Dear SBN Members and Friends,
One of the genuinely wonderful aspects of being involved with SBN is being engaged with local community and business leaders who are working together to make good things happen. We live in a world that is filled with so many challenges and heartbreaks, that it is inspirational to see and feel the passion folks have to change the world, and to see the results.
This newsletter is living proof that we can make a positive difference; and our first article about the 2nd Annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest is a testimony to the good work of the SBN community. Walking into the this sold-out event last weekend was a pure delight! The room was filled with hundreds of people eating local, drinking local, having local fun, and being local. But it wasn't only about having a good time-- it was about supporting over 30 local breweries and local food businesses, and ultimately building our local economy.
The pre and post press stories were all so positive, and it's exciting to see so many people putting our two Local Craft Brewfests on their permanent calendar. (Speaking of which, please put The Hyper Local Craft Brewfest on your calendar for October 12, it will be another can't-miss event!) A big thanks to Nicola and The Williams Agency team for organizing another wildly successful fundraiser, which provides critical support to SBN's Boston Local Food Program and other core programs.
We love this dynamic combination--having a great time, creating community, and growing our local economy!
Have a great summer, and as you make your summer plans and travel around, we encourage you to support local businesses whenever possible.
Brew fans pack the house at SBN's Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest
Cheers to a successful 2nd Annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest
(We sold out all three sessions!)
Robert Terry Photography
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who made SBN's 2nd Annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest a huge success! Walking into the room on Friday and Saturday night was electric; There was a buzz of excitement and happiness as everyone was enjoying the tasty treats created by so many local folks.
The brewfest was an inclusive and friendly community party where everyone could have fun in a relaxed and energetic atmosphere. The music was excellent, the venue was alive, and the weather was perfect. The 2013 HLB marks the fifth craft brew festival over the past four years that SBN has organized to help promote the emerging local craft brew industry that has supported so many local breweries.
Robert Terry Photography
Check out all the pictures from the event here!
Moonlight Meadery, Robert Terry Photography
It's the largest annual fundraiser for The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, which enables us to continue to work towards building a strong economy that is local, green, and fair.
In addition to being a fundraiser for SBN Programs, the Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest donated $1 for every ticket sold to the Arts at the Armory, contributing to their efforts in providing a welcoming space for artists, local food and the community.
The weekend festivities included a new Friday night session, the "Craft of Homebrewing Homebrew Showcase" with six homebrew clubs that brought their local creations to the event. Our passionate homebrewers packed the house, and nearly outpoured the commercial
Taza Chocolate, Robert Terry Photography
brewers! The two saturday sessions included 26 local brewers and 6 local food vendors who shared great artisan craft beers, meads, ciders, teas and more that the New England area has to offer-- many with local ingredients.
SBN's Brewfests have grown to become an institution in the community that many fans anticipate all year long. The brewfest gives the community a chance to see the faces of the folks who make their brews, and offers them the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion.
"I feel like America's getting back towards a place where you know your butcher and your farmer, and knowing your brewer is a big part of that," says Cambridge Brewing Company's Jay Sullivan in this Boston.com article.
There were also performances by local musicians including The Polaroids, Ghetto Peoples Band, and the Great Whiskey Rebellion that brought attendees together on the dance floor for a fun filled night of local love. As SBN Executive Director Laury Hammel said, "SBN's omnipresent black T-Shirts should have said: Eat Local, Drink Local, Party Local, and Be Local!"
For a taste of the event, and snippets of the press coverage it received, check out this Storify of the Brewfest and other coverage of the event!
A very special thank you goes to Nicola Williams, Founder and President
of The Williams Agency, for leading the charge with the TWAGY team. Your fantastic work and dedication helped to make this a very special event!
Interested in seeing more of the beautiful photography you see here? Contact Robert Terry for fun, high-quality and reliable photography services to capture your next event! Don't forget to check out his website for more photos from the event.
|Member Businesses Make SBN Office Transition a Success! |
From top: Alex Barber, Taryn Johnson, Jaclyn Sinay, Mari Brunner, Katrina Kazda, and Charlotte Meissner
We're getting settled into our new office at 99 Bishop Allen Drive in Central Square, and we are loving it! It is wonderful to be in the heart of Central Square with quick access to the MBTA, local banks and shops, and now the Central Square Farmers Market!
It's also great to be located in a non-profit building, where all of the building's tenants are working towards greater social, economic and environmental good for all.
We see a great future for SBN here and we could not have done it without the help of our friends at Gentle Giant Moving Company,
Point Plus Realty and Cambridge Trust
Point Plus Realty, a Certified Sustainable Business Leader, is located just outside of Harvard
Square at 1105 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. Their team went above and beyond in every respect; helping us identify our great new location, negotiating the lease, engaging the needed service providers and more. They were extremely responsive and supportive and we will be forever grateful for their support in facilitating this important move for SBN.
Cambridge Trust Company, a long-term
member and supporter of Cambridge Local First (one of our officemates), donated a set of first class office furniture to get SBN and Cambridge Local First up and running right from the get-go. This elegant furniture has been a huge asset to SBN as it gives our office a professional and polished look and has allowed us to grow our in house capacities including the ability to host team meetings and events at our new office.
Gentle Giant Moving Company did the heavy lifting and moved this weighty furniture into our new office. As always, they were speedy, courteous and professional. We were amazed that they were able to maintain their cheery smiles as they moved hundreds of pounds of solid wood furniture-- and without a scratch at that!
If you're in the neighborhood drop by and say hello! Our office is on the ground floor right at the corner of Essex Street.
Interested in joining SBN's collaborative office space? We're seeking a 4th tenant to share our space! We have a large private work space with an attached private office available for rent beginning July 1. Contact Katrina Kazda at email@example.com; This opportunity won't last long!
SBN Member Spotlight: Gentle Giant Moving Company
Interview with Niles Kuronen
Marketing Specialist at Gentle Giant
Gentle Giant is an award winning Boston moving company built on more than 30 years of experience, offering high-quality local and national moving, storage, and packing services. Gentle Giant provided moving services for SBN's recent office move and we extremely impressed with their high quality service and support. Check them out for your next home or office move at: www.gentlegiant.com!
Tell us a bit about Gentle Giant:
Gentle Giant Moving Company was founded in 1980 by our president Larry O'Toole, a Northeastern University alum and rower. The company was started with a onetime $17 advertisement in the Boston Phoenix, and we have grown the business through word of mouth and repeat business ever since. Through the years we have relied on rowers and other college athletes to build the ranks of our company.
Our core values are built around the "Giant HEART":
- Above and Beyond
Why did you join the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts?
Gentle Giant joined the SBN in order to learn more about sustainability practices and to step up as a leader in our industry when it comes to the environment and the communities we serve.
Why do you feel sustainability is important to the company?
Gentle Giant has always strived to be a leader in the moving and storage industry, and our approach to sustainability is no different. The moving process puts a high demand on the use of paper and cardboard products and we are always working to further reduce our waste footprint as we grow our business.
Some of the initiatives we have undertaken to do so include:
- Reduce and reuse our moving boxes and packing supplies whenever possible
- Offer complimentary retrieval of used moving boxes and packing supplies
- Resell used boxes at discounted prices
- Collect all non-reusable moving boxes, which are then compacted and sent to a recycling center
- Recycle anywhere between 80,000 - 100,000 pounds of materials each year
- Provide moving boxes that are manufactured from 90% post-consumer recycled materials
- Use only biodegradable foam peanuts
- Use bubble wrap that is oxo-biodegradable, degrading into only water, carbon dioxide and less than 1% natural biomass
- Source the production of our moving boxes and packing materials from companies that participate in Sustainable Forestry Initiative programs
- Use FSC certified products for external marketing materials
- Being a Bike Friendly Business. In fact we are a "Bike Friendly Business" award winner from the City of Boston!
Are you moving and need a hand? Contact Gentle Giant for efficient, friendly and dependable service!
|SBN attends BALLE Conference 2013 in Buffalo, NY | Between June 11-14, SBN staffers Laury Hammel, Katrina Kazda and Taryn Johnson along with SBN Board Member Joe Grafton joined over 500 local and sustainable economy leaders from across the US and abroad at the 11th annual Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) conference held in Buffalo, NY.
Co-Founded by SBN's own Laury Hammel, BALLE is a growing North American alliance of nearly 80 fully autonomous local business networks (including SBN) across the country working to grow a local, green and fair economy for all.
Over the course of 3 days, Laury, Taryn, Katrina and Joe took part in a Feed Your Soul Urban Farming Tour a New Urban Buffalo Economy Tour, a Local Network Leaders Exchange; numerous informational workshops including: The New Community Ownership Revolution, Local First Grows Up: Localizing Procurement by Governments and Anchor Institutions, and Rethinking Investment for the New Economy; and share laughter and tears with fellow conference goers in the mornings Visioning Sessions aptly titled: From Ego-systems to Eco-systems and Better Together: The New Relationship Economy.
As with all BALLE conferences, each day was completed with a fun celebration featuring local music, art, food, drink, and time to be together, network and share. Unique to Buffalo, this year's events included an opening ceremony and party at the Silos- reclaimed grain silos which are now used as art and event space. Check out photos from our trip on Facebook
We already can't wait for next year's conference. Learn more and take part in the inspiration and fun: www.bealocalist.org
SBN's fifth B2B Networking Group Meeting was another success!
Hot topics for hot summer weather! Our monthly B2B Networking Group met last night in our new Central Square office to talk marketing strategies for sustainable businesses.
Over 20 attendees joined us for the fifth installment of our B2B Networking Group Meeting
at our new office in Central Square, Cambridge last night
! After an interactive networking session, the night featured a special presentation by marketing guru Myrna Greenfield, who shared her wisdom on How to Market your Sustainable Business.
Myrna explained, "Before you can market your company as a sustainable business, you must be able to simply and clearly describe who you are, what you do, and its connection to sustainability. Being clear, specific and transparent about which aspects of your business are sustainable can help differentiate you from competitors who are 'greenwashing.'"
Missed out on this meeting? Join us next month! Mark your calendar for our next B2B Networking Group Meeting on July 23rd! For more information contact Taryn Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Update! Boston Local Food Festival 2013|
We'd like to give a big "Thank You!" to our newest Festival sponsors: Edible Boston,
The Boston Foundation, and Interise!
We're excited to welcome Edible Boston, Boston's local foodie publication, as a sponsor again this year in 2013. Keep an eye out for our ads in their summer and fall issues-- and go pick up a copy today!
SBN is thrilled to once again welcome the Boston Foundation as a partner in the Boston Local Food Festival. Not only did this highly-respected community foundation help fund our Festival, but they're connecting SBN with other potential partners as we continue our work to bring Healthy Local Food for All!
We'd also like to welcome and thank our newest food festival sponsor Interise.
Interise stimulates economic revitalization in lower income communities by
providing a diverse group of small business owners with entrepreneurial education, new networks, and access to markets. Our community creates jobs, grows businesses, and develops community leaders.
A big thank you to all of our registered 2013 vendors. Vendor spots are limited this year, so if you have something local to share with New England and Boston, learn more about becoming a vendor here or connect with our vendor coordinator Jessica at email@example.com.
More details to follow in our Boston Local Food Newsletter. Not signed up for Boston Local Food updates? You can sign up here today.
SBN New & Returning Member Announcement
SBN's network is growing in leaps and bounds! A big welcome to our newest SBN Members:
developer based in Hopkinton, MA. They help customers assess, develop, and manage solar PV renewable energy systems and offer a complete solution to property owners. Solect takes pride in implementing a practical approach to each customer's solar potential and individual point of view.
Julia Shanks Food Consulting: Julia Shanks Food Consulting works with food-focused businesses to help them reach financial sustainability. JSFC believes that business owners should manage the numbers - plan, measure, and adapt - in order to maximize profitability and succeed. JSFC is also one of our new officemates. Stop in and say hello!
Welcome back to renewing SBN Members:
Energy Consumers Alliance of New England (Mass Energy): Mass Energy is a non-profit organization that has been working for over 30 years to make energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable through their Discount Heating Oil Network, Green Power Programs, energy efficiency services and community programs. Mass Energy's Green Power programs provide green electricity from local renewable sources to over 7,000 members.
Thank you all for your partnership and commitment to building a Massachusetts economy that is Local, Green and Fair!
Remember: Think Members First!
What better way to support the local economy and each other than to support SBN members who share your values and commitment to the principals of Local, Green and Fair. SBN is working on new programs to encourage and support greater B2B exchange within the network. Stay tuned for ways to get engaged!
A Big Welcome to SBN's New Program Coordinator!
During the last 2 weeks, our newest SBN team member Alex Barber has been working alongside SBLP/SCLP Program Associate Charlotte Meissner and SBLP Intern Mari Brunner to transition into his position as Program Coordinator for the Sustainable Business Leader Program.
Alex graduated from Skidmore College in May 2013 with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Environmental Studies. At Skidmore, Alex developed his passion for sustainability by working in the Sustainable Skidmore office and sitting on Student Government as the Sustainability Senator. In that role, Alex chaired the student Sustainability Committee and served as the student advocate on the Campus Sustainability Subcommittee.
The SBLP/SCLP team has multiple exciting leads this month for new participants and is eager to engage new members in our program. The team has met with multiple restaurants to be new program participants, and is close to securing the first architecture firm in program history. Along with new businesses in the process of enrolling, many graduated Sustainable Business Leaders have renewed their participation by starting the re-certification process of the SBLP and are well on their way to earning a second certification.
|Welcome to our newest Sustainable Business Leader Program Participant, Dedham Exchange!
SBN would like to welcome our newest SBLP participant: The Dedham Exchange, in Dedham, MA. The Dedham Exchange is a member of the National Federation of Woman's Exchanges, whose mission is to help women achieve economic stability through consignment and sale of high quality, handcrafted items. The Gift Shop sells beautiful hand crafted goods, most of which are made locally, as well as a variety of commercial gifts.
The shop is a nonprofit organization, giving 70% of the proceeds directly back to the artists, while other profits are donated to local organizations and schools. All this is made possible by a group of extraordinary women, who donate their time and expertise to the store.
Shopping at Dedham Exchange means giving back to the community! The SBLP/SCLP team is excited to work with the Dedham Exchange, and hopes to engage more businesses from this very likable and livable town located only 30 minutes from Boston and was named a "Green Community" in 2010.
Learn more at http://www.dedhamexchange.org/!
SBN OnTour: Deer Island Waste Treatment Plant
On June 18th, SBN went on tour to the MWRA's Deer Island Waste Treatment Plant. Deer Island is the second largest waste water treatment facility in the country! MWRA's sewage treatment system has undergone a nearly complete transformation under an 11-year, $3.8 billion Boston Harbor Project.
Our group (and the town of Winthrop) were very grateful for the pink odor control mechanisms!
MWRA Project/Program Manager Charles Tyler provided us with a thorough and informative tour of the whole facility.
The group learned the history of the facility and general waste water treatment technology, and what sets Deer Island apart from the rest. We learned a great deal about the enormity of Deer Island, and what is required in order to maintain such an impressive facility.
We couldn't have asked for better weather for our tour; SBN's OnTour of Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant was an absolute success!
Charlie Tyler guiding the group through the different systems at Deer Island
A special thank you to Deer Island Tour Coordinator Nadia Caines for organizing such a great group tour! If you missed this event, or would like to book your own tour, contact Nadia at Nadia.Caines@mwra.com
or call 617-660-7607.
SBN's Green Tip of the Month: The Buzz on Composting
Putting food on the table consumes 10% of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50% of U.S. land, and guzzles 80% of the freshwater used in the United States.
Yet shockingly, 40% of food in the United States today goes uneaten! According to the EPA, more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste (MSW). So, how can we help? This summer, be a part of the solution. Reduce food waste and start composting!
Composting is a natural process that recycles decomposed organic materials into a rich soil that can be used for gardening or agriculture. It diverts waste from the landfill, waterways, and water treatment facilities and reduces the burden on municipal waste and water services.
3 Reason why you should compost:
- Reduce waste: Yard and food waste make up roughly 30% of the waste stream. For more information on how to reduce your "foodprint," read this article by Elisabeth Comere.
- Slow climate change: Composting, in contrast to the anaerobic decay that occurs in landfills, is primarily an aerobic process that generates very little methane.
- Save money: Composting reduces trash collection fees and provides a cheaper alternative to commercial fertilizers and compost. The U.S. spends ~$1 billion a year to dispose of food waste!
DIY Composting Tips
Use this equation for a great compost pile:
Air + Water + Carbon + Nitrogen = COMPOST
Air: Without air, anaerobic microbes take over the pile and decompose more slowly, create higher GHG emissions, and tend smell like putrefying garbage! To aerate your compost, mix up materials that mat down very easily and turn over your compost occasionally so it is porous (i.e. fluffy).
Water: With too little water, composting will slow down significantly. With too much, anaerobic conditions may slow the composting process and cause odor problems. With just the right amount the compost should feel like a wrung-out sponge, with a thin layer of water covering every particle.
Carbon: The most common high-carbon ingredients are leaves, straw, and corn stalks. Sometimes people call these ingredients brown matter (or browns).
Nitrogen: Ingredients high in nitrogen include moist plant matter, such as leaves and vegetative kitchen scraps, or an animal by-product, such as manure and eggshells. These ingredients are called green matter (or greens).
C:N ratio: This should be 30:1. The rule of thumb is to mix one part green matter with two parts brown matter. See this guide for a list of what to compost (and what NOT to compost!).
Smart tip: If you want to compost in a small or indoor space, consider buying a small countertop
;around $30, with a charcoal filter to reduce odors indoors.
Don't have the time or space to compost? No problem! You can still do your part by signing up with Bootstrap Compost, Greater Boston's only year-round residential and commercial food scrap pickup service.