waste reduction petition to Congress.

GET INVENTIVE WITH LEFTOVERS Stale bread becomes croutons. Miscellaneous vegetable scraps are given new life in a richly flavored soup stock. Slightly sour milk transforms ordinary pancake batter into a chef-worthy brunch item. Overripe avocados, cacao powder and agave nectar make vegan mousse.

LARRY FRENCH/GETTY IMAGES FOR FOOD POLICY ACTION EDUCATION FUND

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Waste less. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) , about 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted — whether it rots in a farmer’s field, on a supermarket shelf or in your refrigerator. Often, edible produce is discarded simply because it doesn’t meet retailers’ aesthetic criteria, says Cook, who is also the founding chairman of FPA’s board of directors. This is absurd on a purely economic basis: Americans waste the equivalent of $165 billion each year in food, according to the NRDC. It costs another $1.3 billion to dispose of it all, according to a 2008 Environmental Protection Agency study. And American households throw away about $640 each worth of food every year, according to a 2015 survey by the American

FIND A FOOD WASTE APP There are dozens out there. FoodKeeper, put out by the USDA, is one of the easiest to use. Along with waste prevention tips and an encyclopedia of storage timelines for 400-plus foods, FoodKeeper allows

3

you to note the purchase date of grocery items and sends notifications when they near the end of their freshness window. GEEK OUT ON FOOD WASTE GADGETS From “smart” fridges with Bluetooth-connected cameras that let you check the food at home from your phone while shopping to chip clips that keep your favorite snack fresh, online retailers are now awash in products to help you cut back on food waste. One of the latest is the FOODsniffer ($129, myfoodsniffer.com). Point this keychain-size sensor at questionable meats to see whether they’re still fresh, so you no longer have to rely on dubious “best by” dates or your nose.

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COMPOST If all else fails, transform your rotten leftovers into fertilizer. The latest wave of compost bins makes this an odor-free and convenient affair. Bokashi Fermenters (store. bokashicycle.com) use a fermentation-accelerating powder to turn food scraps into a nutrient-rich “tea,” perfect for watering houseplants.

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For more on fighting food waste, go to savethefood.com.

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Chemistry Council. As for those 42 million food insecure Americans, conserving just one-quarter of the food wasted in this country would keep their pantries stocked year-round, without them spending a dime. But back to Cook’s point about the environment. Wasting food also wastes all the resources that went into producing it: petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides, tractor fuel and water. Then factor in the habitat loss, soil erosion and water pollution associated with agriculture, not to mention human labor. On a global scale, if food waste were its own country, it would be the thirdlargest greenhouse gas emitter, reports the United Nation Food

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Tom Colicchio, chef Bill Telepan and Food Policy Action co-founder Ken Cook take part in a panel at the release of its annual Food Scorecard at Campos Community Garden in New York City in November 2015.

and Agriculture Organization. And because food waste is rarely composted, it decomposes anaerobically in landfills, releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Wasted food is also responsible for 25 percent of fresh water use in the country, a tremendous tax on beleaguered lakes, streams and reservoirs. “This is one of the many ways that food intersects with not just social issues, but with environmental issues,” Colicchio says. “We can’t wave a magic wand and all of a sudden have organic farms across the country that will feed everyone; cutting back on food waste is something we can all work toward in the meantime.” Cook offers an even more stinging perspective: “Waste is the greatest environmental insult, because you’ve inflicted damage on Mother Nature and then thrown the product of that damage in your refuse bin. We have to become more aware.” Which is why environmental groups, anti-hunger groups and food system reformers such as FPA have issued a call to fight food waste on all fronts. Entrepreneurs are also stepping up. Imperfect Produce,

PHOTO PROVIDED BY FOOD POLICY ACTION

food fight


MISFITS

IMPERFECT PRODUCE

Imperfect Produce aims to get consumers to eat ‘ugly’

a produce delivery company based in Emeryville, Calif., collects “ugly” fruits and vegetables — food that does not meet retailers’ cosmetic standards — from farms and sells it at a 30 percent to 50 percent discount. Since its 2015 launch, the company, which uses the Community Supported Agriculture model, has amassed 12,000 Bay Area customers. Aleksandra Strub, Imperfect’s chief marketing officer, attributes the company’s success to “people getting really excited about fighting food waste together — but also to have affordable access to healthy food.” It’s an example of that win-win alignment that Colicchio is always seeking to orchestrate. “Food waste is one place where practicality meets politics,” says the 54-year-old, who this year will push for the passage of the Food Date Labeling Act, which aims to standardize confusing and inconsistent supermarket terms like “sell by,” “use by” and “expires on,” which often cause consumers to toss out food prematurely. “As much as people want to tell me to keep politics out of the kitchen and out of food, it’s impossible not to.”

Apples determined to be too small, carrots believed to be too crooked. These are among the many “ugly” fruits and vegetables that are often rejected by grocery stores because consumers prefer perfect produce, adding up to a lot of rejected – and perfectly edible – food. One startup aims to change this. Imperfect Produce, based in Emeryville, Calif., collects this food and sells it at a discount to customers in the Bay Area, where 12,000 customers each receive a weekly box of produce. This is a small portion of the fruits and vegetables saved from the landfill.

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CATCH DAY

Dedicated chefs and fishermen are making sure underutilized fish are a splash of divine on our plates BY PETER OGBURN

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GETTY IMAGES

F

ishermen working to catch the desirable swordfish, shrimp, tuna and grouper inevitably scoop up bycatch — mullets, bluefish, whelks and miscellaneous so-called “trash fish” — that buyers don’t typically want. But that is changing. Increasingly, chefs and consumers are finding that the previously snubbed rudderfish, squirrelfish and their undesired brethren can be just as delicious as their more sought-after counterparts. Chef Mike Lata of FIG and The Ordinary, both in Charleston, S.C., dismisses the notion that these fish are garbage, adding that it’s the responsibility of chefs like him to introduce the dining public to something new. “I believe that the term ‘trash fish’ is actually no longer applicable. It refers to the fact that certain species do not have commercial value, but we buy


One-time cast-offs like hogfish are claiming their place at the table.

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CATCH

DAY

While people often talk about eating seasonally when it comes to produce, they rarely extend that mentality to fish.

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straight from the captain’s boat and have always encouraged him to charge the same money that it would take to bring any species of fish to the door,” he says. “It is then up to me to educate people about how many different ways it can be enjoyed.” As chefs embrace their role in understanding and serving these underutilized fish, they’re also encouraging a sustainable aspect. For many people, eating healthier food means fish appear more frequently on their plates. But this has led to overfishing, according to a 2016 report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which says that 31 percent of fish were “estimated as fished at a biologically unsustainable level.” In addition to how much we catch, we also need to consider the species and how each breed reproduces, says Shelley Dearhart, sustainable

PAUL GREENBERG

Less familiar species like golden tilefish have started showing up at restaurants with a commitment to fresh, local food.


MIKE LATA

seafood program director for The Safina Center, an organization that examines the effect humans have on the environment and inspires thought and action toward protecting it for generations. For instance, eating species of fish that don’t reproduce until later in life — like tuna, grouper and snapper — or types that only gather in large numbers when mating, making it easier to catch many, means that it can be easy to decrease the population of popular fish by limiting their ability to breed. “We have to look at the individual species that’s being fished,” she says. “We have to look at the abundance of the species. We want to make sure we aren’t taking them out faster than they can replenish their population. Does the total you take out balance with having a healthy population for them to reproduce?” So as regulations have tightened and people are realizing the effects of overfishing, the culinary world is taking a stand by serving species that haven’t been the most popular on menus over the years. One chef helping to take bycatch to the mainstream is Bryan Caswell of Reef in Houston. While Caswell serves traditional, widely available seafood such as salmon and scallops, his menu is also filled with lesser-known fish, such as amberjack and cobia, that he’s been introducing to diners for the last 10 years. For Caswell, his favorite bycatch “is always the one that I just caught.” As he grew up in coastal areas, fishing was always a large part of his childhood.

IF YOU E V ER FIND YOURSEL F in downtown Charleston, S.C., make sure to stop by The Ordinary (eattheordinary.com), an upscale seafood restaurant located in an old bank. The spot serves a smoked fish pâté using mackerel, amberjack and so-called “trash fish” that they smoke in-house. “This is a staple on the menu at The Ordinary, where we smoke all kinds of local fish,” says chef Mike Lata, who is also chef at Charleston’s FIG. “If you are not looking to smoke your own fish at home, it is easy to recreate this recipe with prepared smoked trout from your local gourmet grocery store.”

SMOKED FISH PÂTÉ

Chef Mike Lata, FIG and The Ordinary Yields 2 cups 4 2 1 1 8 ½

ounces cream cheese, softened ounces crème fraiche small shallot, minced T. thinly sliced chives ounces smoked trout, skin and bones removed T. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste Sea salt to taste

Combine softened cream cheese and crème fraiche in a mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Fold in minced shallot and chives. Gently flake trout into the mixture and fold to combine. Season to taste with lemon juice and salt.

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CATCH

DAY Chef Sammy Monsor prepares vermilion rockfish during a Trash Fish Dinner in 2016, put on by Chefs Collaborative.

EAT UP

Chefs Collaborative, a national nonprofit network of 20,000 members, has been hosting Trash Fish Dinners around the country since 2013. “While we use ‘trash fish’ as a catchy, edgy term, the industry is a little down on it because it undervalues these

species. They like to use ‘underutilized species’ or ‘bycatch’ or other terms,” says board chairwoman Piper Davis, founder and co-owner of Grand Central Bakery in Seattle and Portland, Ore. The group encourages chefs to host the dinners as

a way to encourage diners to test the waters. So far, more than 30 member chefs have hosted nine Trash Fish Dinners. “I know on the chef’s side, there’s clear evidence of people using different types of fish on their menus. We joke, ‘Anything but halibut and salmon!’”

Davis says. “So yes, there’s definitely an increase in chefs understanding that underutilized species are great options. And it works both ways — not only are they the environmental good choice to make, but quite often they’re less expensive. So it’s a more affordable choice, too.” There are a few Trash Fish Dinners scheduled for fall, but no dates have been finalized. To find out whether there’s one happening near you, go to chefscollaborative.org.

Asian ribbon fish

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Sheepshead

Whelks

Amberjack

CHEFS COLLABORATIVE; GETTY IMAGES

COMING TO A RESTAURANT NEAR YOU


GETTY IMAGES

Part of that meant eating what he caught, regardless of the species. But transferring that mindset to diners wasn’t easy, and when he began serving bycatch, he had some problems making it work. “In my part of the country, people were getting busted for taking drum or sheepshead and (falsely) serving it as snapper,” he says. “I never understood that because I love those other fish. In the beginning, we had to convince the fishermen to keep them. They’d hand them out to their crew as a bonus because there just wasn’t a market.” Whether or not the dining public is willing to experiment, Caswell is still taking the lead. He says he has served 92 different fish from the Gulf of Mexico in his restaurant. In Durham, N.C., chef Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint is evangelical about his state’s seafood. “When people think of North Carolina seafood, they think of oysters, flounder and shrimp,” he says. “But some of the things I like to serve will be sheepshead, mullet, croaker, hogfish, Atlantic spadefish, pompano.” This is the seafood he grew up eating, but it’s also a way to utilize the fish in his own backyard: “Where I’m from, people use mullet as bait, not for eating. That’s blasphemy to me.” While people often talk about eating seasonally when it comes to produce, they rarely extend that mentality to fish. Moore says we should. “I wanted to project the idea that when you’re eating seafood, you need to also think about seasonality. There are specific fish that swim or should be caught at certain times of the year based on their abundance.” He’s had to convince some diners. “I tell everyone, ‘Don’t eat tilapia!’ But that’s what has been marketed to them. It’s mild, tasteless and takes on other flavors.” One reason some may avoid eating bycatch is because some of the fish tend to be oilier and can taste “fishier” than

Pomfret

Monkfish

more familiar species. But Moore says there are ways to make these oilier fish not only appealing, but delicious: “I’ll politely introduce those fish by grilling it or do a spice rub and smoke it. Before you know it, (customers will) come back again and again looking for it.” So how do consumers put this into practice? Dearhart says that for those near a coastal area, get to know your fishermen. “U.S. fishermen are supposed to be following federal regulations that support sustainable fisheries,” she says. “And you’re supporting the local economy and that’s always a good thing.” If you’re dining out, engage your server. Dearhart recommends asking where the fish is from and how it was caught, just as you might ask about their seasonal vegetables and meat: “If they know the information, that says something about them being proud of the product they’re selling you.” Restaurants tout their seasonal, farm-to-table offerings. It’s time for us to treat fish the same way.

Squirrelfish

Grey mullet

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OPEN HOUSE

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New products, new ways of building make it easy to choose your home’s greenest path BY STACEY FREED

Tesla’s technology includes solar roof shingles and the Powerwall 2, a home storage battery.

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OPEN HOUSE

W

hen it comes to eco-friendly living, the options for your home are ever-evolving. And new technology is making it easier for homes to be interconnected and smart, which can also make it easier to be green — lowering energy use, saving money on energy costs and making your home comfortable, healthy and safer.

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TESLA HOME IMAGES PROVIDED BY TESLA

Tesla offers four types of solar shingles and will begin selling and installing its solar roof later this year, the company says.


WEMO

An easy way to gain energy savings is by air-sealing your home. Weatherstrip drafty windows and caulk around pipes in your basement, for example. Likewise, make sure your home is properly insulated. “Here in Washington, D.C., before 1960, we didn’t have insulation in some houses,” says Chris Landis, co-principal at Landis Architects/Builders.“If there is insulation, in many cases, it’s fallen down, there are gaps around outlets.” Foam can be a good option: It won’t sag over time, resists mold and has a good R-value (its capacity to resist heat flow). But the type of foam matters, cautions Michael Anschel, owner of Otogawa-Anschel Design+Build in Minneapolis and associate at the green consulting and training company Verified Green. “Spray foam has a high global-warming potential factor due to the amount of carbon released during its manufacture. Open cell foams don’t have that issue,” he says. Also easy: switching out your old light bulbs for LEDs, which save about 84 percent of the energy used by a typical 60 watt incandescent; installing a dual-flush toilet and lowflow shower head; replacing windows with ones that are low-e (they reflect more heat) and have a thermal break; and investing in durable, eco-friendly siding that’s attractive, easy to maintain and long-lasting.

For example, Anschel says, Boral has a line of siding products and trim made of 70 percent recycled materials. “You can work with (the materials) like wood. It can’t rot and once you put it up, it will be there for a hundred years.” For interior paint, purchase those with low- or zero-volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Once your walls are painted and for a short time after, VOCs are released into the air and can be especially bad for those with compromised immune systems. Coatings Research Group Inc. (CRGI), a Berea, Ohio, nonprofit trade organization that also certifies products as Green Wise, puts paints and coatings through rigorous indoor air-quality testing based on California South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) requirements — the strictest in the country. VOC limits vary in different parts of the country. The U.S. government caps the amount of VOCs allowed in flat finishes to 250 grams per liter (g/l) and 380 g/l for glossy finishes. Two companies, Colorhouse and Dunn-Edwards Paints, meet Green Wise Gold standards, meaning they contain fewer than 5 grams of VOCs per liter, says Geoff White, the technical manager at CRGI. Keep in mind that paint companies list the VOCs for the paint only — not for any colorant added. CRGI requires that colorants contain less than

10 g/l VOC and would not contribute to a significant increase in VOC of tinted paint because of the small amount used. GET SMART Increasingly, more appliances and devices for the home are becoming smart, and that can save energy. Philips Lighting’s Hue — customizable, wireless LED lighting — connects to a programmable app. No more forgetting to turn off lights, wasting energy; have them set to turn on or off automatically. Functional, yes, but Hue can be fun, too, its creators say. “Hue can do 16 million colors and 50,000 shades of

white; whatever color and feel you’d like in your home is now possible with the touch of your fingers,” says Todd Manegold, connected home business leader at Philips Lighting North America. He adds that there are hundreds of apps

Nationally recognized builders are all doing projects using or offering green and smart options on new homes.

The Wemo Mini Smart Plug uses Wi-Fi to control lamps, heaters, fans and more, all by using a free app on your smartphone.

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that work with the Hue ecosystem: “The most popular is Hue Disco.” Link it to your system, play music, and it’s an instant dance party with changing colors and lights flashing to the beat. One approachable entry point for trying out a smart product is the Wemo Mini Smart Plug ($34.99, wemo. com). Plug in any outlet and then plug in your lamp, fan or other appliance and set up the app to tell devices when to turn on and off — for example, having your porch light come on at sunset and go off at a designated time. Wemo makes smart light switches, plugs, and later this year will offer dimmers. To monitor home

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energy use, connect Curb, a real-time home energy monitoring system ($399, amazon.com) to your breaker box to learn which devices are sucking power. You can estimate your bill, view trends and get recommendations. Don’t stop with electricity. You’ll be able to “talk” with your water system with a FLUID meter ($259, fluidwatermeter.com), which will be available in stores soon. The small metering device attaches to your pipes and lets you know how much water you’re using and where it’s being consumed (toilet, kitchen sink, hose, etc.). Connect it to your smartphone and set it for things like leak

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

notifications or For the The self-tinting even goal setting Suntuitive outside, there are Dynamic Glass — features that programmable (shown on are especially irrigation controls windows to the useful in places like Skydrop right) utilizes like California, ($299, skydrop.com) heat from direct where water sunlight. or Rachio ($199 usage is billed by to $249, rachio. cost tiers. com) controlled by smart “People are so discondevices and which consider nected to the water they weather, temperature and use, and they want to see moisture to help homeownhow they’re impacting the ers create a landscape world around them,” says watering schedule that’s Josh Becerra, co-founder less wasteful. of FLUID, which began as Many of these dea Kickstarter campaign. vices are partnering with “There’s been persistent or seeking to partner with drought in the West voice-activated systems and Southwest and in like Amazon’s Alexa and other parts of the world. Echo Dot, Google Home or People are becoming more Samsung’s SmartThings. conscientious about water Some, like Wemo, work with conservation.” IFTTT (If This Then That),

SUNTUITIVE

OPEN HOUSE


DRINK UP Stop buying bottled water and get fresh filtered water at home

SAMSUNG; GENERAL ELECTRIC

When it comes to refrigerator water filters, the leader of the pack seems to be the General Electric MWF system, which helps to remove many water pollutants such as lead, trace pharmaceuticals including ibuprofen and progesterone and other harmful components.

Looking for filtered water and then some? Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator line has FlexZone storage compartments that can switch between fridge or freezer, precise temperature control, ensuring food stays fresh longer (meaning less waste) and a Wi-Fi-enabled touchscreen. Built-in cameras connect to your smartphone, allowing you to take images of what you already have so you don’t buy duplicates.

A different take is General Electric’s Autofill Pitcher, available in two top-freezer models in white or stainless steel. The fridges use magnets to attach the pitcher to its dispenser (and detect its presence). When sensors recognize the pitcher, it will refill automatically without overflowing.

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OPEN HOUSE

ABOVE AND BEYOND Taking it to the next level may mean investing in solar technology. While most people are familiar with traditional solar arrays,

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there are new ways to top your roof. Tesla, Inc., the automaker, energy storage company, and solar panel manufacturer, is selling customizable solar roof tiles in a variety of styles like slate or Tuscan. They’ll be manufactured in Buffalo and installed by SolarCity, the largest installer of residential and commercial panels. You can purchase a roof outright (approximately $15,000, including installation) or there are two leasing options. Bonus: Federal tax credits for solar are available through 2019. Tesla’s hoping homeowners will pair the tiles with its Powerwall 2 ($5,500, tesla. com), the second generation of its sleek wall-mounted rechargeable lithium-ion battery. But even without a solar system, the battery can be used as a backup generator in a power outage. It conserves energy absorbed in daylight to use at night, for example, or

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

send it back to the grid.

control the energy storage and use. A family of four has been living in the home since 2014 to test it. Honda is working on a bidirectional charger for a car plugged into the home’s charger so that “energy can go from your vehicle to the grid or get pushed back into the house,” says Michael Koenig, project leader for Honda Smart Home. The ultimate in green living is being developed through the Living Building Challenge, a certification program created by the Living Future Institute. The LBC is the world’s most rigorous standard for green buildings. “There are 20 nonnegotiable imperatives to meet the challenge,” says Eric Corey Freed, founding principal of OrganicArchitect, chief community officer at EcoDistricts and

The Honda Smart Home is chock full of energy-efficient equipment, including solar panels and a lithium battery.

ALL IN The Honda Motor Company is pushing the limits on how smart and energy-efficient a home can be. The Honda Smart Home U.S., built on the campus University of California, Davis (chosen because Honda partnered with the school in the 1990s for car-sharing research), is 1,944 square feet and uses 60 percent less energy for lighting and less than half as much energy on appliances than a similar new home. Run by rooftop solar panels, the home is equipped with a 10 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery in the garage that stores energy. Honda is using its proprietary hardware and software monitoring program, called the Home Energy Management System, to help

HONDA SMART HOME

a Web-based service where you can create conditional statements called “applets” that allow you to further customize devices. For example, you can plug an air conditioner into a Wemo outlet and go to an IF channel to create a scenario that says, “If the weather outside reaches 75 degrees, turn on my air conditioner.” People store various ideas (ways they’ve used the system) there “so there’s a social aspect to it,” says Kara Alexander, who leads Wemo’s product development team. Windows, too, are helping to save energy. Pleotint’s Suntuitive Dynamic Glass is smart in a different way and doesn’t need to be connected into a home’s electrical or mechanical system. The glass self-tints in response to heat and sunlight (prices start at $30 per square foot, suntuitive. com). There are also solarpowered devices such as the Solar Smart opener that uses solar energy to operate a chain-driven system to open awnings, hopper windows and skylights (solarsmartopener.com). Pella has its Insynctive line with blinds and shades between the glass (triple pane, low emissivity) that can be operated via a smart device (pella.com/insynctive).


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former vice president of Living Future Institute. Seattle’s six-story Bullitt Center, which opened on Earth Day in 2013, is built to last 250 years, Freed says. “It’s one of the greenest office buildings in the world” — one of only 12 buildings to receive full certification from LBC. It generates 100 percent of its energy. The building has composting toilets, a cistern to collect rainwater and gardens to grow food for its occupants; the interior finishes avoid all known cancer-causing chemicals such as mercury or lead. “It’s the Jackie Robinson of buildings and is going to open the door for others,” Freed says. “Buildings are responsible for 50 percent of emissions and cars 30 percent. If we want to solve issues around affordable, renewable energy and climate change, buildings have to change.” There is evidence that new homebuilders are catching on. Nationally recognized builders like Brookfield Residential, KB Homes and Ashton Woods are all doing projects using or offering green and smart options on new homes. Even some cities, like Louisville, are taking advantage of smart technology to connect homes with city information systems. “I think we’re poised for some revolution in the way homes are built,” Koenig says. “The way we currently do it isn’t sustainable.”

LOOKING FOR A GREEN REMODELER? How do you know if your contractor is a real green professional? Green building is not just about being energy efficient, says Michael Anschel, owner and principal of Otogawa-Anschel Design+Build in Minneapolis and associate at Verified Green. “If you ask about green building and his or her response is, ‘Our insulation is always spray foam,’ or they just suggest using solar panels, that’s not ‘green.’” Ask professionals whether they know about the following: ▶ Life-cycle assessments (LCA) — the environmental effect of a product from creation to grave. ▶ Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) — a verified document that details comparable information about the lifecycle environmental impact of a product.

▶ The difference between an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) and a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). Both aim to provide fresh air for the home, dilute indoor pollutants and reduce odors. The HRV has a fan that pulls fresh air in while venting out stale air. When the air streams flow through the HRV’s core, the appliance captures heat from the stale air, for example, and mixes it with the cooler air. It does this without mixing the two air streams. In a sense, the HRV is “recovering” the heat so it is not lost, which helps a home be more energy-efficient in winter. The ERV does the same thing but also allows moisture in humid air to mix with the drier air. ▶ Whether they have done any LEEDcertified projects and whether they’ve been educated by or have certifications and designations from professional associations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the National Association of Home Builders and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Where to learn about tax credits, incentives and rebates: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, dsireusa.org Solar Power Rocks provides free guides to solar policy and incentives. solarpowerrocks.com

Look for these labels CARB2 compliant: A product meets the California Air Resources Board’s strict standards for formaldehyde emissions. EPD: Environmental Product Declaration, where manufacturers disclose a product’s carbon footprint and other impacts. FSC: Used on wood products, it’s the Forest Stewardship Council’s seal of approval. Green Wise: For paints that have been certified by the Coatings Research Group Inc., to meet certain environmental performance standards.

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PAR C O UR S E FOR THE

The game is more sustainable than it’s ever been

CREDIT HERE; COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES

BY ANNETTE THOMPSON

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he major trend in golf courses these days is a more natural experience. Sure, golfers and course superintendents still want emerald fairways and obsessively tended putting greens. But the more natural the course, the closer the experience is to

CREDITLAMBRECHT HERE; COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES LARRY

nature and the more satisfying.

Hundreds of golf facilities across the U.S. are designated as sanctuaries. They limit pesticides, enhance habitats and institute green initiatives such as solar-powered carts and geothermal clubhouses. Many reclaim water, use the natural environment and promote eco-friendly practices to players. That’s a seismic change from the designs and constructions of the post-World War II building boom.

“My grandfather was often called the father of modern golf course architecture,” says Trent Jones, referring to Robert Trent Jones, an English–American golf course architect who is credited with designing or redesigning more than 500 golf courses. “During World War II, bulldozers and heavy machinery were improved. He brought those into course design.” Courses were carved out of and

into landscapes, with well-tended playing areas and roughs; they were maintained with chemicals and earth damaging practices. “Now we’ve come full circle to the Scotland idea of leaving the environment alone,” Jones says. Today, a new generation of minimalist architects has emerged whose courses fit within existing environments. Here’s how courses have put green back in golf.

With no fountains, street lights or embellishments, Streamsong Resort in Streamsong, Fla., emphasizes minimalism.

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Streamsong Resort

STREAMSONG RESORT STREAMSONG, FLA. When Mosaic, the world’s largest phosphate and potash mining company and the seventh largest landholder in Florida, stopped mining phosphate on a 16,000-acre plot, its developers created three golf courses with a minimalist touch — and they couldn’t have planned better. “This tract was an active mine for 100 years,” says Tom Sunnarborg, vice president of land development and management. The mining process separated the clay and sand from the phosphate; the clay was returned to the

shallow pits first, allowing it to harden. Then sand was pumped on top, allowing nature to reshape it with wind and water into naturalized dunes, now fuzzy with indigenous vegetation. “This allowed a unique water recycling system,” Sunnarborg says. “Irrigation and rainwater hits our courses, (percolates) through the sand, hits the clay and travels back to our irrigation lakes and is recycled.” The sand dunes may not be natural, but they are stunning, some almost 100 feet tall. “The architects did not move them,” he says. “Those dunes are the stars of our show.”

A minimalist philosophy permeates the entire resort. “We challenge conventional thinking of resort and golf development,” Sunnarborg says. “We emphasize walking. We don’t have rough. The fairways end in natural areas. We don’t irrigate outside areas of play, other than a tiny bit around the clubhouse. We don’t plant flowers. We don’t use street lights. We don’t have a fountain at our entrance. Our entrance isn’t even lit. We don’t do anything that’s not necessary. No houses or condos. The clubhouse is intentionally underneath the vista of the dunes. It’s a beautiful building, but it is secondary to the land form.” u1000 Streamsong Dr., Streamsong, Fla.; 888-294-6322; streamsongresort.com

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ECOBIOBALLS are single-use biodegradeable golf balls with a fish food core, meant to be played in marine environments. $34.50, albusgolf.com

AL HURLEY; ALBUS GOLF

ECO-PRACTICES


Los Robles Greens Golf Course drastically reduced its use of water, going beyond California’s requirements.

LOS ROBLES GREENS GOLF COURSE

PROVIDED BY LOS ROBLES GREENS GOLF COURSE

THOUSAND OAKS, CALIF. California’s severe drought wreaked havoc, resulting in state restrictions on water, pesticides and native tree removal. The city of Thousand Oaks wanted its 1960s-era golf course to be environmentally beneficial. “The city asked for a renovation plan,” says Ed Easley, senior vice president of construction and director of agronomy at Arcis Golf. “We hired architect Jason Straka because of his strong environmental background.” From the 100-acre course, they removed 30 acres of irrigated turf and naturalized 40 acres with more than 55,000 naturally drought- and pest-resistant native plants. This drastically reduced the use of water, fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuels, going far beyond the city’s target. “We hand-water everything we plant for the first few months,” Easley says. “We did not put in drip irrigation to prevent watering when plants didn’t need it.”

ECO-PRACTICES Los Robles works with the city and local companies to accumulate tree waste and debris to create mulch for the naturalized areas. The course has its own nursery to propagate native plants. Groundskeepers no longer clear under the facility’s signature oak trees. “We let those leaves fall and re-energize the mulch,” Easley says. “We’ve cut down weekly cleanup. We don’t use resources to address that.” u299 South Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks, Calif.; 805-495-6421; losroblesgreens.com

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THE BROADMOOR COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. The five-star resort’s three courses share views of the Rockies as well as a sophisticated computer-controlled irrigation systems to reuse water. The Broadmoor has converted some turf to native grass and all three courses are certified Audubon Sanctuaries — a designation earned by fewer than 10 percent of all golf courses. “We have to show that we’re managing fungicides and insecticides in an environmentally friendly way, with checks and balances to achieve the rating,” says Zach Bauer, superintendent of the West Course. “We take a holistic approach. We promote grass so we don’t spray pesticides.” Consequently, the wildlife congregates on the course to everyone’s delight. “We see mule deer. We have coyotes and foxes (and) black bear mothers with cubs in season. Bobcats are rare, but we still see them early in the mornings,” he says. “Birds — Cooper’s hawks, red-tailed hawks, raptors. Rabbits. It’s a good diverse ecosystem.”

ECO-PRACTICES Course employees add bird nesting boxes each year and welcome bird counts and banding. They create habitats for bees and butterflies by growing wildflowers. A caddy program promotes walking. u1 Lake Ave., Colorado Springs, Colo.; 719-577-5790; broadmoor.com

Breath-taking views of the Rockies are among the natural wonders surrounding the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

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CHAMBERS BAY TACOMA, WASH. Tacoma’s links-style layout converts a sand and gravel mine into a spectacular venue modeled on Scottish traditions, which connect scrub-lined holes along the coast, built on sandy soil and typically treeless. Links courses are typically buffeted by strong winds and rain. “The land was earmarked for reclamation,” says Trent Jones, a golf architect, whose father, Robert Trent Jones Jr., designed it in 2006. “We could turn it into a public park, but what if we also brought a golf course here and used it to treat waste water and generate revenue?”

The design was so successful, Chambers Bay hosted the 2015 U.S. Open Tournament, with Puget Sound, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains as its backdrop — the youngest course ever to host the event. As with many Scottish links, public jogging trails and walking paths meander through the course. “Our challenge was to make paths without errant golf balls hitting people,” Jones says. They made dunes out of sand leftover from the mine. “We modeled the wind patterns to see how wind and rain would have created dunes,” he says.

ECO-PRACTICES

BROADMOOR; CHAMBERS BAY

The fescue turf is the driving force behind the ecosystem at Chambers Bay, says Eric Johnson, director of agronomy. “It has a lower requirement for water, fertilizers and pesticides,” he says of the deep-rooted grass that’s native to the British Isles. Additionally, the water treatment plant on the property converts biosolid wastes — nutrient-rich organic matter from sewage treatment — into fertilizer that’s used around the course. And because the 950-acre Chambers Bay is a walking-only facility, the energy and maintenance needs of golf carts are eliminated. u6320 Grandview Dr., University Place, Wash.; 253-460-4653; chambersbaygolf.com

Chambers Bay

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NOTEWORTHY COURSES Northport Creek Golf Course Northport, Mich. The first totally solar-powered course in the U.S., it uses the energy to run the clubhouse, golf carts and irrigation pumps. northportcreek.com

MOSSY OAK GOLF CLUB WEST POINT, MISS. When the outfitters company Mossy Oak wanted to build a golf course not far from its headquarters, management chose architect Gil Hanse, a leading minimalist who also created the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic course. Mossy Oak wanted to represent a sustainable, mindful approach, leaving a gentle footprint on the habitat while delivering a world-class experience. Set in the Black Prairie region, the land had been a dairy farm with flowing hills and ponds. “We opened earlier than we expected, because we didn’t have to move dirt around,” says Chris Jester, the director of golf. The only major dirt moved was for a 7.5-acre irrigation lake. The goal was to restore the natural areas to the prairie grasses in a walkable format, with native grasses around the buildings. The course sports 103 bunkers, all using sand pulled from the local riverbed.

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ECO-PRACTICES “We reclaim a lot of the water through gravity,” Jester says. “The native areas are not irrigated — they are out of maintenance. We have a commitment to not overwatering. Our fertilizers are all organic, slow-release.” u1 Mossy Oak Dr., West Point, Miss.; 662-524-1000; mossyoakgolf.com

Vineyard Golf Club Edgartown, Mass. Martha’s Vineyard’s first new course in a generation is totally organic. The facility uses no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides. vineyardgolf.com Bandon Dunes Golf Resort Bandon, Ore. The par-3 Bandon Preserve course donates net proceeds to Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, a grantproviding group that fosters ecological and economic successes along the coast. All five Bandon Dunes courses have a strict walking policy. bandon dunesgolf.com

MICHAEL CLEMMER

Mossy Oak Golf Club

Santa Lucia Preserve Golf Course Carmel, Calif. A 2016 renovation replaced the turf, bunkers and tees to decrease water use by as much as 35 million gallons per year. A new water collection system saves another 22 million per year in retention ponds. santaluciapreserve. com


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build or remodel your dream home. To learn more, visit nahb.org/dreams

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Irresistibly adventurous. Download our free app, now with virtual reality. Be transported to unusual destinations, must-see landmarks, and the hidden gems for your inner world-traveler.


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GET INSPIRED OUTDOORS 62 | BUSINESS 64 | EDUCATION 72 | LIFESTYLE 80 | HEALTH 86 | TRAVEL 90 | THE LAST WORD 96

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UNDER THREAT

In 2016, record-high ocean temperatures caused a large percentage of coral in the Great Barrier Reef to bleach. See page 78 for story

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O U T D O ORS

Pedal Pushers Ditch your car and try bike sharing in one of these great cities BY LARRY BLEIBERG

BIKE CHATTANOOGA

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NEW YORK CITY

Citi Bike It’s no surprise that the nation’s largest city has the most popular bike-share program, with more than 10,000 cycles available. “It has gotten tremendous usage. It’s a wonderful way to see the city,” DeMaio says. And if the idea of biking through traffic in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or Jersey City has you skittish, not to worry. “New York has put in bike lanes right through Times Square and really nice north-south routes. And you can go on a long ride uninterrupted in Central Park.” 855-245-3311; citibikenyc.com

WASHINGTON, D.C., REGION

Capital Bikeshare With flat terrain and wide open green space, the D.C. area is a natural for a bike-sharing program. “Three of the most used stations are on the National Mall,” says DeMaio, who manages the program for neighboring Arlington County, Va. Other participating municipalities include Alexandria and Fairfax County in Virginia and Montgomery County, Md. “You can get from your hotel room to all the major tourist sites even if you’re not in downtown.” 877-430-2453; capitalbikeshare.com

MATT HARBISON PHOTOGRAPHY

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orget a rental car or a taxi: The best way to explore a city or commute is often on two wheels. And with more than 50 U.S. municipalities offering bike-share programs, it has never been easier for visitors to take to the streets, says Paul DeMaio, a transportation consultant and co-author of The Bikesharing Blog (bike-sharing.blogspot.com) “You’re getting to see the sights, see how the city functions and you’re able to cover more ground than by simply walking.” Systems typically allow people to rent bikes with a credit card and return them at any station in the operating area. Here are just a few of the nation’s bike-share programs:


CHICAGO

THE BIKE-SHARE ADVENTURE AWAITS

BAY AREA BIKE SHARE

Safety first! Bring your own helmet. Many programs don’t provide them.

Divvy Chicago’s bike-share program has taken off since its 2013 launch, operating even on the coldest days. While the most popular stations are around the Loop — the city’s central business district — riders also can pedal along Lake Michigan and beyond. “It will really get you around downtown Chicago and the neighborhoods,” DeMaio says. 855-553-4889; divvybikes.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C.

Charlotte B-cycle The program’s 24 stations focus on downtown and surrounding neighborhoods and parks. Program operator B-cycle, which is owned by Trek Bicycles, has operations in more than 40 North and South American cities, and many memberships are reciprocal, meaning visiting riders are eligible for local usage rates. 704-332-9585; charlotte.bcycle.com

AUSTIN

Austin B-cycle Oil-rich Texas has embraced bike sharing in a big way, and the state capital has one of the biggest and most popular programs. In 2014, at the South by Southwest festival, the system broke bike-share records with 10 rides per bike per day. Attendees surpassed that in 2015 when during one day of the conference, a record 3,032 total trips were taken. 512-954-1665; austin.bcycle.com

BOSTON REGION

Hubway With its wealth of students and tourists, Boston’s bike-share system has found a loyal following in the city and nearby towns of Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville. Indeed, its most popular station in 2015 was TD Garden (NorthStation), with 65,910 visits, according to thehubway. com. The system even offers subsidized bike-share memberships to low-income residents and those with weight or health issues if prescribed by a doctor from Boston Medical Center. 855-948-2929; thehubway.com

SAN FRANCISCO REGION

GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

CAPITAL BIKESHARE

CHARLOTTE B-CYCLE

Bay Area Bike Share Starting in the spring, this large program will expand from 700 to 7,000 bikes and be rebranded as Ford GoBike. When completed, the system will serve San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville, linking to MUNI and BART public transportation, making it one of the most ambitious regional systems in the country. San Francisco

visitors can bike along the Bayfront, while commuters use bikes to pedal from train stations to their San Francisco, San Jose or East Bay offices. 855-480-2453; bayareabikeshare.com

DENVER

Denver B-cycle Bike sharing made a big splash with a pilot project during the 2008 national presidential conventions in Denver and Minneapolis. Since its launch in 2010, the current program has taken off in this city known for its active residents. This past football season, the Denver Broncos offered bike valet service to fans who took advantage of bike-sharing. 303-825-3325; denver.bcycle.com

CHATTANOOGA, TENN.

Bike Chattanooga This vibrant small city boasts the largest bike-share system in the Southeast, with 300 cycles and 33 docking stations. Visitors, many of whom come for the city’s award-winning aquarium, museums and rock climbing, find it an easy way to get around town and explore the greenway along the Tennessee River. 888-9254415; bikechattanooga.com

PHILADELPHIA

Indego Stuff your cheesesteak into your Indego bike basket and explore Philadelphia. Don’t miss the scenic Schuylkill River Trail, a 26.5-mile, multiuse path from Center City Philadelphia to Phoenixville that in 2015 was named the No. 1 urban trail in the country in a USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. 844-4463346; rideindego.com

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Home to bears, eagles, salmon and breathtaking views, the Tongass National Forest — the largest national forest in the United States — covers most of Southeast Alaska, surrounding the famous Inside Passage.

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IMAGES PROVIDED BY TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST

B U S I NES S


Unlikely Advocates One family’s bid to sustainably log Alaska’s Tongass National Forest BY SHELLEY SEALE

T

he dark, cold water laps quietly against the shore of vibrant grass dotted with thick stands of spruce trees. Snow-capped mountains and majestic glaciers peek up from the rolling mist that envelops the land. A fat black bear ambles lazily out of the forest to survey the surroundings as dozens of bald eagles soar overhead. This is the Tongass National Forest — the largest national forest in the United States — and it covers most of Southeast Alaska surrounding the Inside Passage. Spread over roughly 17 million acres, the Tongass contains some of the most intact temperate rainforest land in the world, safeguarding a habitat for black and brown bears, deer, moose, humpback and orca whales, sea otters, sea lions and all five species of Pacific salmon. Indigenous Alaska Native peoples still live off the Tongass, named after a Tlingit tribe. Its 800-year-old trees stand as sentry over this Alaskan landscape that is one of the last truly wild places on Earth. And if Gordon Chew has his way, the Tongass will remain so. Decades of clear-cut logging have threatened the old growth forest; and although Chew is a logger himself, he practices a much different

VISIT THE TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST As with many of Alaska’s wild places, access by boat allows visitors to see places unreachable by land. UnCruise Adventures (uncruise.com) offers several itineraries that explore the Inside Passage. The UnCruise ships are small and offer highly experienced guides. Individuals can also see Tongass National Forest (www.fs.usda. gov/tongass) by land, where they can hike, fish, bicycle, camp or take a dog-sled ride on a glacier. Permits are needed for some activities, and cabins are available for rent.

model — selective logging. His business, the Tenakee Logging Company, is small. Chew’s son, Sterling, is his business partner, and does logging, milling and general maintenance as well as acting as roads-contract foreman. Daughter Meryl does barge building as well as lumber mill and logging support, while wife Anne Connelly manages the business and finances. The family works as a federal contractor and hires no subcontractors; though they occasionally bring on people to help harvest and mill, Chew says. Together, they run a sustainable logging operation that benefits the forest. The family moved to Alaska from the Bay Area of California in 1999 after falling in love with the state on a summer trip four years earlier. A carpenter by trade, Chew couldn’t find the quality of wood he wanted, or sourced how he wanted it, in the area. His solution was to simply source the lumber himself, and he bought his first lumber mill in 2002. He began bidding with the U.S. Forest Service for small stands of trees to harvest, about 100 trees each — mostly Sitka spruce, western hemlock and Alaska yellow cedar. When Tenakee wins a bid, the company selectively identifies and cuts only

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B U S I NES S

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Sterling Chew, son of Gordon Chew, monitors lumber at one of the Tenakee Logging Company’s mills. Gordon and his family are committed to sustainably logging the Tongass National Forest. Gordon, bottom right, his wife, Anne Connelly, bottom left, daughter Meryl, not pictured, and Sterling work with the Forest Service to selectively log.

excavated, large burl was sold to Dan Selchow of Journey of Life Flutes in Oklahoma to be made into hand-crafted flutes. The company also sells Alaskan yellow cedar grilling planks. Chew adds that nothing is wasted: Outside slabs are cut for firewood, and any sawdust is set aside for use in a planned solar wood-drying kiln. The Chews not only bid for logging stands from the federal government, they also perform bridge and road repair for the Forest Service. “We are the only local, working stewards on our

The Tongass’ 800-yearold trees stand as sentry over one of the last truly wild places.

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

logging road system,” he says. “We are the eyes of the Forest Service and can identify road, culvert, bridge and stream issues before they become bigger problems.” Chew says the work is extremely rewarding. Being self-sufficient and self-determined, working with the Forest Service and local environmental groups and having a waterfront lifestyle of such stunning beauty make any difficulty worthwhile. “Here in the Tongass National Forest, we are gifted to live in one of the world’s greatest carbon sinks,” he says. “Our oldgrowth trees sequester amazing amounts of carbon in the soil, and while many have put a monetary value on that, I am just happy to be here and be a responsible user of our forest resources.”

PROVIDED BY GORDON CHEW

one-third of the trees in that stand. Chew says this yields between 50 to 100 large spruces or hemlocks or 300 to 400 smaller cedar trees, or a mix of all three species. This process gives two-thirds of the remaining trees more light, he says. “The brush jumps up; the deer move in; the berries get big. I can tell you from my experience, it doesn’t hurt the forest; it actually can improve the forest,” he says. “And what happens in the future of these old-growth trees is they’ll be bigger with more trees, so you can do this again in 30 years or 50 years. The sustainable part is that there’s still a viable forest left. It’s not taken down — there’s habitat for animals. It’s still beautiful.” Though Chew makes his living from logging, he affirms that he is also an environmentalist. “With the knowledge that over one-third of the Tongass National Forest has already been clear-cut, we believe it is long past time to stop this environmentally destructive practice,” he says. “It’s an unusual stance maybe for a logger to take — but I’m not your traditional logger.” Tenakee sells its timber to home and boat builders, cabinet and furniture makers, and a variety of artisans in Alaska such as Mount Juneau Trading Post, which crafts native paddles and masks from the wood. Most of the wood is sold locally, but some makes it out of the state; a recently


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B U S I NES S

Taking Care of Business Global-scale consumer companies tout corporate sustainability initiatives BY ADAM STONE

RETHINKING PACKAGING Toymaker Hasbro takes sustainability seriously. In 2015, the Pawtucket, R.I., company hit its goal of deriving at least 90 percent of its packaging from either recycled paper or sources that practice sustainable forest management. “Packaging has been an area that we have been laser-focused on for a number of years,”

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GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

says Kathrin Belliveau, senior vice president of global government affairs and corporate social responsibility. The company also replaced polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in its toy and game packaging with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to make it more easily recyclable, and now is moving toward adoption of recycled PET, Belliveau says. The company also works to avoid the use of BPA where possible. Just by switching from paper labels to printed information on Play-Doh cans, the company saved more than 1,800 trees a year, Belliveau says. By taking the NERF Weather Blitz football out of a corrugated box and displaying it on a card, the company reduced packaging by 34 percent. Hasbro also has a longstanding relationship with the environmental protection group Greenpeace to help ensure that the paper it does use comes from sustainable sources. “It’s about making sure the land is not being destroyed, that it is being replenished. And it’s about understanding the ripple effect, how animal habitats and communities of indigenous people can be impacted,” Belliveau says.

Hasbro redesigned the packaging for its Nerf Weather Blitz football to use 34 percent less material, cutting down on the amount of cardboard needed. GETTY IMAGES; HASBRO

O

nce a fringe consideration, corporate sustainability is becoming increasingly entrenched. In its most recent report on the topic, the global nonprofit business network BSR found sustainability to be at least “fairly well integrated” in two-thirds of U.S. companies. In 64 percent of them, there is a direct reporting line from the sustainability office to the executive team. “Sustainability is clearly growing in importance for companies, and attracting significantly more attention from CEOs,” the study finds. The trend is visible across global-scale consumer companies as sustainability becomes an ever more mainstream proposition.


BY THE NUMBERS WALMART

3

MILLION

tons of cardboard and plastic are recycled annually

HASBRO

90%

of packaging comes from either recycled paper or sources that practice sustainable forest management

COCA-COLA

WALMART

115%

of the water used to make Coke products is recycled

CUTTING DOWN ON CARDBOARD Based in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart says its U.S. stores have come more than 80 percent of the way toward the ambitious goal of producing “zero waste.” Stores in Japan and the United Kingdom divert 90 percent of their trash away from landfills, while operations in Canada and Mexico are at 70 percent. In real numbers, that translates into some 3 million tons of cardboard, plastics and other materials recycled annually. It means spoiled foods that would previously be thrown away instead are turned into compost and animal feed. Saving the planet goes straight to the bottom line. “We are all about efficiency and cost reduction, and our work on waste is a way to deliver on that strategy,” says Laura Phillips, senior vice president of corporate affairs/sustainability. “We receive recycling revenue that is creating value for the organization. Reducing waste has also reduced our operating costs, reducing the time and effort it takes to process those excess materials.” Walmart’s waste-reduction effort begins in-store, where tons of products arrive each day entombed in layers of plastic and cardboard. The company has looked for ways to pare back this clutter.

Walmart Take eggs, for continues instance. In the to look for past, conventional ways to cut down on the packaging required amount of lots of cardboard and cardboard it still led to broken uses. eggs. Recently, the company designed and implemented a reusable plastic shipping container that reduces the trash factor and saved an estimated 37 million eggs from disposal last year, Phillips says. On the consumer side, Walmart wants to cut waste by simplifying recycling. “Research by the Carton Council of North America revealed that 90 percent of consumers say this was important and yet 67 percent say they were confused by current packaging. They didn’t know what was recyclable,” Phillips says. Walmart’s proposed solution: Make all its store-brand packaging recyclable by 2025. The toy category is already 40 percent of the way there. The company also is looking to leverage its massive buying power to drive suppliers toward zero-waste approaches to packaging and product design. “We encourage suppliers to look at different solutions. If we just ask the questions, the suppliers will go to find solutions,” Phillips says. “We think of it as a journey of collaboration.”

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B U S I NES S

In Chimoio, Mozambique, Coca-Cola partners with USAID to deliver safe water to about 25,000 people.

STEMMING WATER WASTE Coca-Cola products, including soda, juice, water and energy drinks, total 1.9 billion servings a day — a lot of water. The company set a target to replenish 100 percent of the water it takes out of the global system by 2020 and last year hit 115 percent by participating in programs to capture and retain water, as well as by treating wastewater from its own plants. With population growth, economic development and climate change all putting stress on the water supply, replenishment is good business sense, company executives say. “When we spend tens of millions of dollars building a bottling plant, we want that plant to be there for decades. So we need

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to secure water supplies and address the water stress in that community,” says Greg Koch, senior director of global water stewardship. The effort starts close to home, with the treatment of wastewater at the company’s hundreds of manufacturing facilities worldwide. Then, the company partners with nonprofits and local communities to develop programs that address local water needs, including access to safe drinking water — programs like Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which aims to improve access to clean water for 6 million people in Africa by 2020. RAIN seeks to establish or improve sustainable water management practices and environmental stewardship,

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

and promotes the sustainable use of water for economic development. Coca-Cola also works to capture heavy rains or snow melts that might otherwise run off. “We can divert that water onto land that isn’t suitable for agriculture, and that water seeps into the groundwater going through a natural purification process and is then available in the summer to be pumped for irrigation,” Koch says. In India, the company is helping communities capture flash-flood waters during monsoon season. Looking ahead, the company’s next goal is to improve the efficiency of water use in its own plants by 25 percent from a 2010 baseline. The company previously used 1.7 liters of water to manufacture 1 liter of product. That number is down to .98, and Coke is aiming for .7 liters by 2020. “We are on track in working toward that goal,” Koch says.

The CocaCola Company set a target to replenish 100 percent of the water it takes out of the global system by 2020.

THE COCA-COLA COMPANY

With population growth, economic development and climate change putting stress on the water supply, replenishment is good business sense.


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E D U C ATION

Fields of Dreams The top colleges for studying natural resources and conservation BY DAVID KLENDA

B

eing green is no longer a fringe interest. It’s a mainstream concern among real estate developers and manufacturers, as well as economists and scientists. A degree in the field of natural resources and conservation often focuses on biology, ecology, chemistry, geology and statistics. This education is a good fit for careers that include park rangers, fisheries managers, wildlife biologists, researchers and grant writers for conservation organizations. Students could round out their education by including a minor in computer programming or business, allowing them to take on careers designing mobile apps that help consumers remember to recycle, advise businesses on how to build sustainably or develop cleaner transportation. For those looking to find a program, a good place to start is College Factual, which provides rankings for the best schools. These rankings are based on hard statistics such as student-to-faculty ratio, freshman retention, graduation rates and average salaries of graduates. Here are the top 10 schools to study natural resources and conservation:

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GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

1

VIRGINIA TECH Blacksburg, Va.

The goal of the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech is to advance the science of sustainability. For instance, one professor is studying the use of drones to measure hard-to-reach data on nature reserves. Programs extend from the southwestern Virginia campus to the Amazon to find science-based solutions for land management problems. Most of the teachers — 88 percent — are full-time. At a total net cost of about $21,000 per year (for everything from tuition to books) for in-state students, Tech is a great value as well. cnre.vt.edu

2

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY College Station, Texas

The Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Texas

A&M is involved with a wide range of projects including the study of genetic markers in pine trees, controlling invasive plant species, food sciences and ranch management. Researchers and students use technology such as LIDAR and laser sensors to study forest ecosystems, changing water levels, land use and carbon storage. The school’s location in east-central Texas gives students access to a wide range of ecosystems, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Chihuahuan Desert, which crosses the TexasMexico border. The student population of more than 48,000 undergrads offers a truly big playing field with many opportunities for cooperation and crossstudying. essm.tamu.edu

3

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA Gainesville, Fla.

The School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida gives students experiences that only the southeastern U.S. can, such as; internships to help restore the Everglades or field study dives in the Caribbean. Those in the program study a range of subjects, including aquaculture, forestry and geomatics (surveying, GPS and other forms of mapping). Students also learn how to use prescribed fires to protect homes and ational forests. sfrc.ufl.edu

VIRGINIA TECH

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E D U C ATION

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

mtu.edu/forest

6

MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Raleigh, N.C.

4

OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Corvallis, Ore.

The College of Forestry at Oregon State has a strong distance-learning program, with about 70 students earning online degrees in natural resources conservation in 2015. The natural resources program emphasizes the critical relationships between humans and the environment. The program is interdisciplinary, combining liberal

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NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

arts and science with traditional environmental studies. The education is designed to be flexible with room for students’ personal interests. forestry.oregonstate.edu

5

MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Houghton, Mich.

The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Tech understands that the heart of every environmental problem is proper ecosystem

Students at the College of Natural Resources at NC State not only study the theories and science behind environmental stewardship, they get their hands dirty, too. Those enrolled in the Paper Science and Engineering program and Sustainable Materials Technology program design what the future will be built from. And the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management program allows graduates to interact with people and make a difference. Also highlyranked is the Chemical Engineering program,

which teaches how to manage components of the modern green world. cnr.ncsu.edu

7

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS

Davis, Calif.

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis is expertly positioned to give students a range of career possibilities. Students have the opportunity to work with the brightest technological minds and help them be greener. UC Davis has long been a huge influence in California agriculture. Its Viticulture and Enology Department works closely with the wineries in Napa and Sonoma valleys. The school’s proximity to Sacramento, natural refuges such as the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, and facilities like the Student Farm and Russell Ranch make it an ideal place to study agricultural, environmental and social needs. caes.ucdavis.edu

MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY; BECKY KIRKLAND

and natural resource management. The school, located in the state’s Upper Peninsula, provides an ideal location for field-based work. Michigan Tech owns a 5,500-acre research forest to demonstrate management techniques.


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E D U C ATION

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

Durham, N.H.

The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at UNH dives deep into nature, not only in the northeastern U.S. but also globally. Students have been studying the effects of sea-level rise in local salt marshes in addition to learning about the life of New Hampshire loons. Students also travel to Grenada, Ireland, New Zealand and Portugal to learn

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how local ripples can cause global waves. UNH is also a top-ranked school for social work, enabling its students to learn how to understand and guide the social and family effects of environmental science. colsa.unh.edu/nren

9

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

Fort Collins, Colo.

The Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU specializes in producing graduates who can provide

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

sustainable solutions to natural resource conservation and management problems. Its dual degree in Natural Resource Management and Economics empowers its students to find solutions that make financial sense. Students in this program are required to complete one summer of fieldwork, and career counselors help turn this fieldwork into full careers. warnercnr.colostate.edu

10

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Athens, Ga.

Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources creates leaders in conservation and sustainable forest management by teaching them the latest ideas and technology for real-world applications. Study-abroad programs enable students to work in Brazil, South Africa or Costa Rica. UGA is a leader in conservation

medicine, which is concerned with the interface between the health of humans, wild animals, domesticated animals and the environment itself. At least 94 percent of the school’s entire freshman class stays on for a second year. warnell.uga.edu

David Klenda writes for College Factual (collegefactual.com), a website that helps students make better decisions about where to go to college.

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

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E D U C ATION

Under Threat Abnormally warm waters damaged the Great Barrier Reef, resulting in mass coral bleaching BY DOYLE RICE

A

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GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef

made by living organisms. In the northernmost section of the reef, which had been considered the most “pristine,” some 67 percent of the coral died. Vibrant coral reefs result from the symbiotic work with algae, which provide food for the coral and give them their brilliant colors. Over centuries, the shells of these creatures combine to form the exotic shapes of coral reefs. When water temperatures become too high, coral becomes stressed and expels the algae — its primary food source — which leaves the coral a bleached white color and possibly leading the coral to starve. If the heat stress is lessened in time, the coral can recover. If not, the organisms die. Mass coral bleaching is a new phenomenon and was never observed before Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef is part of a trend affecting 12 percent of the world’s reefs.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY GETTY IMAGES; GETTY IMAGES

erial and underwater surveys revealed at the end of 2016 that one of the world’s treasures, the Great Barrier Reef in northern Australia, experienced its worst coral bleaching ever recorded. Researchers studied 911 of the 2,900 smaller reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef. Of those, 843 reefs — 93 percent — showed signs of some form of bleaching. Australian scientists say stress from unusually warm ocean water heated by manmade climate change and the natural El Niño climate pattern caused the mass bleaching. “The coral was cooked,” Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, told the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC). While some of the areas are expected to regain their normal color when abnormally high water temperatures drop, other parts of the reef have already experienced significant mortality. At more than 1,400 miles long, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef and the planet’s biggest structure


UNDER THE SEA The Great Barrier Reef is home to an incredible array of creatures.

MORE THAN

1,500

different species of fish

6 ofOF 7

species of endangered marine turtles

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AFP PHOTO/XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

species of sharks and manta rays

the 1980s. And the problem extends to the Pacific Ocean, where corals have been bleaching since 2014. Besides their beauty, reefs shelter land from storms, and also provide habitat for myriad species. The Great Barrier Reef itself is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 134 species of sharks and rays, 30 species of marine animals and six of the

seven species of endangered marine turtles. “Coral reefs are therefore the most biologically diverse ecosystems of the planet, and provide a number of ecosystem services that hundreds of millions of people rely on,” says Greg Torda, a research fellow with the Centre of Excellence. “These include provisioning (fishing and other types of harvesting; for example, for pharmaceuticals), coastal protection, aesthetic and cultural values — to name a few. If corals are lost, so are all the services they provide to humans; and so are all the species that directly or indirectly rely on them.” While much of the coral has survived, Torda says mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef will likely be an annual phenomenon within a decade. If all the coral died on the reef, “it would be among the largest mass extinction events in history.”

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L I F E S TYLE

Sustainably Savvy Entrepreneur Danny Seo turns love of environment into a lifestyle enterprise BY ROBIN L. FLANIGAN

Danny Seo’s motto for a sustainable lifestyle: Never sweat the small stuff.

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JONAS JUNGBLUT FOR NATURALLY, DANNY SEO

T

he average 14-year-old doesn’t spend afternoons filling out tax forms, creating bylaws and lobbying congressional leaders. But Danny Seo, whose style-meetssustainability approach to modern design has made him a green-living guru, was no average teen. Born on Earth Day, Seo shared his birthday with an annual flood of newspaper stories about deforestation, the vanishing ozone layer and other environmental troubles. Wanting to help, he told the six guests at his 12th birthday party that they should forgo the gift-giving and instead become founding members — through donations — of a new organization to save the planet called Earth 2000. “I was very naive and idealistic at the same time,” he says. “I thought the world was coming to an end, but I was idealistic enough to think maybe I could just change it.” Earth 2000 grew to tens of thousands of teenage members from around the country by the time Seo turned to other projects six years later. Now 39, Seo is founder and CEO of Danny Seo Media Ventures, a multimedia lifestyle company. He stars in a family-oriented Saturday


JERALD COUNCIL; GETTY IMAGES

morning television show on NBC and is editor in chief of a lifestyle magazine — both titled Naturally, Danny Seo — and recently authored the cookbook Naturally, Delicious: 100 Recipes for Healthy Eats That Make You Happy. Hundreds of newspapers run his daily syndicated “Do Just One Thing” column, which offers tips on how to live a greener life. He has written a number of books covering decorating, entertaining, crafts and food. And his name graces labels on fragrances and other products, including a line of home goods sold at more than 4,000 stores such as Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. Not bad for a guy who graduated last in his high school class of 169 students — with a D- average. He never went to college or culinary school. “I have a weird feeling that maybe that is why our (NBC) show is attracting an audience,” he reasons. “With the way I cook, make projects, talk about issues, I’m not trying to impress; I’m merely trying to motivate and inspire. And this is the only way I know how to do it.” Colleen Needles Steward, president and CEO of Tremendous! Entertainment, which produces Seo’s TV series, recalls noticing that Seo, unlike other stars who want to demonstrate personal knowledge of a subject when interviewing experts, “kind of flings his arms wide open and says, ‘Tell me all about this.’ He doesn’t posture. He’s just very curious and has a way of talking about eco-friendly living that’s not preachy. And he’s not

Naturally, Delicious extends Seo’s modern and stylish take on green living to the kitchen.

“I’m not trying to impress; I’m merely trying to motivate and inspire.”

afraid to try anything.” Much of what Seo has created was sparked by an insatiable curiosity. When he learned that the long roots of vetiver grass help to stop soil erosion in Haiti and can be ethically sourced, he had oil from the grass blended with flowers from the Pacific Islands to create his Danny Seo — Danny Seo Reserve Global fragrance. “There always seems to be conflicting opinions about things being green and gorgeous at the same time,” notes Seo. “I used to feel almost shameful about wanting things to be aesthetically nice, but I think it’s possible to have good taste and still be compassionate about what’s going on around you.” The entrepreneur says he isn’t motivated by money, which is what companies try to throw at him after he shoots down an offer to work together. “A lot of companies have other agendas in terms of making themselves appear more green, and my response is simple,” he says. “No actually means no. If I can go to the supermarket and buy whatever I want to eat without looking at the prices, then I’m fine.”

Some of Seo’s favorites CAULIFLOWER

BEETS

CARROTS

KALE

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L I F E S TYLE

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TRY THIS!

ZA’ATAR CACIK DIP WITH CRUDITÉS Serves 4

INGREDIENTS 1 small English cucumber 8 oz. plain Greek yogurt 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp. za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mix available at gourmet grocers) 2 T. fresh mint, minced Julienned slices of zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, broccoli, carrots 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil DIRECTIONS Halve, seed and grate the cucumber. Place in a colander and drain well. In a medium bowl, stir together the drained cucumber, yogurt, garlic, za’atar and one tablespoon of the mint. Transfer to a serving bowl and arrange the vegetables around it. To serve, drizzle the dip with the oil and sprinkle with the remaining one tablespoon of mint.

Excerpted from Naturally, Delicious: 100 Recipes for Healthy Eats That Make You Happy by Danny Seo

NATURALLY, DELICIOUS

When in search of craft ideas — he has more than 250 projects under his belt — Seo scouts out Goodwill stores to see what obsolete items people have donated in bulk, then devises ways to upcycle them. Once, when walking around his house in Bucks County, Pa., he set eyes on an old VHS tape and visualized how it could become gift wrap ribbon. He broke open the plastic case, then used scissors to make the ribbon curl. Seo is known for juggling multiple projects with multiple parties in multiple forms of media. “He has kind of a high motor,” says Barry Rosenbloom, president of RFP Corp., which publishes Seo’s magazine. “Probably an electric motor, not a gas one. But it’s running, man.” The recipe for Seo’s high-octane lifestyle? Eight hours of sleep, a plant-based diet, outdoor exercise (“I feel there’s something hypocritical about running in place”), highly selective work projects (“I’m not someone who just puts my name on something”) and supplements with his morning shake, which he makes with almond milk, protein powder, green powder, hemp seeds, peanut butter powder and coconut oil. His motto for a sustainable lifestyle: Never sweat the small stuff. “Focus on the big decisions that have the biggest impact for your life,” he advises. Commute by car? Research alternative forms of transportation. Renovating your kitchen? Look into energy-efficient appliances, or go a step further and choose American-made products. Seo keeps his political views, charity work and personal life private, but shares words that have guided him since childhood: “Beauty, truth and goodness,” he says. “These are the things that are most important to me no matter what.”


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L I F E S TYLE

Green Your Pet How to live sustainably with your furry best friend BY MARY HELEN BERG

Y

she concedes. But as consumers, “we get to vote with our dollar,” she adds. “The more often we demand products that are longer-lasting, sustainable and eco-friendly, the more manufacturers are going to create these products.” Half of all pet owners already buy eco-friendly products, spending $9 billion in 2016, according to the market research firm Packaged Facts. That’s a lot of organic kibble. And as the market for natural products grows, you’ll have plenty of green options that will help reduce your furry friend’s carbon paw print. Here are a few eco-friendly options to consider:

GETTY IMAGES

ou buy organic, drive a hybrid and have replaced every light in your home with LED bulbs. But have you thought about your pet’s effect on the planet? “We lavish our pets with all of these products — toys, clothes, grooming items,” says pet expert Darcy Matheson, author of Greening Your Pet Care: Reduce Your Animal’s Environmental Paw Print. “All of these things have their own carbon impact on the Earth.” Luckily, you can spoil your pet and still protect the planet, says Matheson. “My dog, Murphy, sleeps on a giant, white, faux-fur pillow,”

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GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017


DOGS

CATS

Eat organic Buying local and organic food is healthiest for both your animal and the environment. But the most sustainable meal contains animal by-products that would otherwise be discarded, says Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, senior scientist with the National Resources Defense Council. “My dog loves her food, even if it’s parts of the chicken that I won’t eat,” Rotkin-Ellman says of her 6-year-old mixed breed. Recycled fun Colorful, bouncy Zogoflex toys from West Paw Design can be recycled by the company and turned into new toys after your dog wears them out. If fetch is your game, Planet Dog’s wood chuck toy is made from sustainable bamboo and recycled cork scraps and comes with a recyclable ball.

PLANET DOG; OLIVE; GETTY IMAGES

Planet Dog’s Wood Chuck, $26.95, planetdog. com

Groom green Use organic, biodegradable shampoos and conditioners that keep chemicals and preservatives out of the water system while providing gentle

grooming for your pet, Matheson says. Traditional products with harsh ingredients irritated the skin of Seymour, her Jack Russell terrier mix, so she opted for organic products instead. Pest control The greenest way to control ticks and fleas is to wash your pet and your pet’s bedding frequently. If chemical pest control is needed, be aware that some pest products contain toxic insecticides that are actually hazardous to animals as well as people, RotkinEllman notes. Use them only during warm months when pests are most active, and check product labels for dangerous ingredients like propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos. Avoid flea and tick collars that can leave residue on your pup’s fur.

Sustainable choices Your kitty may love salmon or shrimp, but if it’s traveling across the globe to get to her, it’s not a sustainable choice. Keep the carbon paw print small by selecting food made of chicken, fish, rabbit or anything but beef because cows are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other livestock animal, Matheson says. At the very least, skip the beefbased treats. Accessory upgrade Collars woven from sustainable hemp, beds stuffed with polyfill made from recycled plastic bottles, and biodegradable bamboo food bowls are just a few of the accessories that allow you to be ecofriendly and still indulge little Whiskers.

Safe sleeping Look beyond the indestructible, plastic doggie igloo for an outdoor shelter. You can repurpose a large wine barrel as lodging, plant a garden on the doghouse roof or buy a home built with ecoFlex, a 100 percent recycled blend of plastic and wood. Any shelter produced from upcycled or reclaimed materials will provide an eco-friendly refuge on a rainy day.

Purrfect playtime Biodegradable toys made from hemp fabric and filled with organic catnip are sure to make your kitty purr. You can even find cute, handcrafted toys made from recycled plastic bottles.

The scoop on poop Pet waste carries health-threatening bacteria, so pick it up with biodegradable bags before it washes into your local water system, advises Rotkin-Ellman.

Scrappy Rats cat toys are made from garment scraps. $8.99, olivegreendog. com

Biodegradable litter Kick clay kitty litter to the curb. Destructive strip mining is used to harvest clay for litter. And after your kitty’s finished with it, litter goes straight to the landfill. Instead, look for biodegradable products made from corn, wheat, soy and wood fiber or recycled paper, suggests Matheson. Upgrade the litter box to a Litter Loo, made of sustainable ecoFLEX. Eco-home A carpeted kitty condo is cozy for many afternoon naps but eventually becomes a bulky hunk of junk headed for the trash heap. Look for eco-friendly cat trees, scratching posts made with sisal or chemical-free carpet and kitty climbers made from recycled, nontoxic materials. Kittypod makes habitats from recyclable corrugated cardboard. Final word “Adopt; don’t shop,” Matheson says. Pet adoption is “the ultimate recycling.”

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H E A LTH

Neighborhood Knowledge Tech company aims to raise awareness of eco-health hazards one ZIP code at a time

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he commute’s convenient, and the school district is top-notch, but before you buy that new home, wouldn’t you want to know whether there is lead in the soil or poisonous particles in the air from a source such as a nearby coal plant? Right now, you won’t find details about environmental health hazards on any real estate listing. Nor, for that matter, is this information easy to track down where you now live, work or otherwise spend your time, says Gabriel Filippelli, director of the Center for Urban Health at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. But a new startup based

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in Portland, Ore., aims to change that. “It’s a right for people to understand, to know, what’s in the air they breathe, the water they drink, the soil that’s around their home,” says Nick Bedbury, the co-founder and CEO of Upstream Research, a tech company in Washington state. His company crunches numbers from a variety of sources — public and private — and compiles them into consumerfriendly reports. You can log in at upstreamreports. com and order one for your current or prospective address. The first three are free, and after that, they’re $5. In them, you’ll learn about such dangers as the

arsenic level in your drinking water, the toxicity of your air or types of cancer or other environmentally linked diseases in your ZIP code. There’s little doubt these factors play a big role in your health, as well as your family’s, Filippelli says. For instance, pathogens and contaminants in waterways or the drinking supply can make you sick with an acute infectious disease, cause cognitive or developmental problems in children and increase the odds of developing cancer years down the line, he notes. An increasing body of evidence also suggests that breathing air pollution boosts your chances of

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BY CINDY KUZMA


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H E A LTH

HOME REMEDIES “We’re not just victims of our environment,” says researcher Gabriel Filippelli. “We have some say over how it exposes us.” Here’s how to reduce your family’s risks.

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risks, there hasn’t been one simple way for regular citizens to access that information. Though he applauds Upstream’s initial efforts to provide this service, Filippelli notes the company could go further to rank risks and propose actions. “People don’t want to hear, ‘Oh, you live in a contaminated area, sorry,’ ” he says. “They want solutions.” That’s something Bedbury and the crew at Upstream hope to improve. Their reports currently link to outside resources on each hazard, and they plan to add more direct steps to take in future versions. For instance, if you live in an area affected by lead contamination, you could order a free home test kit or help local leaders apply for a grant to address the problem. That second direction is a crucial one, Bedbury believes. Besides helping people take precautions (see sidebar) to protect their families, he hopes access to this information inspires activism — pressuring corporations and leaders to change their behaviors. “We’re hoping to make this available in a way that we galvanize 1,000 Erin Brockoviches who want to go out and help improve the neighborhood and the health of their community,” he says. Learning what environmental dangers reside in the air, soil and water near your home is a big step in knowing how to protect your family.

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

WAT E R : In the case of a severe breach, like the lead contamination in Flint, Mich., follow official directions about boiling or drinking tap water. Otherwise, the biggest health threat probably comes from natural waterways, Filippelli says. Heat and rain can boost bacteria levels, so check with your health or parks department before swimming. Always shower afterward and avoid swallowing any water. S O I L : Cover dirt you walk on with mulch so that lead and other contaminants aren’t tracked into your home, Filippelli advises. Don’t just dust and vacuum; mop and wipe surfaces with water at least once a week to reduce the amount of lead in indoor air. And wash your hands with soap every time you come inside to clean off harmful residue, he adds.

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having asthma, heart disease and other health problems. Then there’s the ground underneath you. Research by Filippelli has shown that contaminants in soil can sully the produce of urban gardeners — but, he points out, you don’t have to grow your own kale to face dangers. Lead, pesticides and other toxins can travel from the dirt outside to the interior of your abode through open doors and windows and on the feet of people and pets. All these issues vary by neighborhood, depending on factors such as geology, proximity to power sources and infrastructure, Filippelli says. And though federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monitor the

A I R : Check your local air quality with a tool like the UCLA AirForU App (free; uclahealth.org/uclaairforu-app). On days when levels pose a threat, avoid outdoor activities, especially exercise; when you do run, walk or cycle, steer clear of high-traffic areas. And try essential oils — extracts from cloves, anise, fennel and ylang-ylang may ease stress on the liver and lungs from air pollution, according to a new study in Environmental Chemistry Letters.


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T R AV EL

equipped kitchen. 648-8393; crashpad

Reserve a room at one or all of these 10 conservation-minded hotels

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ou already practice green living in your home, so it’s only natural you’d want to extend this to your vacation. USA TODAY 10Best readers rated their top eco-friendly hotels.

Nature Inn at Bald Eagle offers access to state park trails.

chattanooga.com

3

LEN FOOTE HIKE INN

Dawsonville, Ga.

Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers can stay guilt-free at the LEED Gold-certified Len Foote Hike Inn — a series of rustic guest rooms with hot showers and beautiful views in the Amicalola Falls State Park. The inn is a 5-mile trek to the inn from the park’s entrance, where conservation takes the form of odor-free composting toilets, solar panels, rainwater harvesting and using worms to vermiculture compost kitchen scraps.

1

Howard, Pa.

True to its name, the LEED Gold certified Nature Inn at Bald Eagle demonstrates environmental stewardship through habitat restoration, water-efficient and native landscaping, rainwater

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harvesting, solar-thermal hot water and use of Green Seal certified cleaning products throughout the hotel. Guests of this eco-lodge can enjoy easy access to the trails of Bald Eagle State Park. 201 Warbler Way; 814-625-2879; natureinnatbaldeagle. com

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

2

THE CRASH PAD

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Affordable. Comfortable. Sustainable. All these words describe this LEED Platinum-certified hostel. The Crash Pad offers bunks and private rooms with free Wi-Fi throughout and access to a fully

1390 Limantour Spit Rd.; 415-663-8811; norcalhostels.org/reyes

5

THE RITZCARLTON, CHARLOTTE Charlotte

Falls State Park Rd.;

A LEED Gold certified property, the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte offers luxury and sophistication with sustainability laced throughout. The hotel opened in 2009 and became the first Ritz-Carlton in the world to attain Gold status. Back-of-the-house conservation efforts mean the hotel uses about 30 percent less energy than comparable conventional hotels.

800-581-8032;

201 East Trade St.;

hike-inn.com

704-547-2244;

280 Amicalola

NATURE INN AT BALD EAGLE

new edifice was awarded LEED Gold status, and the hostel has also received Bronze Eco-certification from Sustainable Travel International.

4

ritzcarlton.com/en/

POINT REYES HOSTEL

Point Reyes, Calif.

Surrounded by the coastal wilderness of Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Hostel offers a secluded point of departure for myriad outdoor adventures. The

hotels/charlotte

6

HISTORIC BOONE TAVERN HOTEL & RESTAURANT Berea, Ky.

The Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant proves that you don’t need to be new to be

NATURE INN AT BALD EAGLE

Suite Stays

29 Johnson St.; 423-


green. The hotel, built in 1909, has earned LEED Gold status through its eco-forward renovation, which added an energy-efficient heating and cooling system, Energy Star lighting, “greenapproved” cleaning products and a comprehensive recycling program in partnership with Berea College. 100 Main St.; 800-366-9358; boonetavernhotel.com

7

THE ORCHARD HOTEL

San Francisco

LEED Gold- and Green Seal Silver-certified, The Orchard Hotel uses green practices throughout. Products are

property, even in the casino. The Aria hotel tower achieved LEED Gold certification in 2009. 3730 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 866-359-7757; aria.com/en/hotel/ tower-suite.html

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Greensboro, N.C.

Aria Resort and Casino takes advantage of natural light.

sourced locally and organically whenever possible; the staff cleans with natural citrus-based products; low-flow water devices help prevent waste; and the hotel plants a tree for every review posted on TripAdvisor — negative or positive — as part of the

Plant a Billion Trees campaign. 665 Bush St.; 844-863-9245; theorchardhotel.com

8

THE HOTEL SKYLER

Syracuse, N.Y.

The Hotel Skyler takes environmental stewardship so seriously that

it has achieved LEED Platinum certification. That’s impressive, given that the building was constructed in 1921. A closedloop geothermal heat pump helps harness heat and cools the hotel more efficiently, and 20 percent of the building materials were locally sourced. 601 S. Crouse Ave.; 800-365-4663; hotelskyler.com

9

ARIA RESORT AND CASINO

ARIA RESORT AND CASINO; PROXIMITY HOTEL

Las Vegas

Proximity Hotel offers complimentary bicycles.

PROXIMITY HOTEL

Aria’s sleek, urban style makes it feel like it would fit into almost any city (minus the casino), which is a plus for some visitors. Unlike many other Strip hotels, natural light is present throughout the

Proximity Hotel blends sustainability with style in one of the nation’s LEED Platinum certified lodgings. Guests can take advantage of the complimentary bikes for exploring more than 90 miles of trails and greenways, while more than 70 ecofriendly practices are in place at the hotel, including solar panels, energy-efficient elevators and energy recovery technology. 704 Green Valley Rd.; 336-379-8200; proximityhotel.com In choosing the nominees for Best Eco-Friendly Hotel, USA TODAY 10Best editors worked with hotel experts and considered industry awards, LEED certification levels and guest reviews.

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Vacation Hero Delve into nature and do some good while you’re at it BY SARAH SEKULA

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caught fish straight out of the water.” The fact that I got to track down the pesky critters made my time vacationing on the island much more special. Plus, the next day, armed with a scrub brush, I cleaned coral nurseries as part of Buddy Dive Resort’s coral restoration adventure dive ($65; buddydive.com; offered year-round).

FINDING YOUR NICHE Eco-adventure vacation opportunities abound across the world. In the Caribbean, the Ambassadors of the Environment program in Grand Cayman gives kids a behind-the-scenes look at the Blue Iguana Recovery Program ($115 for ages 4-12; $125 for ages 13 and up, ritzcarlton. com/en/hotels/caribbean/grandcayman and click on the Area and Activities tab; year-round), which has helped bring the rare lizard back from the brink of extinction through a captive breeding program.

Guests who stay at Playa Viva, a sustainable boutique hotel in Mexico, can help collect turtle eggs and bring them to a sanctuary.

GETTY IMAGES; PLAYA VIVA

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ringing my right hand up to my forehead, I make an L shape with my index finger and thumb in what is widely known as the international sign for “Loser.” Today, however, as I explore the coral gardens of Bonaire, an island in the Caribbean, it has a new meaning: I’m giving the sign that I’ve spotted a lionfish, a highly attractive creature with rippling, venomous spikes and a Godzillalike appetite. Hovering over a reef, I have seen one hiding under a craggy ledge. In a flash, Bas Noij, owner of VIP Diving, pulls out his spear gun, and as the lionfish puffs its feathery fins, he snags the schoolyard bully of a fish. Here’s the reason: The lionfish is an invasive species that can wipe out sea life on a reef in just a few weeks. That’s why Noij offers a lionfish hunter specialty course ($179; vipdiving.com; offered year-round) that teaches divers how to legally catch the creatures and help keep the reefs healthy. “People find it very educational and thrilling at the same time,” he says. “And there is nothing better than eating a fresh-


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SPOTLIGHT ON ANTARCTICA Want to contribute a bit further away from home? Book a trip to the Antarctic with Polar Latitudes (starting at $7,295; polarlatitudes.com; November to March) and help collect data on penguin populations and the surrounding

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National Parks system around the country. During bison mating season at Yellowstone National Park, you can be part of field studies ($435; yellowstone.org; July 30 to Aug. 1) while learning about the biology and natural history of bison. Or, if at Glacier National Park, you can help count and map the whereabouts of mountain goats and bighorn sheep (free;

glaciers. Guests identify penguin species, monitor temperatures and take photos of glacial fronts. All that crucial data is then sent to scientists. “Sub-Antarctic penguin species are moving into the habitats of Antarctic species, simply because it’s getting warmer,” says Robert Gilmore, citizen science

GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

coordinator with Polar Latitudes. “Massive ice shelves are disintegrating on a scale and timeframe that has never been documented in human history. This is why we are doing what we can to understand the polar regions, because it affects the rest of the world’s ecosystems.”

Learn about the biology and natural history of bison through Yellowstone Forever’s three-day field study.

nps.gov; offered during the summer). When in North Cascades National Park, bring your butterfly net. Through the Cascades Butterfly Project, you can track changes in butterfly species distribution. Your job: Snap a detailed photo of a butterfly, record the GPS coordinates and upload your photo to butterfliesandmoths.org. This data helps scientists determine whether the butterflies are shifting in response to climate change. “Parks are living classrooms where people can have hands-on experiences with history, science, culture and nature,” says Susan Newton, senior vice president of grants and programs at the National Park Foundation in Washington, D.C. “These programs are designed to not only collect important data, but also to help participants deepen their connection with the history, culture and natural elements of the parks. They might learn about a new species or learn about habitats in a new way.” On the more physical side, volunteers with Maine Huts & Trails can attend work weekends (free; mainehuts.org; check website for dates) to prep trails for the summer and winter seasons. Or they can test out their green thumbs in Belize through the Belize Organic Family Farming program ($50 per child, $70 per adult), where guests plant callaloo, corn, cassava and sweet potatoes for local families. If you’d rather not sign up for a program, there are plenty of creative ways to help on your own. Follow the lead of Zane Kekoa Schweitzer, a pro surfer in Hawaii, who created the #pocketofplasticchallenge to encourage people to pick up debris wherever they are in the world. “I’m on the road eight to 10 months out of the year,” he says. “I always try to make it a point to give back to the environment by organizing beach cleanups.”

POLAR LATITUDES; YELLOWSTONE FOREVER INSTITUTE

After hatching and being raised for a year or two, the lizards are given a health assessment and released into the wild. Prefer cute sea turtles? Hop over to Mexico to collect turtle eggs and bring them to a nearby sanctuary (price varies; playaviva.com; June to November). In the U.S., loads of citizen-science programs take place within the


T H E LA ST WORD

Cheers! The natural cork that tops your wine bottle is recyclable, too BY SARA SCHWARTZ

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he next time you celebrate with your favorite bottle of wine, don’t throw away the cork — that already-incredible environmentally sustainable resource can be recycled. Cork trees, which grow primarily in Spain and Portugal, provide material for multiple products, most notably wine stoppers. Natural cork is harvested once every nine years from mature trees by cutting off layers of the cork oak bark by hand. This process doesn’t harm the tree and also allows the cork bark to regrow, causing no environmental damage and increasing the tree’s life span. Multiple companies are bridging the gap between using this renewable resource and diverting it from the landfill. One of them is ReCORK, which bills itself as “North America’s largest natural wine cork recycling program.” The company works with more than 3,000 collection partners around the U.S. and Canada, and reports that it has collected more than 78 million natural wine corks. The company, owned by Canadian footwear company SOLE, makes the 198* Block, a yoga block manufactured from 198 recycled corks. SOLE (yoursole.com) also uses ReCORK’s cork in footbed inserts and footwear. So give your natural cork a second life by making sure it gets recycled.

RECYCLE YOUR NATURAL CORKS Here are a few companies that accept natural cork for recycling:

recork.org/ locations

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GREEN LIVING | SPRING/SUMMER 2017

Cork ReHarvest works with the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance to accept natural cork at many locations in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. www.corkforest.org/find-a-dropbox

CORKCLUB accepts boxes of cork from the mainland U.S. and pays for the shipping. The company also donates up to 2 cents to Forest and Ocean Conservation for each natural wine cork received. Also accepted: synthetic corks. corkclub.com

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ReCORK, currently available in the U.S. and Canada, has more than 3,000 public cork drop-off locations.


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