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GOING GREEN | June 2011

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FROM THE EDITOR

Plan some green into the big day
My wedding was one of the most important days in my life — it has given me a wonderful life partner and two beautiful children. It was a simple ceremony under a handmade arbor in my parent’s backyard at sunset. In fact, the entire affair was simple from the $100 dress to the shrimp boil (I’m from the Gulf Coast) to the do-ityourself decorations. This was a neccesity of budget and it suit our desire to have a truly personal celebration — without the consumption of a typical wedding. With the average cost running at around $20,000, it was obvious that a wedding would have a large impact, both ecological and economical. So we did the best with what we had at the time. Fast forward ten years. Today, greening your wedding doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the big day. There are so many creative alternatives out there from bridal bouquets made out of antique brooches to invitations made from recycled paper. Today, wedding planners are embracing ‘green’ practices to help you move beyond the usual decadence and consumption to create a truly personal and sustainable celebration that will be remembered for years.

Raise your profile
Elevate your company’s profile within the Green Community. Send us a short article or a project outline for consideration in Going Green, explaining what you are doing to “green up” your lifestyle? Include your preferred contact phone number.

Send in your e-mail address
We’ll share information and resources to help readers of Going Green swap money-saving tips and information related to “green” issues and events. Send to keplinger@commercialappeal.com. You can also follow Going Green on Facebook and at twitter.com/GoGreenMemphis .

Editor: Kim Coleman, 529-5243, goinggreen@commercialappeal.com Community Editor: Emily Adams Keplinger, keplinger@commercialappeal.com

The Commercial Appeal

June 2011 | GOING GREEN

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What’s in this issue ...
LOCAL NEWS

32 35 38

In Belgium, ‘green’ isn’t just a fad or a movement but a way of life steeped in the culture Green Earth helps turn a ‘dirty’ job into green for local restaurants Communal living concept sees growth

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Something borrowed, something blue, something old but new to you
A guide on how to have the perfect green, white wedding

FAITH

FOOD

HOME & GARDEN

Calvary Episcopal clergy translate their sermons into eco-action. PAGE 52
On the cover: Photo by istockphoto.com

Menu choices are looking good for area vegans . PAGE 56

Vermicomposting uses the earthworm to turn waste into gold for the garden. PAGE 64

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Micro Greens...

Before I Die: Urban anti-blight campaign
Artist and urban planner, Candy Chang, disliked the sight of one abandoned house so much in her New Orleans neighborhood she transformed it. The house is home to a public art project called "Before I Die." The idea is simple: with chalk and a giant chalkboard-like wall, ask the general public what they want to accomplish before they die. Chang explained the project on her blog as changing "neglected spaces into constructive ones." Chang is working on a how-to guide to help others recreate similar projects in their city.

Live Chicken Vending Machine

What would you do if you saw live chickens for sale in a vending machine? Would you believe it was an educational tool? NOAH, the German version of PETA, put real chickens temporarily in a machine they labeled 'The Egg Machine.' Those who played with the machine however, didn't get a chicken or an egg. Instead they received a variety of coins explaining the different types of egg farming, primarily free range versus caged. The group wanted to raise awareness of poor farming practices in Germany.

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Green Snap...

Kyle Kurlick/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Fender Blender peddler
Martie Pool (center) mixes up a smoothie by peddling on a Fender Blender, an invention by Rock the Bike that powers a blender with pedal power, and waving hello to Karen Lebovitz (left) during the second annual Downtown Bicycle Expo to celebrate national Bike to Work Day. More than 200 people participated in the event by biking to work Friday.
Interested in sharing your green experiences: a bike ride on the Greenline, a successful recycling project or a neighborhood cleanup? Do you have a stunning nature photo? Send your green snapshots to goinggreen@commercialappeal.com with "Green Snaps" in the subject line. E-mail photos as JPEGs that are 1-2 MB in size and include complete caption information, including the full names of everyone featured in the photo. Be sure to include a contact phone number in case we have questions.

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The Green Page...
at 901-452-6500.

Memphis Heritage Yard Sale
June 10-11 at 2282 Madison at Edgewood, All day

Memphis Heritage will hold a yard sale to help support the organization’s preservation efforts. Donations will be accepted and volunteers are needed to help organize and tag items in preparation for the event. If interested in helping call 901-272-2727.

The Brown Bag Lunch Program

Events
Harbor Town Secret Garden Tour
June 4 at Miss Cordelia’s on Mud Island, 10 a.m.

June 21 at UT Extension-Tipton County, 111 W. Washington, Covington, TN, Noon

See the private gardens of Harbor Town via golf cart at this special Spring event. Interested parties will meet at Miss Cordelia’s on Mud Island at 10 a.m. The tour lasts until 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and available the day of the event.

Cycle the Greenway
June 5 at 7250 Wolf River Blvd., 7:15 a.m.

Sponsored by The Wolf River Conservancy, cyclists of all experience levels are invited to ride one of four available routes with other Memphis cyclists to learn about the Wolf River plants and animals. The ride is designed to be familyfriendly and educational. There will be also be door prizes and gifts from Outdoors, Inc. anda backyard-style cookout for all who complete the ride. For more information on registration call Lisa Stephens with The Wolf River Conservancy

Join in the fight against diabetes in this bicycle ride designed for all skill levels. This nation-wide event is Memphis’ first Tour de Cure ever and will include lengths of 12 miles, 35 miles and 62 miles. All Tour de Cure routes are safe and supported with route marshals, mechanical support, rest stops with water and snacks and more. For more information please contact John Carroll at jcarroll@diabetes.org.
Going Green Memphis is now on Facebook. Simply “LIKE” the page to receive regular news briefs and updates about green events and programs taking place in and around the Greater Memphis area.

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Conservation investment pays off
The Mississippi River is a source for jobs, wildlife, recreation and cultural icons. But agricultural pollution is wrecking our big river and creating a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, an area in which no fish, shrimp or wildlife can survive. With recent events of the Mississippi River flooding even more nitrogen- and phosphorus-filled nutrients will overflow into the gulf, dissolving oxygen. This pollution threatens our drinking water and our economies. Now is the time for budget cuts, but they can't be haphazard. Congress must consider the vital importance of agricultural conservation programs that have been developed by our government to protect water and help farmers. We need programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Wetlands Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve Program. The CRP alone has cumulatively had contracts with over 7,000 farmers in Tennessee from its inception through 2010. EQIP and the WRP together protected over 145,000 acres in Tennessee in 2010. The CSP brought in over $2 million to Tennessee in 2010 alone. It's our government's job to protect our basic needs like clean water and jobs. While we need to be fiscally responsible, let's be realistic about it. These efficient and effective programs not only deliver cost-effective environmental benefits, but they help local farmers. Conservation funding must be protected. Mary Johnston, Memphis

MEET THE GOING GREEN BLOGGERS

Josephine Alexander: I spend a lot of time thinking about food. I look forward to sharing my love of gardening with you, as I blog about all things related to growing food. While assisting community and school gardens grow food together is a big part of my job with GrowMemphis, I also tend my own community garden plot with my husband, Randy.

Lisa Enderle: I am a mom of two who is always trying to make sense of the current science and news as it relates to health, lifestyle and the environment. I make a great effort to sort through it and find all the ways that a family in the suburbs in the Mid-South can green it up.
Read weekly posts at commercialappeal.com/ going green

Going social
For daily updates related to ‘green’ issues, follow Going Green on Twitter at twitter.com/gogreen memphis and check us out on Facebook by searching “Going Green Memphis.”

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In case you missed it...
Found sounds: Crafting recycled materials into instruments
Published on May 10, 2011
Zach Shoe was searching curb alerts on Craigslist when he discovered a piano soon to be trashed. A hinge from that old piano now adorns the front of a guitar, made with two broomsticks, strings from other instruments and a tangerine cigar box as the body. The other instruments Zach makes with his brother, Josh Shoe, are part of a new business called Rockin Recycling. The various guitars for sale are all playable and handcrafted from old materials like nails and the tops of salt shakers. The idea behind Rockin Recycling is to reuse old items and use the proceeds to support the Center for Southern Folklore, a nonprofit organization that preserves and documents music, art and culture born in the South. All of the instruments are about a month old and generally take an “hour or so here and there” to make, Josh said. “I saw it as, for me,

Kyle Kurlck/Special to The Commercial Appeal

A pair of cigar box guitars made by Zach and Josh Shoe for Rockin Recycling. “Everything has a really distinct sound,” Josh Shoe says.
an opportunity to do something with my hands in my spare time and also make a contribution to the center.” Melody Gordon, The Commercial Appeal Full article: commercialappeal.com/ news/2011/may/10/found-sounds/

Trashy chic: Fashions sewn from castoffs raise awareness of recycling

Published on May 24, 2011
Memphian Evelyn Reed, 18, will head to Carnegie Hall soon to be honored for one of her trashy fashion designs. She and other creators of fashion that is pure garbage will send pieces down the runway June 5 at Memphis City Beautiful Commission’s first Curb Couture Trashion Show. The show will offer trashions made of old screen doors, broken crayons, old CDs, furnishings and other castoffs by about 40 creators, including local artists and seamstresses and tailors from stores such as Oak Hall, Joseph and Kittie Kyle. Dawn’s Couturiere will dress opera diva Kallen Esperian as a royal wedding guest in an outfit made of painter’s cloth with a lampshade hat. Barbara Bradley, The Commercial Appeal Full article: commercialappeal.com/news/ 2011/may/24/trashy-chic-m/

The Curb Couture Trashion Show is 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, June 5, in front of the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Rain date is June 12. Tickets are $50 at curbcoutureauto.eventbrite.com, or through Memphis City Beautiful Commission at 522-1135.
Kyle Kurlick Special to The Commercial Appeal

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Farm to fork
Markets cover up, freshen up farm produce offerings
While there's certainly been enough rain to satisfy the MidSouth, there were few complaints as rain fell during the grand opening of the Urban Farms Market at Broad and Tillman. Vendors, dry under the cover of a former gas station , offered fresh produce, some grown as close by as the Urban Farm in Binghamton, locally raised meats, cut flowers, soaps and handmade jewelry. The market was created through the larger Binghamton Development Corp. in order to bring fresh food to the inner city, said Rosalie Bouck, market manager. "A lot of grocery stores won't come into areas like this, " Bouck said. "We're trying to make way for a model for a nonprofit food store." The Memphis Farmers Market rolled out the green carpet for the grand opening for its West Pavilion, a new nearly $300,000 covered market area. "We love it , " said hydroponic farmer Ami Hughes. "It protected us from the rain." She and her husband, David Hughes, run Micmak Farms in Batesville, Ark., and expect to enjoy the new pavilion this summer. The new space is west of the original market and has room for about 20 vendors. "I think it's awesome, " said regular shopper Jackie Oselen.
Linda A. Moore, lmoore@commercialappeal.com

In season: June
Beets Radishes Baby carrots New potatoes Sweet potatoes. Spring onions Kohlrabi Bok choy Cauliflower Squash Zucchini Tomatoes (Green early in June) Onions Lettuces Greens Beets Green beans Savoy cabbage Broccoli Banana peppers Japanese eggplant Speckled peas Cucumbers Herbs Peaches Blackberries Blueberries. Plums Nectarines

Chris Desmond/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Susan Comes and her daughter Diana shop at the Memphis Farmers Market.
Green living lessons shared at Millington market
An immediate response to handling food scraps is usually to throw it away. But there are innovative ways to utilize scraps of food leftover after a meal. Those who attended the second annual opening of the 2011 Millington Farmers' Market on May 7 shared many ways to reduce waste and stay self-sufficient agriculturally. Jennifer Thompson of Bartlett said that for her family, it's a regular activity to use food that would otherwise be discarded to provide nutrient rich soil in her garden. "Peanut shells make great compost. I also use eggshells as plant food. Larry Duncan from D & D Farms agreed with Thompson. "Anything that doesn't have fat in it will do." You can visit local artisans and growers at the Millington Farmers Market every Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. until Oct. 29 at 5152 Easley.
Felicia Benamon Special to My Life

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Brandon Dill /The Commercial Appeal files

"Trifle," a Jersey Giant rooster, watches over the hens while Paul Knipple checks the chicken coop at his family's midtown home.

Yard birds fun way to go green
One chicken eats about 7 pounds of food waste a month, according to the book “City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Laying Hens as Garden Helpers, Compost Makers, Biorecyclers and Local Food Suppliers,” by Patricia Foreman. I can vouch for that. I have eight chickens. We haven’t thrown away much food waste in two years. Not only does that greatly reduce trash-can odor, but it also knocks a hole in our carbon footprint. “What if a city had 2,000 households with three hens (or more) each? That could translate to 252 tons of food waste diverted from landfills each year,” says Foreman. Some municipalities encourage chicken ownership for that reason. The town of Mouscron, Belgium, started distributing chickens to residents in an effort to reduce household waste

DEANNA CASWELL Practically Green

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and publicize alternative methods of waste management. Foreman further states, and my experience also supports, that chickens are very effective broadspectrum insecticides and weedkillers. They can get a patch of ground completely weed-free. And they gobble up fleas and ticks like nothing you’ve ever seen. So, chickens could also reduce the insecticide and herbicide usage per household. And in return for the privilege of eating all of that food waste, bugs and weeds, chickens pay you back in eggs. If you’ve never had a super-fresh egg with its delicious, rich, yellow-orange yolk, you’re missing out. Store-bought eggs taste diluted in comparison. So, not only do chickens reduce your footprint in waste and lawn chemicals, they also increase our food quality and reduce our reliance on factory farms. But even with all their benefits, most people I meet find the idea of backyard chickens and their eggs a bit intimidating. Here are some questions I’ve heard: Aren’t you afraid you’re going to crack a baby chick into your skillet? No. You have to have roosters to get baby chicks, and I don’t own any. Do you need a rooster to get eggs? Hens make eggs without roosters. Aren’t chickens loud and stinky? No. A thousand chickens would be loud and stinky. But 10? Not at all. And again, without roosters, the loudest noise you hear is the hens announcing to the flock that she just laid an egg. Aren’t the eggs dirty? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If

the chickens get in and out of the nest quickly, then no. But sometimes they’ll hang out in there. That’s when you get crud on them. But no worries, the eggs wash. What do the eggs taste like? They taste “eggier.” They don’t taste different as much as richer. It’s as if you took a store-bought egg and turned up the flavor a few notches. It’s like the difference in store-bought and homegrown tomatoes. Homegrown doesn’t taste like a different vegetable, it just has more flavor. Don’t they leave droppings everywhere? The one drawback is the manure. Not the presence of it or the amount of it, just the location. If you’re a gardener or know one, chicken manure is gold. But, chickens aren’t discriminating about where they deposit that gold. My husband cannot abide back porch plops. So, my chickens are contained, mostly. They have 1,800 feet of my 5,000-square-foot backyard. They have a 5-foot fence and clipped wing feathers, but apparently, several in the flock also have teleporters. Unless I keep them locked up tightly in the hen house, they get out. I think everyone should have a backyard flock. The environmental and personal benefits far outweigh the troubles. And it’s certainly the most entertaining way I know to go green.
Deanna Caswell is a local writer who blogs at littlehouseinthesuburbs.com. Caswell lives in Collierville, practicing ecofriendly living while raising four children, pygmy goats and chickens.

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Hydroponic tomatoes tide us over
Here it is, the end of May, and I’m ready to talk tomatoes. Since in-the-ground tomatoes won’t be ready for a few weeks, you might question my timing. So today we’re going to learn to know and love the local hydroponic tomato. Hydroponic is a good label. Look for it, and don’t be afraid of it. It’s local; it’s environmentally MELISSA PETERSEN friendly and it’s available nearly yearEating Local, round. Bring on the Eating Green summer tomato sandwiches! Hydroponics is a system in which plants are grown in nutrient-rich water instead of soil. The plants are grown in close quarters in greenhouses, requiring less land. Nutrients, light and temperature are tightly controlled, allowing the plants to get what they need without expansive root systems. The plants grow and produce quickly, even in the offseason. And while the systems use plenty of water, it’s less water overall than would be used to irrigate a field. Growing in a greenhouse reduces the probability of garden pests. Taking it one step further, the soil-less environment of a hydroponic system means that diseases and pests (and weeds) are almost nonexistent. There is no need to spray, and that’s better for the environment, the farm worker and the consumer. MicMak Farms, out of Batesville, Ark., is in its second year of hydroponic farming — cucumbers, lettuce, squash and a gorgeous array of heirloom tomatoes. Restaurants like Cheffie’s Café, the Elegant Farmer, Felicia Suzanne’s, Thyme Bistro and J. Alexander’s have MicMak tomatoes on their menus, recognizing the quality and the benefits of year-round, local availability. It’s the combination of growing heirloom varieties — those curvy, big-shouldered, brilliantly colored, flavorful tomatoes — in a hydroponic system that makes these tomatoes stand apart.

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Tomatoes grown hydroponically, are rich in flavour and nutrition. Nutrients, light and temperature are tightly controlled, allowing the plants to get what they need without expansive root systems. Church Health Center Wellness is experimenting with vertical hydroponic tomatoes. And this is where another benefit comes into play. Without the need for soil, urban areas are a natural fit for growing food. Vertical growing tubes of water take less space and can hang over concrete. While a hydroponic system isn’t cheap, it’s a way to grow without lots of land. What about the flavor? Surely a sunkissed tomato holds more flavor than one grown in a greenhouse, in water, you think. Try one, and be amazed. In a few weeks, the summer tomato crops will start rolling in. Eating local becomes incredibly easy when you’re faced with piles of richly flavored red, purple, yellow, orange, green zebra, and golden cherry tomatoes. However, if you’re a good “green” eater and have been patiently waiting for locally grown tomatoes, the wait is over. Embrace the hydroponic tomato (then slice and enjoy on a mayo-slathered sandwich).
Melissa Petersen is the editor of Edible Memphis, a magazine that celebrates the abundance of local food, season by season. It is available at various locations around town. Contact her at ediblememphis.com.

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Weddings are life’s most joyous occasions. From the beautiful dresses to the small details like candles and centerpieces, it’s an understatement to say a lot of planning goes into the union of a husband and wife. Weddings can also be one of the most expensive and wasteful events a person can organize today. The cost of a wedding gown can skyrocket into the thousands and buying brand-new everything for a ceremony and a reception can end up producing tons of trash that will go straight to a thrift store or a landfill afterwards. That’s why green wedding businesses are on the rise in Memphis. Local wedding planners and former brides are reusing and reselling dresses, accessories and more for bridal parties looking to minimize their carbon footprint and maximize their budget. Going Green has practical solutions to cutting the price tag on weddings in half and being kind to the environment at the same time.

UNV GREEN WE

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VEIL THE N IN YOUR EDDING
THE GOWN One bride’s unwanted gown is another bride-to-be’s dream dress. PAGE 16 THE MAKEUP Mona, a local organic spa, offers the perfect all-natural makeover. PAGE 19 THE RECEPTION & DECOR Recycle your way to an environmentally safe soirée. PAGE 22 THE HONEYMOON You don’t have to skimp on luxury to have a greener honeymoon. PAGE 26

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The Gown
New bridal consignment boutique fits all styles, budgets
The Barefoot Bride Boutique, which opened two months ago in the Cooper-Young District, offers brides-to-be great deals on reused wedding gowns.
Story by Suzanne Thompson Photography by Ben Fant

Reminiscent of “27 Dresses” — a film about a woman who saved the bridesmaid dress from every wedding she participated in — Joelle Scholl once had 26 dresses. But they weren’t bridesmaid dresses. They were all wedding gowns. No, she didn’t get married 26 times. But last year when she was planning her wedding, she had trouble deciding on a dress. After buying the first one, she changed her mind and sold it on the Internet.

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She did this 25 more times before finding the perfect gown. By that time, she realized what started as indecision had turned into a business. “One thing led to another and it just started exploding,” said Scholl, owner of The Barefoot Bride. The Barefoot Bride resells dresses, some of which have never been worn because of breakups or, like Scholl, changes of mind. Initially, she bought and sold dresses online only, but in March she opened a store in the Cooper-Young neighborhood with an inventory of 30 dresses. By mid-May, it had grown to 550. Scholl, who works full-time at FedEx, usually spends her lunch hours picking up dresses. “I have seven dresses in my car right now,” Scholl said on a recent weekday afternoon. Not only does The Barefoot Bride help people reuse gowns, it also recycles clothing tags and uses the Internet to share information about the shop, as opposed to using paper. Helping brides find a new lease for dresses that are worn once is good for the environment and their budgets. “I kind of felt like I was passing it on,” she said. “We spend so much money on gowns we only wear one time.” Emily Gum, who was married this month, said she didn’t buy a gown until she found just what she wanted. “I started looking for my perfect dress in Memphis, Nashville and online back in January before Barefoot Bride had opened,” she said. “I always knew I wanted a used dress, because for a wedding dress

Joelle Scholl, owner of the Barefoot Bride Boutique, helps brides find a new lease for dresses worn once.

The Barefoot Bride
Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment only — usually Tuesday and Thursday after 5 p.m. Wedding gowns from $100 to $2,800; sizes 0-28. Bridesmaid, formals, mother of the bride/groom dresses from $10 to $150; sizes 0-26. Shoes, veils, flower girl dresses, tiaras, jewelry, etc. Adele Amor Cosmetics; Stella and Dot Jewelry.

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‘used’ usually means ‘worn once.’ ” By May 1 she still had not purchased a dress for her May 14 wedding, and one of Gum’s friends told her about The Barefoot Bride opening locally. “I called Joelle the following Tuesday and made an appointment for Thursday, May 5th. Luckily, my perfect dress fit me perfectly and didn't need to be altered, since my wedding was nine days away by then.” Scholl said she has bought and sold dresses from all over the world online, but opened the store because customers usually want to try on their dresses, so reselling them in person is easier. Women who bring in their unwanted gowns on consignment receive 50 percent of the sales price. And the brides who buy the dresses at 30 percent to 80 percent off their retail price get quite a bargain. Dresses start at $100, and can get pricey, like one $2,800 designer dress that didn’t stay in the inventory for long. Tandy Lynn’s mother purchased the Vera Wang dress in another city assuming it would fit her daughter. Unfortunately, it didn’t. The bride-to-be tried to sell the dress on her own, but couldn’t find a buyer. Lynn was amazed at Scholl’s success. “She sold it super-quick, like five days,” Lynn said. “When you’re getting married, every penny counts, so it was nice to have that money back.” The Barefoot Bride offers consignors looking to score some green the opportunity to sell more than just wedding gowns. The store also carries used dresses for bridesmaids, flower girls and the mother of the bride or groom, and even tiaras. One of Lynn’s friends plans to consign

Courtesy Barefoot Bride

The Barefoot Bride offers more than wedding gowns for prosepective brides shoes, jewelry and formal wear for the wedding party are available. a pair of expensive shoes with real glass heels that she purchased for her wedding. Her friend decided that was perhaps not the best choice for a wedding, and asked Lynn to put her in touch with The Barefoot Bride. It’s more than just the great deals that draw brides to The Barefoot Bride. The service is special too, Gum said. “In the shop during my appointment Joelle and Karlee made me feel so special and beautiful. Joelle even made me a custom crinoline for my dress in my wedding colors, and found a matching bracelet for me to wear,” she said. Gum said she’s not sure she will resell her dress, because it has a classic cut that never goes out of style, but she was more than satisfied with her shopping experience for her perfect dress. “I wish I could get married over and over just so I could have an excuse to hang out at the shop. The vibe is so great there.”

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The pampering
Mona Spa delivers an organic beauty alternative for future brides
Few things are more stressful in a woman’s life than planning a wedding. To make that process a little easier, Mona Sappenfield, owner of Mona Spa, has designed a program for bridesto-be that helps take the pressure off. Chelsea Gossett took advantage of the bridal pampering package. She said she, her mother,
Photography by Dave Darnell Story by Suzanne Thompson

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grandmother and her nine bridesmaids spent a day at the spa and her bridesmaids are still talking about it four years later. “It was a wonderful experience. It was laid back and fun. It was exactly what I needed,” she said. The Gossett bridal party had facials and massages and all the products used in the services were organic. A day at the spa for the bridesmaids is also a good way to show that you care about them, she said. “They go through a stressful time, too, helping you out with everything,” she said. Gossett said she began using organic makeup from Mona Spa in 2003 when she moved to Memphis from Michigan and believes that organic products are healthier. “I feel like natural things are going into my body and in my skin and I think that’s always a safer and better bet for the environment and for your body,” Gossett said. Naturally, every bride wants her skin to look flawless on her wedding day and Gossett said that she believes using organics helps. “You don’t want to adjust something, or get a flare-up right before your wedding because you’ve used something synthetic on your face that you’ve never used before.” In October, Sappenfield held an open house for brides, who were given a 30minute consultation and treated to a complimentary facial or rain check for a facial. Sappenfield has been an aesthetician for 30 years, and she said the move toward organic products is an industry-

Mona’s Spa carries an extensive line of organic and natural makeup from such high-end lines as Blinc, Nvey by Maquillage and La Prairie of Switzerland. wide trend. At a professional conference she attended in Las Vegas the emphasis was on going natural, she said. “It was like a page had turned in my industry,” Sappenfield said. By product category, she estimates the organic inventory at Mona Spa to be close to 85 percent. One of the most well-known upscale brands used by professional makeup artists is Maquillage. Their latest line is called Nvey, which Sappenfield said was the first certified organic line of cosmetics. Nvey is used and sold at Mona Spa. Other natural products are available at the spa, like La Prairie of Switzerland, created by the daughter of famous

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Mona’s Spa
5101 Sanderlin Center, Suite 102 Services: 100% Organic Bridal Make Up; Sweet Milk and Lavender Bud Therapy; SpaRitual Organic Foot Facial Bridal consultations for makeup application and skin care treatments are complimentary. For more infomation: 901.683.0048 or http://www.monaspaandlaser.com

Helen McKinney, clinical aesthetician and make up artist, applies organic eye shadow to Meghan Heimke at Mona’s Spa. ecologist Jacques Cousteau. The line’s skin care products use marine sea life, which is rich in proteins. It’s not just the makeup that is ecofriendly at the luxury business. Sappenfield bought gently used furniture and accessories when she redecorated the spa. “The whole place has an organic feel to it,” Gossett said.

Mona Spa offers a 100 percent organic bridal makeup the day of the wedding, applied by a professional makeup artist. The charge for that service is $100 in the spa or $150 at the wedding location, and $35 per additional face for bridesmaids or other bridal party members. Brides can even dress at the spa immediately before the wedding. “If you’re one of our brides and you wanted to come here and get dressed, we have a room dedicated for bridal events,” Sappenfield said. Whether a bride wants to develop a skin care protocol for better skin by a targeted date, have hair and makeup done the day of the wedding or unwind with a day at the spa with all-natural facial ingredients, it’s an experience that will be remembered. Gossett said that was the best part of her pre-wedding experiences. “It was one of the biggest joys of wedding preparation and it really helped to de-stress at a time when you feel more stressed than you’ve probably ever been,” Gossett said.

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The reception
By Suzanne Thompson

Discover innovative ways to plan ahead, reduce waste at your reception

Special to Going Green

After the wedding ceremony, a celebration is definitely in order for the bride and groom and their guests. Planning for the reception involves many elements, including centerpieces, food and drinks.

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Centerpieces
Using live flowers for centerpieces instead of cut flowers in vases makes a difference, in more than one way. Centerpieces made from cut flowers can cost a fortune, but bundles of herbs placed in cute containers serve the purpose nicely and give the guests something to take home as well. “With a wedding, it’s really the small things you can do that make a difference,” said Jaime Newsom, coowner of Social Butterflies, LLC, a full service Memphis wedding and event planning company. Using candles instead of fluorescent lighting cuts back on energy use and also provides ambiance, she said. Floating candles in decorative containers surrounded by greenery can serve the dual purpose of providing lighting and an inexpensive yet attractive centerpiece.

The wedding decor

Brides can choose a bouquet created from colorful, 100-percent recycled paper — which can then be recycled once the big day is over.
The decor at a wedding, including the flowers, sets the mood. By choosing a florist that uses organically grown flowers which are in season, you can get just the look you want, while being kind to the planet. Finding an all-organic florist in Memphis could be tricky, but there are some choices, such as consulting with vendors who provide organically grown flowers at a local farmers market. If cut flowers are a must, many Sam’s Clubs offer Fair Trade flowers for weddings. But fresh cut flowers are not the best choice if you want to lessen the environmental impact of your wedding. Decorating with silk flowers is one alternative. Mike Omar, who owns MorGreen Nurseries in Collierville with his wife Paige, said some of his customers choose to decorate with live plants. “One client had a tent wedding and put plants in big pots all around to create a natural setting,” Omar said. At one garden wedding at a private home, the client had him transform the area into a rose garden, and had pink roses planted everywhere. “It was something that after the wedding,

Beverages
Environmental issues have become commonplace topics at wedding planner conferences, Newsom said. Serving boxed wine or beer in a keg instead of canned or bottled beverages not only lessens the environmental impact, but can also help brides stay within their budgets. Boxes of wine contain the equivalent of four bottles of wine, and are much easier to recycle. Ask the caterer about the practices used in preparing and serving the food and what happens during the cleanup, as well.

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The wedding decor
they had a nice vista to enjoy,” he said. Some couples opt to rent plants. Jessica Watson, bridal consultant at Pugh’s, said that’s what she has encountered most when people want live plants at their weddings. Omar said his nursery delivers and picks up the plants and the fee is about $300 to $400, depending on the number of plants . “It’s fairly time consuming to set all that up and bring it back again,” he said. Even the flowers used in the bouquets can result in lots of floral waste. Watson said she once made a bouquet for a bride that was made of all greenery and had herbs in it as well. “She went green, literally,” she said. To decorate pews in a church or synagogue, consider draping them with silk greenery, which can be reused. Decorative bows can be made from ribbon, which can be reused during the holidays. If nothing but fresh cut flowers will do, check out OrganicBouquets.com, which offers many environmentally friendly grown flowers. When it comes to centerpieces at the wedding, the options other than fresh floral arrangements are limitless. With do-it-yourself projects gaining popularity, wedding planners can help almost any bride go green and stick with her budget. Angela Dacus, owner of Southern Event Planners, suggests that brides start saving coffee and soup cans. While those might seem like odd items to collect for a wedding reception, they can be transformed into something lovely and useful. Spraying adhesive onto the cans and applying artificial moss can turn them into candleholders, or containers for live plants to serve as centerpieces. Guests can then take the plants home to enjoy, eliminating waste almost entirely. Place card holders can be made from a number of different things, from wine corks to seashells. The place cards themselves can be made from recycled paper and recycled again after the reception ends. Check out thrift stores which often contain a trove of items that can be made into chic centerpieces, with a flare. A good rule of thumb for creating eco-friendly decor is to stick to the motto: “If you can’t reuse it, don’t buy it.”

Kevin Bush, CFY Catering’s director of operations, said choosing to use glasses instead of plastic cups can reduce a reception’s environmental impact. Chuck Goldstein, who co-owns Heart & Soul Catering with his wife Marci, agrees. Because glass products can be reused, they are a much better choice than paper or plastic for buffet lines, he said. Goldstein has been known to lower the price to discourage customers from using plastic. “I very seldom use plastic. It’s not elegant enough,” Goldstein said.

Food
Bush said he likes to use as many locally grown food products as much as possible, and sometimes buys items from farmers markets. “We want to use local farms, so we’re not ordering things from across the country,” he said. “We’re about to kick into tomatoes, and what could be better than a Ripley tomato?” Raised in California before moving to Memphis 27 years ago, Goldstein said he grew up recycling

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has done several vegan receptions and countless ones for vegetarians.

Recycling
Recycling efforts at wedding receptions have to be planned in advance, Bush said. “You have to take care of it at the beginning of the party, because you’re not going to do it at the end. It’s all about organization,” Bush said. Goldstein said it’s not that hard to make sure everything is recycled; it’s just a matter of setting up a system. The staff handles all the recycling behind the scenes. Used alcoholic-beverage bottles are boxed up and taken away. Beer bottles and aluminum cans are sorted and taken to a recycling facility. To Goldstein, recycling is a matter of professional responsibility. Change doesn’t happen quickly, Goldstein said, but helping people understand the importance of the decisions they make is the first step. “You won’t change it overnight, but if you plant the seed, it will grow,” he said.

Kegs of wine and beer result in less waste than individual bottles and are budget-friendly. Choosing glassware and flatware instead of plastic is not only eco-friendly but gives a reception a more elegant feel. and learned about the benefits of eating local and organic foods at an early age. “When you grow up doing it, it sticks with you,” he said. Being from that “old school” has led him to make business decisions that involve purchasing hand-picked produce and products made by hand, like cheeses he buys from Whiteville, Tenn. “A lot of our stuff is organic,” he said. “In the food aspects, we try to educate people about what they can get.” Many hors d’oeuvres can be made using fresh vegetables that burst with flavor, such as vegetarian shish kebabs on bamboo skewers, grilled artichoke cups filled with corn salad or a variety of bruschettas. Goldstein said Heart & Soul Catering

The sendoff
At the end of the reception, remember to stay away from handing out bird seed or rice for guests to throw as the newly married couple depart. Raw rice can be harmful to birds, and bird seed of course draws birds, which can make a mess. Instead, have flower girls or bridesmaids offer guests flower petals from a basket. If you have decided to use cut flowers, it’s a great way to reuse them and cut down on the flower waste.

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Turtle Island, a resort in Fiji, limits the number of visitors, has an organic garden and engages in preservation of the surrounding coral reefs.

The honeymoon
Sustainable vacations ideal for environmentally conscious
By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green

Planning an eco-friendly honeymoon does not mean lining up a camping trip, or staying in a grass hut. Ecotourism is an industry unto itself and the resorts range from rustic to lavishly luxurious. “Luxury resorts are taking on

ecotourism concepts, so you can go to these places where they have gourmet meals and they are doing their part to preserve the environment,” according to Tamara Whiteside, owner of Wine and Tours. “Ecotourism is about conserving properties in areas and sustainable travel,” she said. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), a nonprofit

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organization formed in 1990, promotes “responsible tourism to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” One of the many things TIES suggests is using bed and breakfasts that are locally owned. B&Bs are known as a destination for romantic getaways , so it makes sense that they would also be ideal for honeymooning. The Topia Eco Inn, featured in The New York Times, is located in the Berkshires, and was started by two women from New York City who wanted to prove that travelers can go green while staying in style. Each of the inn’s 10 rooms was designed by an artist and has a theme, such as the Iroquois Room and the Moroccan Room. Guests are asked not to bring grooming products from home so they don’t interfere with the organic, chemical-free bedding and complimentary organic body and bath products are provided. The tubs are low-flowing, energy savers and have air jets featuring chromotherapy, a form of therapy that uses lights and colors to balance a person’s energy. Ecotourism resorts can be found in countries from Africa to Costa Rica. “The good thing is they have them all over the world,” she said. Some Caribbean resorts are accessed by boat only, so they are not deforesting land to build roads, Whiteside said. Of course, there are rustic green resorts if a couple wants to experience life on the wild side. For example, at the Green Magic

B&Bs, like the Topia Eco Inn, make for romantic getaways, and are locally owened so travelers can go green while staying in style. Nature Resort in Kerala, South India, guests stay in tree houses built 90 feet above ground in trees and they travel to their rooms in bamboo hand-powered lifts. The open-air rooms feature beds covered in mosquito netting and food is made from locally grown ingredients. Michael Stetson, manager of Custom Travel, said many resorts are marketing themselves as eco-friendly and there are some resorts that are becoming certified. Honeymooners who want a little more luxury might like the Jungle Bay Resort and Spa on the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, which has cottages that were built from felled trees and volcanic rock. The resort was built on posts under the forest canopy, to reduce soil disruption. Because the buildings have natural ventilation, they don’t need air conditioning. They grow 95 percent of the food served there organically, Whiteside said. At Turtle Island, a resort in Fiji, they

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Nana Simopoulos and Caryn Heilman, owners of The Topia Eco Inn, want guests to have a one-of-a-kind experience with art-inspired rooms that feature linens made from 100% organic cotton and an array of natural and organic bath and body products. limit the number of visitors with only 14 cottages, and they also have an organic garden and engage in preservation of coral reefs. “If you can control the amount of people visiting, it helps limit the impact,” she said. This resort is known for its privacy and seclusion, making it ideal for newlyweds and is a leader in sustainable tourism. Since the resort opened in 1980, the owner has planted more than 500,000 trees, has introduced freshwater ponds to encourage bird growth and has 21 benchmarks from Green Globe for environmental management. Green Globe certification is the sustainability stamp of approval for the hospitality industry. Certification through Green Globe involves assessment of 337 compliance indicators applied to 41 criteria ranging from the kind of soap they provide for guests to energy efficiency and water conservation. Options for creating the perfect sustainable honeymoon are many and information is readily available. Green Globe has even developed an app for iPhones and iPads scheduled to launch in the summer to check green certification.

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The art of reuse
Gently used items can trim a lot of money from a wedding budget
By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green
Ben Fant/Special to Going Green

Angela Dacus, owner of Southern Event Planning, shows how a common doily can be used many different ways to create decorative accents.

In the bridal industry, it’s not uncommon for someone to purchase an item for a wedding or reception that they probably won’t use again. Two wedding planners are combining their expertise to put the art of reusing smack in the middle of the wedding business. Angela Dacus, a local wedding planner and owner of Southern Event Planning, and Renee Maddison, a Nashville wedding planner and marketing professional, used their combined experience to start Bridal Bargainistas. The women use the temporary store to sell and buy items gently used in weddings, receptions and other parties. The “pop-up” shop will kick off with a party on July 28 from 5 p.m. to 8

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Mismatched, vintage-style plates from a local thrfit store make for a charming, eclectic table setting for the wedding reception. These plates ranged in price from 50 cents to two dollars. They are ideal for hosting a small, intimate reception or if you’re looking to be creative within a budget. Once the reception is over, they can be donated back or given away as fun gifts in memory of the day. p.m. at La Pavillion at 1052 Brookfield Rd. For a $10 fee, early birds can shop while enjoying appetizers and “bargainista-tinis.” The free three-day shopping event will be open July 29-30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and July 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brides-to-be and other party planners can browse through a collection of votive candle holders, candelabras, foundations for centerpieces, chafing dishes, paper lanterns and other items. The idea for Bridal Bargainistas came from Maddison while she was talking with Dacus about how many items they had that had been used only one time. “Especially in the wedding industry, things get used once and then they go to Goodwill or get thrown out,” Maddison said. For instance, a bride who purchases 45 vases for her wedding reception may keep one or two as

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mementos, but what does she do with the other 43? A friend of Maddison’s picked up some candelabras at a metalworks place, spray painted them and used them at the altar at her wedding. They were too large to use at home, so after the wedding, she sold them to one of her friends, who spray painted them again and used them in her wedding. “It’s just repurposing and repurposing and repurposing. It really takes the green concept to the next level,” Maddison said. Dacus said registration for the event will take place at the beginning of June. According to the Bridal Bargainistas’ Facebook page, tickets for the July 28 party will be on sale soon. They won’t start accepting the items, which will be ticketed by the sellers, until the week before the sale. In addition to selling the items, people will be on hand at the store to help out with ideas about how to repurpose items for sale. “We’re encouraging people to bring photographs of how things were used at their weddings,” Dacus said. Then she or other planners can give buyers some ideas on how to reuse elements in their own weddings. For instance, perhaps a bride who had a nature theme at her wedding used slices of tree trunks as candle holders. They can easily be formed into a cupcake tree stand with a little tweaking, according to Dacus. Maddison said repurposing is especially popular now that people are into the do-it-yourself movement. Many people are making their own

wedding invitations, which generates excess material, she said. Invitations are often decorated with ribbons, so several spools of ribbon — or perhaps envelopes — may be left over. Such items may be available during the Bridal Bargainistas event. Items won’t necessarily be sold in groups. “You can buy as many or as few as you want — whatever serves your needs,” Maddison said. “It will be firstcome, first-served.” People who are selling their things will receive 50 percent of the sale price. Dacus and Maddison are gathering items not just from brides, but also from other wedding planners, florists, caterers and others in the party industry. Successful resales websites have spurred the reuse of many items, Maddison said. “Craigslist and eBay, being as big as they are, have really paved the way for repurposing,” she said. “It’s a way to save some money in these economically challenging times. It just makes sense today.” Though no date has been set, another Bridal Bargainistas event will be held in Nashville, and they have an eye on other cities in which to set up shop. The plan is to make Bridal Bargainistas an annual event, but depending on the response, they may not wait a year before holding another, Madison said. “If we feel like support is there and people want to turn their stuff quickly we may do it more than once a year.”

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LOCAL NEWS

Green practices
Belgium’s culture of recycling, preservation makes sustainability a reality

Photos by Emily Adams Keplinger/The Commercial Appeal

Being "green" is important in Belgium, as depicted by this sign in the Brussels airport, where visitors are inspired to think about about sustainability.
By Emily Adams Keplinger
keplinger@commercialappeal.com

When I traveled recently to Belgium for the first time, it was eyeopening to see how widespread the green movement was in that country. Actually, it didn’t seem like a green movement, but more like a green culture. So many green practices that we are trying to adopt are

already second nature to Belgians. For one thing, the Belgian people take a genuine pride in the upkeep of not only their businesses (coming to work an hour early just to ensure fresh, clean window fronts when their stores open), but also their streets and their cities. Municipalities and train stations have sectioned recycling bins located within easy access of

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pedestrians, with color-coded containers to promote as much recycling as possible of post-consumer products. In fact, a tour guide proudly proclaimed that as a country, Belgium recycles 93 percent of its post-consumer household packaging. And just like here in Memphis, recycling is often one of the first steps that a person can make toward a greener lifestyle. As I toured Belgium, marveling at the antiquity of its medieval buildings, I realized that historic preservation is not an optional process for Belgians. They seem to fully embrace the richness of their architectural treasures, both for their own enjoyment, as well as for the sake of tourism. And they don’t expect a “quick fix.” Some restoration projects, like those of cathedrals, have been in progress — in stages — for more than 250 years, with plans for another 200 years. We don’t tend to think in terms of projects that last over several lifetimes. And antique objects, when age has thwarted their original function, are often repurposed into everyday, useful objects, like turning a chair with a rotted seat into a whimsical sidewalk planter. Now that’s really green! Sustainability in the hospitality sector regularly includes energy-saving technology, recycling card keys and serving fresh, local foods rather than importing items. The growing interests of consumers in ecologically produced foodstuffs is spreading to other areas of ecological farming, including the production of biocotton products. In Belgium, entire stores are dedicated to selling only clothing made with bio-cotton, that is,

This storefront in Brussels touts their support for sustainable cotton — one of the many ways that Belgium promotes green practices. cotton grown without the use of toxic, non-biodegradable pesticides and fertilizers. As a result, not only is there practically no groundwater contamination, but the soil fertility is better maintained, and farmers have fewer health problems. One of the most obvious aspects of the green culture of Belgium is the sheer number of bicycles. Not only students, but also a large number of workers use

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Top: People of all ages use bicycles as a main mode of transportation in Belgium. Above: During a recent visit, Midtowner Jan Coleman discovered a sectioned recycling bin, color-coded for the different type of products.

bikes for their everyday mode of transportation. In the inner city, there are entire parking lots that house thousands of bikes. There are even multi-level parking garages just for bicycles. Almost every city street has a marked bike lane. Even with the busy car and bus traffic at the Brussels airport, there are clearly delineated bike routes teeming with cyclists. And cyclists have the right-of-way, not pedestrians, in their bikes lanes. There are numerous other green practices in place in Belgium that contribute to their everyday green culture: Solar panels on homes and commercial buildings; biomedical technologies; Recycling is alternative fuels; practiced in artful and employers, ways, such as including the turning an antique Belgian Parliament, chair into a that give their sidewalk planter. employees bicycles if they vow to use them instead of cars as their mode of transportation to work. I hope to incorporate some of the green practices I witnessed during my travels into my own lifestyle, and I’m excited to see the green movement grow here in Memphis, knowing that sustainability can indeed be a reality.
To view a photo gallery of more green practices in Belgium, go to commercialappeal.com/photos/galleries and click on Green Belgium.

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GOOD GREASE
Good Earth takes the middle man out of the equation

By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green

The next time you eat a french fry, consider that the oil it was cooked in could end up as fuel in someone’s gas tank. Used cooking oil can be turned into biodiesel, and there’s plenty of it to be had. Almost all restaurants have fryers of some kind. They typically store their used oil in a container until a company that is hired to remove it — generally at a cost of about $100 — arrives to take it away. Green Earth Options, LLC (GEO) has a different approach to the business. Instead of

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Kyle Kurlick/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Richard Forthman of Green Earth Options sucks up cooking oil up at Interim Restaurant to be turned into biodiesel fuel. charging restaurant owners to remove the oil, Memphis-based GEO purchases the used oil from them. GEO transfers the oil to a refinery, where it is converted to biofuel or blended with petroleum diesel to create biodiesel fuel. One hundred percent of all collected oil is recycled. In the two years the company has been in operation, it has accumulated a list of clients that include the Half Shell, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Captain D’s and others. Jackson Kramer, executive chef at Interim in East Memphis, said using GEO’s service was a no-brainer. “Instead of paying for them to pick it up, they pay you. It’s a better deal for restaurants,” he said. Interim is a certified Project Green Fork restaurant, and Kramer said keeping the business local is important to him. “My belief is to keep everything in the community.” Large companies that remove oil use a broker to negotiate the price for a refinery to purchase it. GEO skips the middleman, and delivers the oil itself, dealing directly with the purchaser. This helps save customers money. “We’re the oil transporters,” said Matt Crone, director of business development.

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“Instead of paying for
them to pick it up, they pay you. It’s a better deal for restaurants.”
JACKSON KRAMER, EXECUTIVE CHEF AT INTERIM IN EAST MEMPHIS

He means that literally. Many days Crone and others are out at 5 a.m. collecting oil. Removing the oil is a messy operation, so often restaurants need someone to come behind and power wash the area — a service GEO provides to its customers twice a year for free. Another big difference between GEO and larger companies providing oil removal service is that most of GEO’s employees have restaurant experience and everyone has a stake in the business. “Our core sales people are chefs,” said Crone. Crone was an instructor at L’École Culinaire before joining the new company, and he said he had a reputation at the cooking school as being the “green chef.” “I was in charge of turning the campus green,” he said. “I was steadfast in making it green.” He succeeded by making changes including using different paper towels and changing their dispensers, planting an herb garden on the back porch, eliminating the use of Styrofoam cups and recycling the used cooking oil. “It cut our expenses by $3,500 a month,” Crone said. So he knew the economic as well as the

environmental benefits of going green. One of the few employees who is not a former chef is general manage Chris Steinmetz, who has a background in sales. Steinmetz said he saw an ad on Monster.com, and was immediately interested in working with GEO. “It was interesting, the green aspect, in the sense that they were taking a waste product and providing a positive fuel source,” he said. Steinmetz is a former resident of Vermont, where there is a huge focus on environmental conservation. He said living there was an eyeopening experience and influenced him to join GEO. “I saw huge potential if I could do what I love, selling face-to-face and help the earth,” Steinmetz said. When a salesperson from GEO visits a potential client, one of the things they do is go over the contract that restaurant has with its oil removal company. GEO often finds ways to save them money. One of GEO’s clients, a large restaurant chain with 26 local locations, reviewed its contract to discover they were being charged $3,000 for grease removal. “We’ll pay $6,000 for the oil,” Crone said. GEO is also committed to helping the community by donating a portion of proceeds from each gallon of oil it recycles to charity. “We’re greener, cleaner, we give to charity, we’re a local business and we’re all restaurant savvy,” Crone said. While GEO’s plans include expanding operations to other cities, for now the focus of the company is on Memphis eateries, hospitals and residential facilities that have a kitchen.

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Cohousing begins with a group of people looking to create a communal-type housing arrangement that’s usually intergenerational with separate units and a shared common space.

Interest in cohousing grows
Communal housing concept makes gains in current climate
By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green

Cohousing may not be the talk around Memphis, but these unique communities have gained popularity since their U.S. introduction in the 1990s. Cohousing communities usually are connected like condominiums, but some consist of tightly clustered single-family houses, built around a central courtyard with a common house. “They are individual homes, owned by individuals,” said Joani Blank, a former board member with the Cohousing Association of the

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United States. Blank has lived in a cohousing community for nearly 20 years. She moved into one of the first two U.S. cohousing communities in the 1990s in California. Others have continued to spring up in many states, including Massachusetts, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Illinois. Two California architects are credited with bringing cohousing to the United States — Katie McCamant and Charles Durrett. They are husband and wife and learned about cohousing while studying in Denmark where they met. Their firm McCamant & Durrett is known as The Cohousing Company and has offices in Berkeley, Calif., and Nevada City, Calif. The most attractive aspect of this type of community is that residents are more connected to each another. Thus, there are more opportunities for interaction. “The main thing that keeps us together as a community is that we have a lot of daily contact with each other,” Blank said. “You can imagine that you would know your neighbors better, because you have daily contact with them.” All the housing units face toward the center of a courtyard or enclosed area where there is also a common house. Residents gather anywhere between two and five times a week for meals. These common dinners are a big part of community building and the residents take turns teaming up to cook. “The glue that holds us together is our common meals,” Blank said. Something drastically different about

California architects Katie McCamant and Charles Durrett are credited with bringing the cohousing concept to the United States after studying in Denmark. cohousing is the lack of cars. “One of the classic things about cohousing design is that there are never any cars between the housing units,” Blank said. Cars are parked in a lot on the periphery or in an area behind the houses. Aside from promoting interaction, the no-car policy inside the community provides the added bonus of safety. “Kids can run around to every single house without worrying about cars,” she said. “So, it is for safety, but more importantly, I think it’s about building

“The main thing that
keeps us together as a community is that we have a lot of daily contact with each other.”
JOANI BLANK, FORMER BOARD MEMBER FOR COHOUSING ASSOC. OF THE UNITED STATES

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Typically, cohousing members live in separate, fully equipped attached or clustered units and share outdoor space and a common house where communal meals are offered. In many communities, the common house also contains a living room and guest (or caretaker’s) quarters along with other amenities like a media or crafts room, or a studio for exercise and meditation. community.” Cohousing communities also are multigenerational, with individuals of all ages owning homes in them. It is particularly good for older people, who are often, “warehoused,” into retirement villages or homes. Cohousing gives seniors the opportunity to interact with people of all ages. Sarah Newstok, program manager of Livable Memphis said it is always good for people to have access to a variety of different housing options. “The more choices people have in the way they live, the more we can accommodate them through all stages of their lives,” said Newstok. Blank lives in Oakland, Calif., in the most urban cohousing in North America. “We are across the street from a 26-story hotel. We’re literally downtown.” Her community is located in a historic building that was renovated into an apartment-like complex that contains 28 units. The community governs itself, as every resident is a member of the homeowners’ association. One member collects the membership dues and keeps the records. The homeowners’ association has different committees, such as a common house committee, a group process committee and a gardening committee, and virtually all the work is shared by residents. Conflicts between residents are settled by consensus and nothing is ever put to a vote. Getting a cohousing community

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going begins, like most successful ventures, with conversations among likeminded people. “People who live in cohousing communities tend to be politically progressive and environmentally conscious,” Blank said. A cohousing community could be built in Memphis if people want to get together to purchase the land and build their houses. “It would be up to a group of motivated individuals who are interested in cohousing,” said Newstok. “From Livable Memphis’ perspective, increasing the housing choices in general is a good idea.” Blank said for her, it’s the only way to live. “I think it’s a wonderful way to live and I want to spread the word about it,” Blank said.
For more information about cohousing, visit cohousing.org.

Habitat’s new ReStore offers bargain; helps those in need
Bargain hunters and people looking to unload old toilets and tables will be able to help build homes for low-income families without ever swinging a hammer. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis is set to open the area’s only ReStore on June 9 at 7130 Winchester Road. “We’re like a second-hand Home Depot or Lowe’s,” said Joe Davidson, ReStore manager. With discounts of 50 to 90 percent below retail , the enormous showroom will feature gently used furniture and everything from claw-foot bathtubs to windows and cabinetry still in their original packaging. Not only does the ReStore raise money to build local Habitat homes, but it also keeps thousands of pounds of building material out of landfills, he said. Davidson came to Memphis after running the Clarksville ReStore for three years. Half the size of the Memphis shop, it has helped recycle 780,000 pounds of material, which potentially could have landed in a dump, Davidson said. “There’s really not a place in Memphis where you can donate this stuff,” he said. Only about 20 to 30 percent of construction and demolition waste is presently being recycled, he said. Preparing for the grand opening, Davidson and Dwayne Spencer, executive director for the Memphis chapter, recently scurried around the showroom. Moving through the inventory of tables, armoires, doors, picture frames and even plastic Christmas trees, Spencer predicts the ReStore will be a DIYers paradise. Unsold items will drop in price each week, in order to move new products into the showroom floor, he said. “We don’t want to be a junk shop,” Davidson added. Spencer estimates the store will make at least $500,000, and after startup and overhead costs, will be able to finance the building of roughly three homes. Slipping through the unlocked entrance, a woman came sailing into the ReStore, headed straight for a cluster of living room furniture. Davidson cut her off with an apology, ushering her back out. But she was having a hard time leaving the gems she’d spotted behind. “It’s been a regular occurrence,” said Spencer. “It’s hard to get them to leave once they see the merchandise.” — Lindsay Melvin: 529-2445

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THE BIZ PAGE

Packed in green
Recycle Solutions’ new Ark. facility refurbishes shipping materials

By Toby Sells
sells@commercialappeal.com

One company's trash is Recycle Solutions' profit. The Memphis-based company has, as its name implies, focused on recycling since it opened on Kansas Street south of Crump in 2002. But it's now branching out into the "reuse" part of "reduce, reuse, recycle" with a new facility it opened in Searcy, Ark., in April.

Ciro Damien sorts through piles of cardboard and paper being dumped at Recycle Solutions' Memphis facility on Kansas Street.
Photos by Brandon Dill Special to The Commercial Appeal

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At its 25,000-square-foot warehouse, 17 employees refurbish or repair mainly industrial packaging items, such as pallets, shipping trays and plugs that secure large rolls of paper. "Why in the world would you throw this away?" asked Mark Huber, operations manager of Recycle Solutions, pointing to a wooden pallet. "Why make a brand new pallet when this one only has one damaged board?" That's where Huber said he saw a market opportunity. Companies that receive bulk shipments that come on pallets - or in trays or with other shipping items - pay for packaging materials that end up in their trash bins. They end up paying twice - first to have the goods delivered, then to have the trash hauled away. Recycle Solutions offers an alternative by buying the unwanted materials at reduced cost, refurbishing them and selling them back to the original shipping company. "These companies are paying good money for this and then they're just throwing it away, " Huber said. "We can clean it up, send it back to a shipper and they can reuse it." Huber said this not only keeps a lot of waste out of landfills, but it also saves money for companies and shippers. "Usually the first call I get from (companies) they say, make me more green, " Huber said. "I ask, 'Which one: money green or environmentally green?' They always say, 'Both.'" The business landscape has certainly gotten greener over the past few years. Wal-Mart, for example, now has a director of sustainable facilities. "A dramatic shift is occurring in

Anwar Meyers operates an industrial bailer high above the main floor at the Memphis facility. The company recently expanded to Searcy, Ark., and is one of the largest recyclers in the Mid-South.

Recycle Solutions
Phone: 948-9500 E-mail: info@ recyclesolutions.net Address: 1054 Kansas Online: recyclesolutions.net business: companies are thinking bigger and longer term about sustainability, " according to the 2011 State of Green Business Report from the editors of GreenBiz.com. "Even during these challenging economic times, many have doubled down on their sustainability activities and commitments." The report singled out rising sustainability efforts among a number of consumer goods companies like Kraft, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. It's unlikely, though, to expect that these "behemoths have suddenly become tree huggers, " the report cautioned.
- Toby Sells: 529-2742

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GREEN BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

GreenDoc
Local dental practice achieves certification
Special to My Life

Dr. Jennifer Cochran, of Evergreen Family Dentistry, recently achieved certification through the EcoDentistry Association’s GreenDoc Dental Office Certification program. Her practice is the first in the southeast region to achieve certification for environmentally-sound dental practices in various categories, including sustainable location, waste reduction, pollution prevention, energy conservation, water conservation, patient care, leadership and innovation. The journey to certification began when Cochran was planning to renovate her newly-purchased dental office. Many hours of research on eco-friendly materials and equipment led her to the EcoDentistry Association (EDA). The EDA makes recommendations for “greening” a dental practice and certifies practices at the bronze, silver or gold level. Cochran became a member of the EDA and eventually completed her office renovation in April 2010, making as many eco-friendly choices as possible, including bamboo flooring, low-VOC paint, carpeting made from recycled materials, LED lighting and eco-friendly

The dental practice of Jennifer Cochran, Evergreen Family Dentistry, is the first in the southeast region to achieve GreenDoc Dental Office certification. solid surface countertops. Cochran began the GreenDoc certification process in October 2010 and achieved silver certification status in March 2011. Evergreen is almost completely paperless. Patient charts are electronic, x-rays are digital and insurance claims are processed electronically. Patients also have the option of receiving appointment reminders, confirmations and requests as well as practice newsletters via email or text messaging. Letterhead, envelopes, business cards and copy paper are all made from recycled paper. Evergreen has reduced waste significantly by using cloth patient bibs and headrest covers as well as cloth autoclave bags. Monthly, the office sends paper, plastic and cardboard to a recycling center. Harmful cold sterilization chemicals

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are no longer used, and instead everything is sterilized in a surgical-grade steam sterilization autoclave. Environmentally friendly, ADA-accepted disinfecting wipes are used to clean all surfaces. A device that collects silver (mercury-containing) fillings from the vacuum lines was installed to prevent mercury contamination in wastewater. Dr. Cochran offers metal-free dentistry, uses biocompatible dental materials, and is one of the few local dentists performing dental materials compatibility testing for allergyprone individuals with Clifford labs. Evergreen encourages patients to sign a pledge to “save 90 (cups) a day, “ reminding them to turn the water off while brushing their teeth. Cochran performed both energy and airflow audits of her facility and learned how to read a water meter to keep track of water usage. “Not only have we created a safer work environment for ourselves, but also there is an added benefit of cost savings over the long-term as well, “ Cochran said. “It just makes sense.” Cochran plans to continue to advance the office’s green efforts. She plans to use environmentally-sound equipment and supplies as they become available. For instance, she recently ordered preserve toothbrushes to give out to our patients, which are made out of recycled yogurt cups and are BPA free. They include prepaid postage so that the used toothbrushes can be sent back to be recycled again.
Evergreen Family Dentistry is at 1723 Kirby Parkway, near the corner of Poplar Avenue and Kirby Parkway. For more information about the practice call 757-9696 or visit EvergreenFamilyDentistry.com. To learn more about the EcoDentistry Association and green dentistry, visit EcoDentistry.org.

Program trains workers for green technical jobs
The greening of energy industries means big changes for technical businesses, but locally that spells new jobs for laid-off workers. Seedco, the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, and the Southern Energy Training Consortium (SETC) are looking forward to the first graduates of technical certificate programs updated for greater and greener efficiency. "It looks promising, " said Meredith Hennessy, vice president of Seedco, a nonprofit organization specializing in workforce development. Seedco has contracted with state and federal governments, usually through departments of labor, to provide workforce training and help secure employment for people on public assistance. To help, Seedco formed a partnership to provide upgraded technical training with an emphasis on green technology. The hope is that the training will reposition graduates for new jobs. About 410 people have enrolled in SETC schools since last fall, about half of which attend Southwest. The National Electrical Contractors Association also offers a solar panel installation program. Tuition and books are provided. Candidates must meet each school's own admission prerequisites. Southwest offers six programs under the Seedco program and has recently hired two employment specialists to help place graduates. The other schools offer one certificate program each. Seedco can help place graduates as well. "We have funding to provide paid internships for dislocated workers, " Hennessy said.
Jonathan Devin, Special to The Commercial Appeal For the full story and photos: commercialappeal.com/news/2011/may/26/ growing-work/

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TRANSPORTATION

SMALLER GETS BIGGER
Increasing demand for gas-sippers leads U.S. auto sales higher
By Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher
Associated Press

DETROIT — Small cars sold briskly in the U.S. last month, as gasoline prices approached $4 a gallon and some buyers worried about shortages of Japanese-made vehicles. Analysts expected overall industry sales in the U.S. to increase 19 percent from April of last year. Sales last month were led by highly fuel-efficient models such as Chevrolet’s Cruze, Hyundai’s Elantra and Ford’s Focus. Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of sales and marketing, said consumers shifted into smaller cars starting in March and the trend continued in April. Unlike 2008, when a rise in gas prices caught the industry off-guard, GM and other companies now have good small cars and can quickly boost production of them, he said. “We’re probably the best prepared ever for this shift,” he said. The national average price of a gallon of gas this week

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Chevrolet’s fuel-efficient Cruze, introduced last October, had its best sales month in April as 25,000 were sold in a response to rising gas prices. Other automakers reported sales led by higherMPG models.
Amy Sancetta Associated Press

is $3.96, up $1.06 from last year. It has already topped $4 in many regions. Sales of fuel-efficient models, such as the Elantra, which gets 40 mpg on the highway, helped boost Hyundai’s sales by 40 percent. Sales of the Elantra more than doubled. Combined with the Sonata midsize car, the two made up 71 percent of Hyundai’s sales. At General Motors, sales of the 36mpg Chevrolet Cruze soared to 25,000 in April, the best month since it was introduced in October. Ford said sales of its new Focus compact rose 22 percent from last year. GM said its U.S. car and truck sales jumped 26 percent in April, led by the shift to small cars. Johnson said the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers posted big sales increases. Crossovers look like sport utility vehicles, but are more fuel efficient because they are built on car platforms.

People switched to more efficient engines, which use less gasoline. Johnson said 39 percent of the vehicles GM sold in April had the most efficient four-cylinder engines, up from 27 percent last April. Thirty percent had sixcylinder engines, down from 36 percent. Almost half of Chevrolets sold had fourcylinder engines, Chevrolet chief Alan Batey said. “Four-cylinder sales at Chevrolet have frankly not been as strong as this in a long, long time,” he said. Ford said its U.S. sales rose 13 percent, largely because of a 26 percent jump in car sales. But it wasn’t only the most efficient cars like the Fiesta and Focus that buyers demanded. Sales of the Mustang sports car rose 59 percent car as summer driving season approached. Ford said that the impact of gas prices could be felt in its largest vehicles. Half of all pickup buyers chose Ford’s new V-6

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engine instead of the less efficient V-8. Other major automakers reported sales Tuesday: Chrysler’s sales rose 22 percent to 117,225, the company’s best April in three years. Sales were led by the Jeep brand with a 65 percent increase. Toyota sales rose by only 1.3 percent, led by a 9 percent gain from the Camry midsize sedan, traditionally the most popular car in the U.S. Nissan rose 12.2 percent to 71,526. The company also reported strong small-car and crossover sales. Honda reported sales rose 9.8 percent, led by a 73 percent leap in sales of the Fit subcompact. Sales of the CR-V small crossover rose 30 percent, while sales of the compact Civic were up 7 percent. Subaru sales were up 7 percent to 24,762, led by the Outback small SUV, which rose 23 percent. Kia sales surged 57 percent, led by a 41 percent increase in Sorento crossover sales. Mitsubishi sales jumped 106 percent, the largest month of sales since August 2008. Combined sales of the Outlander and Outlander Sport were up more than 110 percent for the month.

EDITORIAL

Biking on N. Parkway
Citizens interested in lighting a bike-lane fire under the city administration struck a match May 23 at a public meeting in Buckman Hall at Rhodes College that discussed a proposal to add bicycle lanes to North Parkway. Getting city streets striped for bike lanes has been a daunting proposition. For example, Madison Avenue seemed like a prime candidate for the lanes, but strong opposition from some merchants has stalled that proposal. However, North Parkway runs through what is basically a residential area. Except for questions about on-street parking, no major opposition has emerged, so far. That gives the administration of Mayor A C Wharton an opportunity to get a good jump on making the city more bike-friendly. Bike lanes are the kind of amenity that makes a city more livable. They encourage people to park their cars, exercise and to see the city from a different perspective.

Bike lanes supported
Proposed bike lanes for North Parkway received robust support from several hundred people who packed the Rhodes College hall to hear details from city officials. City Councilman Reid Hedgepeth said if most citizens favor bike lanes on North Parkway, the striping and signage work can be completed by summer's end. The plan for nearly four miles linking Overton Park to Downtown is divided into three segments. The Downtown section west of Thomas, where the road changes to A.W. Willis Avenue, will not have dedicated bike lanes, but signs such as "Share the Road." Most of the middle and largest section, from Thomas to McLean, will have dedicated bike lanes. The six-lane road will be reduced to four vehicle lanes. The 14-foot-wide outside lanes on both sides will be "repurposed" and re-lined to create on-street parking against the curb and a six-foot-wide bike lane. In the east section, from McLean to a service road that enters Overton Park, the two outside lanes are also converted for bikes, but on-street parking is not included. The Commercial Appeal staff

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ENERGY

Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal

Sweet sorghum is one of the new energy crops that researchers say can be readily grown in the Mid-South and brought to market using Memphis’ logistics networks.

‘THE NEW OIL’
Mid-South poised to lead growth of energy crops

By Toby Sells
sells@commercialappeal.com

A hard-pounding rain made it nearly impossible to talk inside the big metal building and the storm had knocked out the power, but Pete Nelson had just driven an hour in the mess and was determined to make his presentation. In one hand, he held a soil-caked, justplucked sugar beet, and in the other, a Mason jar full of dark sugar beet juice, or “the new oil” as he called it. Yes, Nelson meant oil, as in petroleum. Anything that can be made from a barrel of oil, he said, can be made from the dark brown syrup inside his Mason jar. Jet fuel, plastics, lubricants and anything in between can be made from the

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Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal

BioDimensions operations supervisor Steven Smith prepares equipment for a new growing season. The Memphis-based company has a pilot processing plant in Whiteville, Tenn., that turns crops like sweet sorghum and sugar beets into chemicals for fuel and plastic. juice his company crushes from sugar beets and sweet sorghum. “This stuff is shippable and storable, and that’s what we’re making out here, “ Nelson said. “Out here” is that large metal building that sits in the middle of farmland just outside of Whiteville, about an hour west of Memphis. . West Tennessee farmer Willie German still runs grain and soybeans through the facility, but he now shares it with Nelson and his biotech company, Memphis-based BioDimensions. The company’s principals have been working for years to bring biobased products — or products made from plants — to the mainstream. For the past three years, they’ve grown sugar beets and sweet sorghum on 200 acres around the Whiteville facility. Inside, they crush the crops to produce the roasted-sweet-smelling syrup they believe will be a key to a new industry in the Mid-South. BioDimensions sees a future

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where farmers here grow crops like beets and sorghum and truck them to a local processing plant or bio-refinery, like the pilot plant in Whiteville. The plant produces the syrup, which is then shipped to chemical plants or fuel refineries. In 2009, the Memphis Bioworks Foundation brought in the research and development firm Batelle Technology Partnership Practice to study and frame that future, to see if it was plausible and, if so, how big it could be. “The first decade of the 21st century has driven home the realization that an economy built on finite, fossil-based resources is unsustainable and ultimately fraught with risk, “ the report said. With that, the study endeavored to find what the Mid-South had to offer to a new, greener market and world. Based mostly on geography, it quickly ruled out solar energy, wind power and tidal, hydro and geothermal sources of energy. The Mid-South and the fertile Mississippi Delta have a history of growing crops. The region could grow new energy crops like beets or sorghum. The Mid-South, especially around Memphis, also has the industrial infrastructure needed to process the crops into the building blocks of biomaterials and the logistics savvy to truck the stuff all over the world, the study said. The study (called the Regional Strategy for Biobased Products in the Mississippi Delta) encompassed 98 contiguous counties in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky — 36 million acres or 56,000 square miles. Farmers could grow energy crops on that land and use Memphis as the industrial and logistics hub. The plan is an economic development

tool, not an esoteric dream, said Steve Bares, executive director of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. Processing the crops could revitalize unused industrial sites around Memphis, creating green industrial jobs. It also gives farmers a way to cash in on the green economy. “This study makes it clear that we have a dual role, “ Bares said. “One is to take advantage of our own underutilized industrial capacity, our strong business infrastructure and our unique agricultural assets and to develop them. The second is to provide a regional approach that builds strong collaborations.” The 98-county region could help supply the $8 billion biofuels and bio-based products industry without affecting the food and feed supply chain, the study said. In the next 10 years, this industry could support some 25,000 jobs in rural and urban locations around the Mid-South. Some of this work is already being done in the Mid-South, Nelson said. FutureFuel Co. has made bio-fuels in Batesville, Ark., since 2006. PMC Group employs about 300 at its Memphis facility, where it develops sustainable products used in making everything from television cabinets to tires. But Nelson said Mid-South companies, farmers, industries and Bioworks are still at the start of a marathon to fully realize the area’s infrastructure to produce the materials for bio-based products. “With the original Standard Oil, it was a race to see who could get to the wellhead, “ he said. “Now we’re in a race to create intellectual property, learn how to grows the crops and how to get them in the marketplace.”

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FAITH

Practice what they preach
Calvary’s new ‘green team’ turns words from the pulpit into action
By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green

Sally Bingham, a member of the Episcopal clergy, believes it’s the duty of people in her position to preach about conservation from the pulpit. Bingham is the founder of a national group called Interfaith Power & Light and president of Project Regeneration. To carry the message of Project Regeneration, Bingham travels around the country talking about the responsibility religious leaders have to discuss the link between faith and ecology. “They should all have green teams greening up their churches,” Bingham said. More than 10,000 congregations around the country are connected to IPL. “We have Interfaith Power & Light affiliates in 38 states,” she said. Currently there is one in Tennessee — located in Nashville. “Tennessee has been one of our more difficult state programs,” Bingham said, ironic since this state recently wired two of the largest solar fields in the country through the Tennessee Solar Institute. Ellen Roberds, assisting clergy at

Ben Fant/Special to Going Green

Ellen Roberds is assisting clergy at Calvary Episcopal Church to "Green Up Calvary" by beginning recycling programs and using more recycled materials in their day-today church activities.

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Calvary Episcopal Church, said she is heading up a new green team at the church. Although she has never met Bingham, her talks have had an impact on the church’s leaders. “As we’ve started this new conversation of Greening Calvary, her name has come up a lot, so it seems to be woven into the narrative of the people here,” she said. Preaching about conservation is a powerful way to convey the church’s commitment to environmental responsibility. “It is significant when you put a clergy person behind an idea and then that person speaks about it from the pulpit. It makes it clear to the church that we are trying and we are committed to this,” Roberds said. The program at Calvary is new, but Roberds said the congregants there will be hearing more about it. “I have been charged by the vestry to begin this process,” Roberds said. “I will be preaching about it.” Bingham started IPL in California 10 years ago, and has made it her life’s work to carry the message of global responsibility to church leaders. “I have always thought religious leaders should be talking about saving creation from the pulpit,” she said. Part of this philosophy goes back to the New Testament and Jesus’ commandment to love they neighbor as thyself. “We have a moral responsibility to care for our neighbors. If we love our neighbors, we don’t pollute our neighbors’ water and air,” Bingham said. She encourages church leaders to set an example by making small changes first, such as putting in compact

fluorescent light bulbs and installing timers in bathroom lights, so they are off when not in use between services. The congregation must be involved as well. Energy efficiency can be labor intensive because tasks like caulking around windows take hands-on work, but can result in lower power bills. “All of these things save money for the church, create jobs and save creation, win, win, win,” added Bingham. As they progress to bigger changes, she suggests that church leaders go to their kitchens and assess the energy use. “Congregations are notorious for having old refrigerators that use an enormous amount of energy.” It’s important for clergy to preach about energy conservation, but also to lead their congregations toward that goal. “We need to practice what we preach,” Bingham said. Roberds agrees with Bingham’s ideas. “This gift that we’ve been given of the earth is precious. It is from God and of God. We need to take our responsibility with one another and with the earth and all its resources seriously,” Roberds said.
For more information visit interfaithpowerandlight.org or call (415) 5614891.

“They should
all have green teams greening up their churches.”
SALLY BINGHAM, FOUNDER OF INTERFAITH POWER & LIGHT

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SCHOOLS

Students rise to challenge of preserving natural site

Mike Maple/The Commercial Appeal

Science teacher Richard Campbell (right) has led students from Southaven Middle School including Damon McGowan (left), 14, and Dalton Parnell, 15, in transforming a plot of land near the school into an environmentally friendly site they call Charger Nature.
By Chris Van Tuyl
vantuyl@desotoappeal.com

In becoming a science teacher, Richard Campbell’s education had to be a priority. Time away from the classroom meant refreshing his mind with a lot of outdoor

activities. “We’d fish, raise chickens and stuff like that, “ he said. Campbell, now at Southaven Middle School, shares his adoration of the outdoors with students, but sometimes technological gadgets take precedence.

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“Today’s generation, kids are becoming more disconnected from nature, “ he said. “They’re more happy with a cell phone and a computer, on Facebook.” To help change that notion at the school — and the entire city, for that matter — Campbell and four eighthgraders: Damon McGowan, Dalton Parnell, Taylor Quin and Dylan VanVolkenburg went and put their heads together. Since October , the group has been transforming a previously grass-covered area east of the middle school and north of Southaven High School on Rasco Road into an environmentally friendly plot of land they call “Charger Nature.” Their efforts were then entered into Siemens “We Can Change the World Challenge.” Earlier this month , Southaven Middle learned it was the winning entry for the state of the Mississippi and is one of the nation’s 24 finalists. Also sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association, the overall champion is expected to be announced on Wednesday , with each member receiving a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond and more. “They’ll get to go anywhere in the Continental United States to a National Park of their choosing, “ Campbell said. “We hope to finish anywhere in the top three.” Southaven has benefited nicely from a number of local businesses, including Nature’s Earth Products and Lowe’s, who sold the mulch for the walking trail and the landscaped

“We Can Change the World Challenge“
Southaven Middle School’s “Charger Nature” was tops in Mississippi, which is one of seven Southern states in the running for the national winner. Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia are the others. The 2010 champion was Michigan, followed by Iowa and Massachusetts. For more details, visit the Web at: wecanchange.com.

timbers surrounding it at a discount. Tools and other assistance has been offered by SMS faculty and other members of the community. Birdhouses have been built from scratch, as has a wooden bench, which allows a seat for visitors and possibly even squirrels. “We’ve already seen turtles over here and signs of a deer, “ said Campbell, “so we knew we’ve got some animals over here.” McGowan knows that a project like this wouldn’t have been undertaken just by anybody. “It shows how smart we can be as students, “ he said. “It’s been a good experience to be able to make a trail and just do something good for the community.” Parnell’s previous “green” endeavors had been furnished by his grandmother. “She’s very open-minded about it, “ he said. “All of this has been real fun.”

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FOOD

Places to dine multiplying for those who don’t consume animal products

Vegan options
By Stacey Greenberg
Special to The Commercial Appeal

Many local vegans are finding that it’s getting easier to eat ethically in Memphis. Ward Huddleston, 31, who lives in East Memphis, defines vegans as people who make their best effort to avoid supporting animal cruelty. “Every vegan is unique, so a specific definition is difficult,” he says. Vegans avoid animal products like meat, eggs and dairy products, but there are some gray areas. For instance, Huddleston doesn’t avoid honey, because he’s OK with the production process, but a lot of vegans don’t buy anything with honey in it. “Everyone draws a line, and to some extent it’s an arbitrary line,” he explains. It’s the dairy that separates the vegans from the vegetarians. Huddleston says, “Dairy cows have miserable lives.”

Kyle Kurlick/Special to The Commercial Appeal

The Solar Power juice from the Cosmic Coconut includes carrots, oranges, apples and ginger root.

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With the advent of area farmers markets, Huddleston believes it’s possible to buy more humanely raised animal products locally. And thanks to an increase in restaurants that cater to those who don’t eat meat, dining out is easier, too. “As for eating in local restaurants, it’s gotten a lot easier than I thought it would be at first,” says Stephanie Roy, who is married to a vegan and raising her young son as a vegan. “Turns out there are a lot of options if you know where to look.” Roy and her husband both love Asian food, so they frequent Pho Binh on Madison, where they say they can get the best tofu in town. Other favorites include Golden India in Overton Square and Woodlands Indian on Hacks Cross. They eat falafel at the Pita Café on Park at Getwell at least once a week. If they’re in the mood for pizza, they head to the Mellow Mushroom in Germantown because it has Daiya vegan cheese. For barbecue, Roy says you can’t beat the BBQ Tofu nachos at R.P. Tracks, and Muddy’s Bake Shop always has at least one vegan option for a sweet treat. Brittany Redmond, a 25-year-old bartender and all-star player for the Memphis Roller Derby, touts her favorite places offering vegan dining options as the Kwik Chek on Madison for a falafel pita and the tofu bi bim bop without egg; Jasmine, where diners can sub tofu for meat on all menu items; Trolley Stop Market for the veggie burgers and Monday night vegan specials, and Three Angels Diner, where she can get veggie bacon. She says the only downside is that a lot of places don’t go all the way and she sometimes has to send items back. “I recently discovered Fuel Café,” says Redmond. “They have an incredible array of vegan products, and really go all the way to make sure that what they offer is not only vegan but healthy and tasty.” Fuel’s co-owner and co-chef Carrie Mitchum is a vegan who went through Le Cordon Bleu with the specific intention of learning classic French cooking so she could apply the method to vegan cuisine. “As Fuel is small, we can only have so many vegan

Go Green Juice
3 stalks of celery 1 Swiss chard leaf 1 apple 1 cucumber 1 hunk of ginger (1 inch square) 1 /2 lemon

Place the above items in a juicer, and enjoy.
— Ashley Dunn, Cosmic Coconut

Thai Tofu Curry
2 bricks of firm tofu 2 cans coconut milk (we use the Whole Foods brand organic lite) 1 tbsp. red curry paste (from Asian market) 2 tbsp. brown sugar Olive oil as needed to sauté Salt and pepper to taste

Mix curry paste with sugar and coconut milk — that’s your sauce. The tofu needs to be cut into bite-sized bits. Saute tofu in oil. Remove. Pour most oil off. At Fuel, we include sweet red, yellow and orange peppers. Saute peppers in remaining oil, add sauce, heat to a simmer. Add tofu return to simmer. We serve with basmati rice and fresh green vegetable of the day. 4 servings.
— Carrie Mitchum, Fuel Café

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Photos by Kyle Kurlick/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Ashley Dunn, owner of the Cosmic Coconut off Sanderlin in East Memphis, specializes in vegan juices, smoothies and wheatgrass-infused beverages. “Every day someone thanks me for opening the Cosmic Coconut,” she says. options, but the ones we do have are excellent. We offer vegan buns, sauce, cheese, sour cream, etc., and we are expanding our dessert menu to offer vegan crème brulée in addition to the vegan ice cream all-natural floats and gelato,” says Mitchum. Vegans can find sweets at the LadyBugg Bakery, operated by longtime vegetarian Heather Ries. Some of the bakery’s recipes are easily translated to vegan versions; however, some are tricky to change. Ries, along with her sister and mother who help operate the bakery, like to play with different recipes and do their best to make vegan products that even the pickiest meat-eater would enjoy and not be able to tell the difference. Whole Foods carries vegan pastries (made without any animal products) by local food distributors OC Vegan, makers of organic and conventional vegan foods. Their products are also available at Otherlands and at Sean’s Café on Union. Sean’s Café also houses Balewa’s Vegan Gourmet, a longtime vegan standby featuring quinoa and Ezekiel sprouted bread. Local vegans say they are

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extremely enthusiastic about Cooper Young’s newest restaurant, Imagine Vegan Café, which is 100 percent vegan. Kristie Licht, who opened Imagine with her husband, says customers have been very responsive to the all-vegan menu. The most popular items are the beef tips, the smoked sausage sandwich, the French dip sandwich and the cheese sticks — all made from vegan ingredients, like soy. Licht says the restaurant gets about 50 percent vegan customers and 50 percent nonvegan customers. “All of the vegans are bringing in their friends because they are tired of always going to ‘meat’ restaurants, so now it’s their turn,” she explains. Another 100 percent vegan eatery has recently opened in East Memphis. The Cosmic Coconut specializes in fresh juices, smoothies, coffee and tea. The Cosmic Coconut also offers steelcut oats, berry bowls and other sweet treats. Owner Ashley Dunn says there was definitely a demand for a healthy place to relax. “Every day someone thanks me for opening the Cosmic Coconut,” she says. Dunn says Cosmic Coconut’s most popular drinks are the Go Green juice (apple, celery, lemon, cucumber, chard, ginger), the Cosmic Coconut smoothie (pineapple, banana, coconut meat and juice) and their Coco-Nutty cookies (almonds, cashews, cacao, carob, agave, cinnamon, salt). Most of the people who come in aren’t vegan. “Everyone is welcome at the Cosmic Coconut. No judgment from us.”

Vegan Strawberry Muffins
1¾ cup unbleached all- purpose flour 1 tsp. baking soda 1 cup granulated sugar ½ cup canola oil 1 tbsp. white vinegar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 8 oz. pureed fresh strawberries 4 oz strawberries, chopped ¼ cup water, if needed for smooth consistency

Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients. Fold the two together until smooth. Divide between lined muffin tins and bake until browned and set in the middle. Makes 6 large muffins or 12 small muffins. Large muffins take 25 minutes. Small muffins take 15 minutes.
— Heather Ries, LadyBugg Bakery

Tamarind Orange-Glazed Tofu
1 block of extra-firm tofu, pressed well and sliced however you want (I like triangles) Oil for frying For glaze: ¾ cup orange juice ¼ cup agave or maple syrup 1½ tbsp. soy sauce 1 tbsp. tamarind concentrate 2 tsp. sriracha (use less if you don’t want it spicy) 1 tsp. jarred minced garlic (or 2 cloves)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and pan-fry sliced tofu in a single layer, until browned and crisp on both sides, 10-15 minutes. While tofu is frying, whisk together all ingredients for the glaze, and set aside. Once the tofu is sufficiently browned on both sides, give your glaze mixture a stir and pour it over the top of the tofu. Allow the liquid to reduce down and thicken to form a glaze, about 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
— Stephanie Roy

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Local berries provide inspiration for baked goods

SWEET SEASON
By Susan Snapp
Special to The Commercial Appeal

Kat Gordon of Muddy’s Bake Shop in East Memphis and Ginger Honshell of The Trolley Stop Market Downtown are fans of berry season. They love creating baked goods and pastries with local strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. “We are coming into my favorite season because of all the great fruit,” Gordon said. “We’re in strawberry season, and my favorite, blueberries, are a little further down the road.” Honshell, who recently took the position of pastry chef at The Trolley Stop on Madison, uses mixtures of in-season berries to bake divine galettes, little individual pies. Berry filling is heaped in the middle of a pastry circle that’s folded to make a pocket with an open top. “My aunt, Shannon Moore, taught me to bake,” Honshell said. “ She started baking in high school when she worked at the Squash Blossom in the baking and deli area. After completing an art history degree at Rhodes, she now

Photos by Kyle Kurlick/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Kat Gordon, owner of Muddy’s Bake Shop, prepares one of her seasonal fruit desserts, a strawberry rhubarb pie. “Basically, whatever we can throw into a pie crust this season will be awesome,” Gordon says.

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bakes in California.” Gordon is a University of Memphis alumna who initially worked as a Realtor, but a love for baking persisted. “Baking was a little side business that kept growing, so I eventually decided to ... just do it for real.” Gordon opened Muddy’s Bake Shop at 5101 Sanderlin in 2008. Muddy was her grandmother’s nickname, Gordon said, describing her as “a fantastic cook and baker and, more important, a really giving lady.” “We do a little bit of everything at Muddy’s,” Gordon said. “Cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies, brownies. ... As for our pies — which in my opinion are what we do best — where to begin. Chocolate chess pie is a favorite, as well as coconut chess. Our banana cream pies are to die for, and with the fruit season coming up, we’ll have lots of peach pie, strawberry pie, tomato pie. Basically, whatever we can throw into a pie crust this season will be awesome.” The Mid-South has many opportunities for pick-your-own berries. The early crop of strawberries may have suffered in some locations with the recent heavy rains, but blackberries and blueberries should come in June. Call orchards or check their websites or Facebook pages for availability. Most local growers also sell at area farmers markets. Jones Orchard, Memphis and Millington, (921-1622), jonesorchard.com. Harris Farms, Millington, blueberries late June and July (872-0696). Cedar Hill Farm, Hernando, Miss., (662429-2540), cedarhfarm.com. Windermere Farms, Memphis, certified organic farm, (386-2035), winfarms.com. Gathering produce is the easy part. Baking with it can be tricky for the novice — especially when it comes to crusts and pastries. Gordon suggests: Purchase a good oven thermometer.

Easy Blackberry Crumble
4 cups fresh blackberries ¾ cup sugar ½ cup light brown sugar ¼ cup flour 2 tbsp butter, very soft ¼ cup chopped almonds ¼ cup chopped pecans 1 tsp. cinnamon ½ cup quick-cook oats

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the blackberries and the sugar together in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes or so while you prepare the crumble topping. Combine the light brown sugar, flour, almonds, pecans, cinnamon and oats. Cut in the butter until well mixed. Dump the blackberries into a buttered 9-by-11 pan or similar baking dish and scatter the crumble topping over the blackberries. Bake for 30-40 minutes. It will be bubbling. Note: This is a great recipe for children to make. No sharp tools are used, and it’s fun to mix the crumble topping together with your hands. It’s also very quick and simple to assemble and forgiving of alterations. Variation: Substitute sliced peaches or other fruit of your choice for half the blackberries.
— Kat Gordon

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Read the author’s introduction in cookbooks. Often, they’ll explain their methods and detail specifics of their recipes. Be careful not to overwork the crust. People get scared of pie dough and try to make sure it’s all rolled out perfectly, and if it’s not, will try to start over. The more you handle dough, the tougher it will be. Chill all the ingredients. “I put all the ingredients in the icebox for a little while,” she said. “Use really cold water.” Use a teaspoon or two of apple cider. It adds a little liquid without toughening the dough, and this makes it easer to roll out and shape, especially for the beginner. Honshell suggests: If possible, use a mixer with a dough hook to blend the butter and flour. “This makes the job so much easier when the butter is really cold,” she said. Using high-quality butter makes a real difference. Do exactly what the recipe says, and carefully measure ingredients. Baking is chemistry. Other types of cooking allow variations of ingredients, but with baking it is important to follow the recipe. Dust flour lightly on the hands and the surface of the dough, if it is a little sticky to work with.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
2 unbaked pie crusts, 9 or 10 inches 2 cups chopped rhubarb 3 cups sliced strawberries ½ cup sugar ½ cup light brown sugar ¼ cup flour 2 tbsp. cornstarch 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. lemon juice egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk)

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out one pie crust and fit to pie pan. (If you want to use a premade one, it’s fine.) Dump strawberries and rhubarb into a large bowl and gently toss with sugars, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon juice. Allow to sit for 15-30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit filling into the chilled pie shell. Discard the leftover juice. Place pie in refrigerator while making a second crust. For the top crust, make a lattice or use a cookie cutter to cut shapes into the second dough. When you have your topper ready to go, take the pie out of the refrigerator and place the shapes or lattice on top. Brush top crusts with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Freeze pie for 20 minutes. Place pie on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350, and bake for another 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden and juices are bubbling. Cool thoroughly, at least two hours.
— Kat Gordon

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MEATLESS MONDAY

Black Bean-Quinoa Salad
1 ½ cups black beans, canned, drained and rinsed (1 15-oz. can ) 1 ½ tbsp. red wine vinegar ¼ tsp. kosher salt ¼ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper ¾ cup quinoa 1 ½ cups water 1 large red pepper, roasted, seeded, peeled and diced (can be from a jar) 1 small-medium red onion, diced (about 2/3 cup diced) 2 tbsp. pickled jalapeno chiles, diced ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped For dressing: 4½ tbsp. fresh lime juice ¼ tsp. kosher salt ¾ tsp. ground cumin Pinch cayenne pepper 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Quinoa, black bean salad a winner for many reasons
There are many reasons I like this recipe. First, it's a one-dish meal, or close to it. In one bowl, there are complex carbohydrates, plus some protein and a dollop of vegetables. Second, each serving provides a significant amount of fiber. Black beans add a lot and the quinoa provides some, too. Third, if you need or want to eat glutenfree, this recipe will work.Quinoa is a seed that kind of masquerades as a grain. Fourth, this dish is flavorful without being high in sodium. Quinoa is virtually sodium-free, and rinsing the canned beans and using kosher salt in the recipe help to minimizer the sodium. Fifth, this hearty salad is nutritious. Any dish using black beans and quinoa as core ingredients is going to pack a nutritional punch. Quinoa is unusual for a plant food in that its protein contains all the essential amino acids, making it complete. When considering nutrition, you have to mention the black beans. This legume may play a role in lowering the risk of colon disease. Like quinoa, black beans are a terrific source of folate, too. Last (but not least), this salad tastes really good.
Megan Murphy, The Commercial Appeal

In a small bowl, toss the drained beans with the vinegar, salt and pepper. Let stand for about 30 minutes before draining off any excess liquid. In another bowl, wash the quinoa in cold water, drain into a coffee filter or fine sieve set over a bowl or pot. Bring 1½ cups of water to a boil, add quinoa. Lower heat and cover; cook for about 15 minutes until most of the water is absorbed. Set the pot of quinoa off the heat, and let it stand for about 20 minutes. Transfer it to a large plate and allow to come to room temperature (using a plate spreads it out more so getting to room temperature doesn't take as long). Put it in abowl or container and add drained beans, red bell pepper, red onions, jalapenos and cilantro and toss. Whisk together lime juice, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. Add the oil in a stream, whisking continuously. Once the oil is incorporated, add the dressing to the quinoa/bean mixture and stir. Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each.

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HOME & GARDEN

Vermicomposting
Worms are a gardener’s best friend

By Suzanne Thompson
Special to Going Green

Keeping worms around the house to chow down on your table scraps may not seem like the most appealing thing to do, but it’s a great way to cut down on your kitchen waste. Composting with worms, known as vermicomposting, vermiculture or vermicycling, is an easy way to convert kitchen scraps into high-quality fertilizer.

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The website journeytoforever.org says vermicomposting is preferred over outdoor composting for disposal of kitchen waste. That’s because adding small amounts of kitchen waste to outdoor composting disrupts the decomposition process, so the compost is never finished. Not so with vermicomposting. Worms process large amounts of organic waste quickly. Two pounds of worms will consume one pound of garbage a day. Sherri McCalla, horticulture assistant at Memphis Botanic Garden, often gives presentations about the benefits of composting using worms. “If you’re wanting to do vermicomposting in your home there are several reasons to do it,” she said. The castings produced by the worms provide nutrient-rich fertilizer for houseplants. A “tea” can be brewed through cheesecloth that uses the castings to create a liquid fertilizer McCalla described as “super crazy food for plants.” And a more obvious benefit is a reduction in the amount of food waste that winds up in the garbage can. Starting a vermicomposting bin at home is easy, McCalla said. A small operation can be started using a plastic shoebox with a tight-fighting lid that prevents the worms from getting out. Small holes should be punched in the lid to allow oxygen to get in. Can the worms escape through the holes? Absolutely. So precautions should be taken to encourage them to remain in the bin. Because worms naturally withdraw

Composting with worms
A home vermicomposting system consists of five parts: 1. Physical structure 2. Biological organisms 3. Controlled environment: Temperature, moisture, acidity, ventilation 4. Maintenance procedures: Bedding preparation, food, separation of worms from castings 5. Production procedures: Making use of the castings

from light, keeping the container in a dimly lit place — but not in total darkness — is a good idea. McCalla said they can be put in a closet, as long as there is a little light, such as a battery-operated votive candle, to encourage the worms to head back toward the center of the bin. Or the box can be put into an often-used closet or pantry, where opening and closing the door will provide the needed balance of light and darkness. Many people choose to store the bins in a garage, where it won’t cause a big hassle if some of the worms do escape. Worm bins also can be purchased online. The purchase of a worm hobby box got Tim Cantrell, owner of Cantrell Worm Farm outside Murray, Ky., started. Cantrell, who retired from FedEx in 2008, travels to Memphis to give talks at Wild Birds Unlimited about raising worms. As people have become more interesting in cutting down kitchen

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Brittney Williford/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Sherri McCalla, horticulture assistant at Memphis Botanic Garden, examines an earthworm-filled compost bin outside the Garden's Horticulture Building. waste, vermicomposting customers have picked up, he said. “It’s becoming more and more popular.” Worm kits purchased online already contain bedding for the worms. To start a worm composting box from scratch, though, tear pages from The Commercial Appeal (which is printed with vegetablebased ink) into thin strips for bedding. Place the shreds of paper in the kitchen sink and soak them with water. Then squeeze out as much of the water as you can, place the paper into the container and fluff up the strips to take up most of the space inside the box. The bedding should be about as moist as a sponge that has had the water wrung out, Cantrell said. “If you put them in a dry place, they will die,” he said. The worms, Eisenia foetiea, also known as Red Wigglers, breathe through their skin. That’s why their habitat must be kept most but not wet — too much moisture can drown them. The bedding will also provide the initial nourishment for the worms, which is why using paper printed with vegetable-based ink is important. Worms may be purchased online for $20 to $40 a pound. A pound contains about 1,000 worms. Smaller quantities are available at bait shops. Cantrell sells worms for $30 a pound,

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mostly at farmers markets. Bury the food scraps under the newspaper, which will also act as a deodorant barrier, and then add the worms. There should be no more than two pounds of worms for every square foot of container. So generally, about 250 worms should go into a three-gallon container. Worms reproduce in a three-week period, so it won’t take long to double the initial amount. Worms will eat almost anything, but McCalla advises against putting dairy or meat products into the vermicomposting bin because they may cause odor. Also, pickles and other items with high acid or salt content are not particularly good for the worms, she said. Cantrell said used coffee and tea grounds are the No. 2 source of kitchen waste in the country, and the worms will eat them, filter and all — “everything but the staple in the teabag.” The average home vermicomposting bin does not hold enough worms to consume the used grounds from a 12cup pot of coffee every day. Cantrell said he stores used grounds outside in a container, where they dry out and can be added later to the worms’ food. After about a month, casting can be harvested from the worms. Spread a large piece of plastic over an area inside a garage or on a patio that offers some shelter from the wind. Remove the lid and overturn the container onto the plastic sheet. The castings will resemble slightly moist brownie mix.

Vertical planting not only cool, but also practical
A couple of years ago, I built a new entry arbor to my garden, and topped it with a green roof — basically a wide planter stuffed with hardy cascading plants. After a heavy rain, it drains into my tomato patch. But now I’m thinking about doing a green wall on the back part of my house. I already have deciduous vines covering the front of my house to protect from heat gain in the summer. After shedding their leaves in the fall, they allow the winter sun to help warm my house. But planting a “vertical garden” on the back would be so cool — literally as well as figuratively. Researchers have shown that shading a wall with plants can cut cooling costs by 50 percent in the summer, and by cutting off wind chill in the winter, they can reduce heating by up to 25 percent. They also intercept and trap dust and pollen, and baffle noises. I have seen examples all over, mostly at garden shows and botanic gardens. They are specially constructed walls that hold potting soil in pockets, or are durable bags that hang together. Once planted, the vines, succulents, ferns and other spreading plants that do well in relatively small containers will knit together, though I will also place contrasting plants in drifts and accents to create a tapestry. I will water mine with drip irrigation. The most common plants I have seen are sedums, monkey grass (both mondo and Liriope), ivy, heuchera, mint, oregano and other spreading plants. Tropical plants and even bulbs can be tucked in for effect. It’s not for everyone. But I’ve already planted every other spot in my garden — and even my truck; all that’s left are the walls of the house itself. Felder Rushing, Special to the Commercial Appeal Horticulturist Felder Rushing is a 10thgeneration Southern gardener. Contact him at his website: felderrushing.net.

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Brandon Dill/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Amy Stewart-Banbury shows off some of her wild-crafted herbs and homemade tinctures. Natural alternatives to medicine are an important part of Amy's and husband Scott Banbury's commitment to living a natural lifestyle.

Creative solutions
Producing less waste takes planning, provides big payoff
By Lesley Young
Special to The Commercial Appeal

Eliminating plastic from daily life has had its challenges for Amy Stewart-Banbury. “It ruled my life for a little while. At first I was depressed over what I couldn’t buy,” said the 36-year-old mother of two. “I go out of my way not to buy anything with plastic.” Her decision has paid off, particularly in the weekly duty

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of taking out the trash. “We don’t have very much waste. On garbage day most of the time our can is nowhere near full, so we don’t even need to take it down,” she said. Her resolution to trim waste has also led to plenty of creativity in the Banbury household. Besides opting for purchasing products only in recyclable containers, such as cardboard-clad dishwashing detergent, StewartBanbury tries to grow, make and repair anything else she may need. She uses simple soap and water for most of her household cleaning, unless it’s a heavy-duty job or flu season, and she relies on an old homemade remedy, the Four Thieves Vinegar solution. “It’s a recipe that dates back to the Black Plague. The story is there were four sons and a midwife. The four brothers would rob graves and they would use the midwife’s cleaning solution to keep from getting the Black Plague from the graves,” said Stewart-Banbury, a certified professional midwife. Come cold weather, she makes her own tinctures and medicines from the herbs she grows or the nearby field where she “wildcrafts”— harvests from the wild — her purposefully planted “weeds.” Lucky for her, she married a handy man who repairs anything broken and occasionally picks up small appliances from the roadside, which usually require only a minimal amount of

Leading a zero-waste life
Going Green will run a monthly series to help you start down the path of a zero-waste life. Here are some tips on getting started and changing your mindset from zerowastehome.blogspot.com. Get past pre-conceptions: Reading the article Zero Waste Lifestyle: Time and Money Consuming?will help answer some of the concerns associated with starting this process from time involved to money spent making the transition. Don't have much time in your hands then take it one room at time and one day/week/month at a time. Actively working on it, at your own pace, is what really matters. Any small change makes a big difference. Get past the road blocks: Check out the options for bulk shopping in your area. Start by tackling your everyday disposables like coffee cups, grocery bags, produce bags, paper towels, trash bags, plastic baggies, single use plates and flatware, water bottles - these are all easily avoided and can be replaced by items you may already have on hand. Don't get overwhelmed: Try to embrace the excitement of trying out new things with unexpected consequences: eating healthier by using less processed food; saving money with bulk over time; experimenting with a multitude of crafts (paper, soap, candles, etc.); learning to make due with what’s available in bulk at the local grocery and what’s in season at the local market. Don't let others discourage: Be prepared for criticism and irony. Some might say your household doesn't do enough (because you eat meat, travel by airplane, don’t have a garden, etc.); while others might say you do too much (they call this lifestyle un-realistic, extreme or obsessive). Find what is right for your lifestyle and do it. The 5 Rs: When in doubt, follow this mantra in this order - Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot (or better known as compost).

Resources
zerowastehome.blogspot.com/ blog.taigacompany.com/blog/sustainabilitybusiness-life-environment/tips-to-living-a-zerowaste-lifestyle enviromom.com/join-enviromoms-one-can-a.html

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tweaking. “My husband is one of those guys who can read a book and then just do it,” she said. “If he sees a Shop-Vac on the side of the road, he’ll pick it up and fix it, and we have a new Shop-Vac.” Composting is a given for the reliant gardener, and she’s found a use for those pesky nonrecyclable pizza boxes — lasagna gardening. She lays down the used cardboard or newspapers, and wets it before she mulches to create a barrier for weeds. Ben Bradley, 39, has found his own alternative pizza boxes — the GreenBox Pizza Box (greenboxny.com), which breaks down into flat plates and a smaller container for leftovers. He carries one with him when he orders pizza to take leftovers home. “It’s 100-percent recycled cardboard, so there’s not any virgin materials in it,” said the local courier. He takes his own to-go containers to local eateries if they don’t provide biodegradable ones, and also tries to take his lunch with him to work. Bradley tries to remain conscious of how much water he uses, particularly when cleaning up after he cooks his weekly meal plan. “I use the large pot I cook in as the sink so I’m not filling up the entire sink, and I use less water and soap,” he said. “After they pile up, I fill up another dish pan to rinse.” He waits until he has a full load to do his laundry, and hangs all his clothes to dry. “I have a lot of wooden hanging racks,” he said. Buying in bulk is a big component of his efforts to have a smaller carbon

Four Thieves Vinegar
2 qts. apple cider vinegar 2 tbs. of each: Lavender Rosemary Sage Wormwood Rue Mint Fresh garlic, chopped

Combine dried herbs (not the garlic) and vinegar in a 1-gallon jar with a tight-fitting lid. Let mixture sit in the sun for two weeks, shaking often. Strain, add garlic, and replace the lid. Let it sit for three days. Strain again and store in a cool place. When diluted with water to ½ strength, it may be applied to the skin for minor cuts and scrapes. May be used full-strength or diluted to clean and disinfect.

footprint and less packaging waste. He takes several of the same-size jars to Whole Foods, heads straight to customer service to weigh one, then when he checks out with them full of his bulk items, the clerk deducts the weight of the jar and Bradley goes home with less packaging to dispose of. Local gardening enthusiast Mary Phillips, 24, believes in growing her own food and sharing with others to cut out landfill-bound packaging. “I think it’s important to not look through the lens of what you can buy to use less, but to simply not buy at all. To share and borrow instead,” she said. “You’re saving time, money and building a community.”

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