Think you know about organic certification? Chelsea Chandler, Green Seal Environmental Scientist and Certification Project Manager, explains why she pursued third party certification for her CSA farm. If you haven’t already, read our previous blog post, in which Chelsea introduces us to her farm.
Explore the smart and practical world of a CSA farm. Chelsea Chandler, Environmental Scientist and Certification Project Manager at Green Seal, takes us through her experience of managing a CSA farm outside Madison, Wisconsin.
How did you get into farming?
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and was pretty removed from farming beyond some backyard gardening and a great appreciation for all the fresh food grown in my home state.
I had been a member of a few different Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms over the years, and then really just dove into farming. I learned how to drive a tractor at my godfather’s grass-fed beef operation and farm stay, which my partner, Scott, and I visited frequently while living in Seattle. Farm stays, a growing phenomenon in the United States, offer travelers an opportunity to vacation in and experience a rural farm setting. Scott had a little more experience doing a work share for a CSA farm outside of Seattle.
Scott and I started talking about pairing our sometimes more abstract environmental policy work with the tangible work of growing food that is good for people and the environment. I’m enthusiastic about creating a model for sustainable food production and consumption and empowering local communities to adopt healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. Continue reading “An Interview with Green Seal’s Own Farmer, Pt.1”
When people think of National Parks, most think of majestic vistas and wilderness locations. However, there are 409 parks throughout the country that include National Parks, National Battlefields, National Seashores, National Monuments, and National Historic Sites. Washington, DC, itself has 23 different National Parks including the White House. I am privileged to be a volunteer at a number of those with the National Mall & Memorial Parks.
In addition to my work with Green Seal, I’ve always been a fan of the National Parks and a history buff. Looking for a chance to get outside and connect with people, I became a Volunteer in the Parks (VIP) in 2009. For the last seven years, I have been honored to work at some of our nations most visited and most hallowed memorials. I’ve met soldiers who stormed the beaches at Iwo Jima, couples that marched with Dr. King, and family members who broke down crying at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I have been lucky enough to hear their stories and then re-tell them to the next generation, to the millions of students who come to D.C. to learn about their history. My day job involves enhancing suitability through researching best practices and environmental criteria, while my weekend job allows me to bring the parks alive for visitors and show them why conservation and protection is important. Continue reading “Celebrate the National Parks with Sustainable Travel”
By Linda Chipperfield, Green Seal’s VP of Marketing & Communications
The Greenbuild conference was loaded with opportunities for us this year. Not only was it conveniently held in our fair city (DC) many of our staff could attend, but we also got to visit with several current clients exhibiting at the expo. And as a USGBC board member, I was able to represent Green Seal at many of the leadership activities as well. Here are some highlights!
The opening plenary was introduced by HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who said that, “green means good health and more wealth”. Rick Fedrizzi, President of USGBC, echoed the Secretary’s sentiment, saying the environment and the economy are deeply connected. This seemed to be a theme for the week, maybe because Rick’s new book is about how “profit saves the planet.” He quoted Francis Perkins, the first woman to hold a US cabinet position, who said, “There is work to be done, so we do it.” Another Perkins quote I like: “Being a woman has only bothered me in climbing trees.” Continue reading “A Monumental Time at Greenbuild 2015”
The theme for the 2015 Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher education (AASHE) Conference & Expo was Transforming Sustainability Education. One well-attended presentation involving Green Seal clients and staff was a panel discussion on “Building the Best Team for a Sustainable Operation”.
The engaging and interactive session provided insights and solutions from four points of view. Steve Gilsdorf, from Western Michigan University (with Green Seal certification for its cleaning service) represented C&U facilities managers. Danny Huffaker of Georgia-Pacific, and Burt Klein of PortionPac Chemical Company represented manufacturers of Green Seal-certified sustainable sanitary paper and cleaning products, respectively. Mark Stanland, Green Seal’s VP of Client Services, represented the third-party ecolabel that awarded their certification. Mac Clevenger, also from Green Seal, moderated the panel.
The panelists answered questions on whether green procurement guidelines are optimally working for housekeeping staff; how to easily identify the products and procedures that best protect staff, faculty, and student health; how procurement directors can source the best pricing and the most sustainable products; and how to be sure that the products and supplies purchased will meet performance expectations.
Green Seal also exhibited at the AASHE Conference & Expo, and traffic was heavy throughout the 2½-day show with many inquiries from facilities managers, faculty, and students about certified products and cleaning services.
Purpose: This standard is being developed to help purchasers identify and choose environmentally preferable architectural insulation products.
Stakeholders: Green Seal is soliciting suggestions and comments from diverse stakeholders including manufacturers, facility managers, operators, consumer groups, health and environmental groups, and general interest groups.
This month Green Seal exhibited at the ISSA/Interclean Expo for the 9th straight year. We were happy to welcome nearly 70 exhibitors that offer Green Seal-certified products, 13 of which are celebrating 11 years with Green Seal. Our standards for sustainable products and services have revolutionized the cleaning industry and inspired real and permanent change. This year our our SCIENCE & SERVICE message really resonated—everyone likes good customer service—and our visitors enjoyed “mugging” for the camera with Green Seal staff!