Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Moving from Florida to Kansas City and experiencing autumn for the second time has been really wonderful. Most of the trees in the city are changing, so yesterday I took the time during my lunch break to appreciate the colors and take a few photos. Some I took right outside our buildings, and the others I took at Liberty Memorial. Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ripple Glass

Keeping with the theme of Jeanee's recent post on climate change, I'm excited to post about a new Kansas City company that is impacting local recycling efforts in a big way. Under what is being called "the nation’s first self-contained metropolitan recycling system," Ripple Glass, which launches starting on November 1st, will help shatter the reluctance of Kansas City residents to recycle glass containers.

The Kansas City metro area has a pretty solid curbside recycling program, but that program no longer includes the pick of glass bottles and jars (pickup of bottles and jars in ended in 2003 due to the hazards of sorting broken glass and the problems of separating broken glass from other recyclables). When curbside pickup of glass ended, there were very few locations to recycle glass, so accessibility became an issue, and participation in glass recycling dropped drastically -- KC residents currently recycle only 5% of their glass, compared to the US average of over 28% -- eeeek!

That's where Stacia Stelk, Mike Utz, John McDonald and Jeff Krum, who also work for Boulevard Brewery, came up with a plan. Mike and John actually came to Hallmark about a year ago to present the Ripple Glass idea to Hallmark's Eco Team, an internal interest group focused on Hallmark's green initiatives. I was fortunate to see them present at that time. Their plan was simple: KC metro residents would be able to recycle their household glass (bottles, jars, etc.) at multiple area locations, the glass would then be picked up by a local company, taken to two local companies (Owens Corning and CertainTeed Corp), and recycled into fiberglass insulation and other products. They had me at hello, so to speak.

It took a little time, but they've now got all the logistics figured out, financing (by several local businesses) secured, and are ready to launch! I'm very excited that Hallmark has agreed to participate in the Ripple Glass efforts by having a glass drop-off bin right outside out building!

Read the full Ripple Glass story here, and if you're a KC local, support this program! With over 60 glass drop-off locations, 95% of metro residents will have less than a 5-minute drive to a drop-off location -- you have not reason not to support Ripple Glass! Thanks to Stacia, Mike, John and Jeff for seeing an opportunity to making a difference -- and to taking it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day: climate change

Blog Action Day is today, October 15, 2009. Thousands of bloggers will unite to blog about a particular issue that is affecting our world on a grand scale. This year the topic is climate change.

Today I blogged on my blog about the connections between climate and food.

I talked about purchasing sustainable local food. Sustainable agriculture involves food production methods that are healthy, do not harm the environment, respect workers, are humane to animals, provide fair wages to farmers, and support farming communities.

At Hallmark we just completed the summer of a community supported agriculture program. Every Wednesday we picked up a bag of food from local Kanas City Farmers through Hen House. It was fun to get vegetables I'd never buy in the store. But next summer I need to be more adventurous and try to make more recipes. I threw some of the scary squashes away :(

Also, here are some local Kansas City spots that are supporting local farming.
In Kansas City, Bad Seed Farm Market is a local, natural & sustainable food producer marketing to nearby, conscientious consumers. Their farmer's market is open every Friday night, 4:30 - 9p (May thru Nov. 20th). They have a winter farmer's market also.

And... The Farmhouse in Kansas City has bi-weekly farm-to-table-dinners. Four courses meticulously planned for your enjoyment using only the most fresh ingredients available from the farms that week.

Buy local. Eat local.