New Video Series Highlights Lexington Green Businesses

At Bluegrass Greensource, we’re always looking for fun new ways to promote our LiveGreenLexington Partners. Our newest adventure takes us into the realm of video.  The recently-launched Green Stories series will take you on a tour of Lexington’s leading green businesses. Each episode will focus on one LiveGreenLexington partner, and we will be highlighting the things they do to be more sustainable.

Our goal is to show that any organization, no matter how large or small, can make a significant impact by making changes. We hope that this series will educate, inform, and inspire you to act in your own business or your home.

If you know of an organization doing a great job at being more sustainable, please let us know. We’d love to feature new ideas and new people.

We’ll be posting these every month or so on our News page, and on our new YouTube channel!

Our first episode focuses on local marketing and design firm Bullhorn Creative. Bullhorn has been a LiveGreenLexington partner since 2010. They are both recycling and energy partners, and this video gives a great intro to the work they have done in those arenas.

Coming up in our next episode, learn about the work the Lexington Public Library has done to make your library experience a more sustainable one!


Free Green Purchasing Workshop Offered for Lexington Businesses


When we work toward a more sustainable lifestyle, we spend a lot of time thinking about the things we should do (or not do): turn off the lights, recycle and compost, don’t leave the faucet running, don’t litter.  Equally important – but less discussed – is the impact of the things we buy.  In our consumer-driven society, the way we spend sends a major message to manufacturers; and we want that message to be, “I support sustainable, responsible practices.”

Every person can do their part to green the supply chain, but sustainable purchasing is even more important in the workplace, where major accounts and large quantities carry more weight with suppliers.  That’s why Bluegrass Greensource, LFUCG, and the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge are teaming up to offer a lunch-and-learn style Green Purchasing Workshop for Lexington professionals.  Attendees need only worry about the learning half of the equation; a catered lunch is on us.  The workshop will take place at the Barrel House (903 Manchester Street #150) on Tuesday, November 18th from 12-2pm.

Led by industry sustainability leader Office Depot, the Green Purchasing Workshop aims to provide Lexington’s business community with an overview of green purchasing past and present, its benefits (and yes, you will save money by going green), product samples from sustainable vendors, and tips to get your organization moving in the right direction.  The workshop is free and open to anyone representing a Lexington business, and is ideal for purchasing managers and green team members – but any and everyone can benefit from this great information, so don’t be shy!  If your organization purchases anything from office supplies to appliances to cleaners, this is the workshop for you.  To reserve your seat, register here.


Sustainability partner Office Depot to lead free Greensource green purchasing workshop


Those working toward a more sustainable lifestyle often spend time thinking about the things they should do or should not do such as turning off the lights, recycling, composting, making sure the faucet isn’t left running or picking up litter. What is equally important, and often not discussed, is the impact of things we buy.

In this consumer-driven society, the way we spend sends a major message to manufacturers and retail outlets. Bluegrass Greensource wants that message to be, “I support sustainable, responsible practices.”

To that end, BG and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government launched the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge and are now offering a free green purchasing workshop for Lexington professionals.

The lunch-and-learn event is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 12-2 p.m. at the Barrel House in Lexington. The Barrel House is located at 903 Manchester St. in Suite 150.

“Every person can do their part to green the supply chain, but sustainable purchasing is even more important in the workplace,” reads a BG news release, “where major accounts and large quantities carry more weight with suppliers.”

The workshop will be led by Office Depot, an “industry sustainability leader,” as identified by Greensource. The event is intended to give Lexington’s business community an overview of green purchasing past and present and its benefits, such as saving money. Product samples from sustainable vendors will be available, and there will be tips to get any organization “moving in the right direction.”

The free workshop is open to anyone representing a Lexington business, but is ideal, say organizers, for purchasing managers and green team members of businesses from office supplies to appliances to cleaners. To register, click here. For more information about Bluegrass Greensource, click here.

This article appeared in KY Forward on November 6, 2014.


Ready, set, go with the 2015 LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge

Lexington professionals, listen up: if you’re interested in becoming more sustainable, you love saving money on your utility bills, and you have a little bit of a competitive streak, this one’s for you! The 2015 LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge is now underway, and it’s anyone’s game to win.

The launch party is tonight, Oct. 2, at the Carnegie Center for Literacy in Lexington from 5-7 p.m. Join us to represent your business and find out more about the challenge. You’ll also have a chance to meet our partners, network with peers, register to compete if you haven’t already, and enjoy light refreshments.

The challenge is a sustainability competition for Lexington’s business community. It uses practical activities – from energy conservation to transportation, and everything in between – to help you set and achieve your sustainability goals and have a little fun while you do it.

Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re already as green as can be, the challenge has something to offer your business – it provides structure and direction, lets you brag on the things you’re already doing, and encourages you to keep improving all year long. And with more than 100 activities to choose from, it’s flexible enough to meet any organization’s needs and budget.

The challenge is free and available to any Lexington business or organization, and it comes with plenty of perks, thanks to support from Elite Partners Office Depot, Graybar, and Klausing Group.

Challenge participants can take advantage of free energy and lighting assessments, free landscaping assessments, free waste audits, and exclusive training opportunities on topics ranging from green purchasing to water quality best management practices.

Head over to to find out more about this great opportunity and register while you’re there. Competition runs through June 30, and registration is open until Feb. 1. If you sign up early, you’ve got more time to earn those points.

1 bethBeth Oleson is an outreach specialist for Bluegrass Greensource, working primarily with Lexington businesses to help build a more sustainable community. A Lexington native, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marine science and environmental studies from the University of South Carolina before returning home to the Bluegrass to pursue non-profit work. When she’s not busy with Greensource, Beth’s other passion is animal rescue and welfare.

This article appeared in KY Forward on October 3, 2014.


2014 LiveGreenLexington Games wraps up with awards ceremony on July 31st

Thanks to our dedicated LiveGreenLexington business partners, another successful round of the LiveGreenLexington Games is in the books!  Competition wrapped up on June 30th, with eighteen local businesses participating in this year’s green business challenge.

Special thanks to all of our 2014 participants:

3M Ceradyne
A Sense of Order
Cardinal Hill Hospital
CDP Engineers
Dismas Charities, Lexington
Dupree Catering + Events
Element Design
Good Foods Co-Op
Growing Together Preschool
Kentucky American Water
Lexington Habitat ReStore
Lexington Public Library
Richards Electric
Salon Asa, LLC
Town Branch Tree Experts, Inc.

But who’s the greenest of them all?  Swing by the awards ceremony and find out!

The 2014 LiveGreenLexington Games Awards Ceremony will be held at Blue Stallion Brewing, Thursday, July 31st, from 5-7pm.  In addition to recognizing overall and category winners, we’ll be awarding innovation, education, and stewardship accolades to businesses who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to become more sustainable (nominate a business here – nominations will be accepted through Monday, July 21st).  The awards ceremony is also a great opportunity to network with other sustainably-minded folks in the Lexington business community, and there’s no better way to share great ideas than over a cold, locally-brewed beer.

The awards ceremony is also your first chance to check out all of the exciting changes coming in the next round of competition, starting September 1st!  Lexington is one of only four cities nationwide selected to receive a generous grant from the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives for the purpose of expanding and improving our green business challenge.  Just a few of the new perks coming on September 1st include an activity-based format with more than 100 activities to choose from and complete; GreenPSF (Per Square Foot) software for managing utility data, monitoring challenge progress, keeping an eye on the leader board, and so much more; and expanded trainings, services, and educational resources for participating businesses and their staff.  Registration for the 2015 LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge officially opens at 5pm on July 31st – test out the software, register, or simply find out more while you enjoy the awards ceremony!  We’ll even start you off with 50 extra points if you register by August 31st.


Water Week Makes a Splash with Local Professionals

TBWWT Tour_1

Above: Water Week participants tour the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The first week of June was Water Week for LiveGreenLexington Partners and LiveGreenLexington Games participants, and it went swimmingly!  Representatives of Lexington businesses and organizations participated in events ranging from presentations to community service projects, all with one goal in mind: to raise awareness of water quality and conservation issues, and help our professional family get involved in making changes for the better.

Storm drain stenciling_1

Above: A newly stenciled storm drain on Walton Avenue.

Over the course of Water Week, 26 individuals representing 7 businesses and organizations came together to learn, converse, and take action on water quality and consumption issues at work, at home, and in the community.  An educational lunch and learn on June 3rd provided ideas, resources, and information on developing a more sustainable and water-friendly workplace.  On June 4th, we toured the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant for an eye-opening (and fragrant) behind-the-scenes look at how Lexington’s wastewater is treated.  At the end of the week, our focus shifted from wastewater to stormwater; intrepid volunteers picked up 77 pounds of trash and 12 pounds of recyclables that littered a local stream on June 5th, and stenciled more than a dozen storm drains on June 6th with an anti-littering message to remind their fellow citizens to keep our water clean.

Thanks and kudos to our LiveGreenLexington Partners and Greensource staff for making Water Week 2014 a success!  We had an educational and entertaining week, and we’re already hoping that Water Week 2015 will be even better.

If you represent a Fayette County business or organization that places value on sustainability, ask us about becoming a LiveGreenLexington Partner today!  You’ll join over 700 other Lexington organizations working toward a more sustainable future.


‘Is there really anything we can do about water?’ Yes – and then some!

Through our work with the city’s LiveGreenLexington Program – a program that recognizes and assists with the sustainability efforts of local businesses, places of worship and apartment complexes – I spend a lot of time talking to my fellow Lexingtonians about going green in the workplace. The one thing that always trips people up is water; from large offices to mom-and-pop shops, the most common response is, “Is there really anything we can do about that?”

The answer is yes – even small changes that might not seem like much can make a big impact on a business’ water consumption and the quality of the water supply we rely on! To share some ideas and insight, offer some inspiration, and get our business community involved in water quality and conservation, Bluegrass Greensource is hosting a series of events during the first week of June.

 (Photo provided)

Storm drain stenciling is one of Bluegrass Greensource’s Water Week activities.

Our Water Week schedule:

Tuesday, June 3: Lunch-and-Learn on Water
Quality and Conservation in the Workplace

12 – 1 p.m. in the Plantory (560 E. Third Street) Conference Room
Eliminate waste, reduce your water bill and help make Kentucky’s streams a little cleaner with these simple tips on water quality and conservation. We’ll focus on easy, practical fixes – indoors and out – to help your business use water more efficiently, even if your space is leased and you don’t have as much control over the big picture as you would like. Lunch from Stella’s Kentucky Deli and Magic Beans coffee are on us (bring your own mug if you have one). Please RSVP by 2 p.m. on Friday, May 30 so that we can ensure there’s a lunch waiting for you.

Wednesday, June 4: Tour of the Town
Branch Waste Water Treatment Plant

10 – 11 a.m. at the Town Branch Administrative Building (301 Lisle Industrial Avenue)
Where does the water you use wind up once it goes down the drain? Sixty percent of Lexington’s wastewater (up to 64 million gallons a day) runs through the Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how the water you use at home and at work is cleaned and treated before being discharged back into the water system.

Thursday, June 5: Stream Cleanupp
2-4 p.m. at the Park Hills Shopping Center (3120 Pimlico Parkway)
We don’t always think of litter as a water quality issue, but it is; nothing makes that more apparent than seeing just how much litter washes directly into streams through our storm sewer system. Help us clean up the stream behind the Bluegrass Greensource office in the Park Hills Shopping Center; we’ll provide gloves, bags and litter pickers. Be sure to wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes that you don’t mind getting wet (just in case…we won’t ask you to dive in). Sign-in runs from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Bluegrass Greensource office – stay as long as you like!

Friday, June 6: Storm Drain Stenciling
2-4 p.m. on National Avenue (Corner of National and Walton)
Storm drains carry pollutants and litter straight into our streams every time it rains, without filtration or cleaning. Remind your fellow Lexingtonians to respect our water by marking storm drains along National Avenue with the city’s “No Dumping – Drains to Stream” stencils. If you’ve always wanted to do a little graffiti for a good cause, this is your chance. Sign-in runs from 2-3:30 p.m. at the corner of National and Walton – stay as long as you like.

A free lunch, a behind-the-scenes tour, a 100 percent legal excuse to spray paint on the street…there’s a lot to love about Water Week. If you’re interested in representing your workplace at any of our Water Week events, all you need to do is email and let us know you’re coming. Water Week is designed for our LiveGreenLexington Partners, but these events are free and open to any Lexington business interested in becoming more sustainable (and saving a little money on water bills).

Beth Oleson is an Outreach Specialist with Bluegrass Greensource.

This article appeared in KY Forward on May 29, 2014.


Dive into Water Week with Live Green Lexington

UPDATE 5.28.14: 
Tuesday’s lunch and learn is filling up fast!  Please RSVP by 2:00pm on Friday, May 30th so that we can make sure you’ll have a lunch waiting for you.

Also, we would like to clarify that the stream clean-up on Thursday and the storm drain stenciling on Friday are rolling sign-in activities; come anytime between 2:00 and 3:30pm either day and stay as long as you like!  You are not obligated to participate for the full 2 hour period (although we’d be happy to have you if you did).

Grab your goggles, Live Green Lexington Partners, because we’re diving into Water Week on June 3rd!  The water stewardship season of this year’s Live Green Lexington Games runs through June 30th, so there’s still plenty of time to sign up and work on your scorecard; and if you’re getting a late start (or just really want that water stewardship award), Water Week is the perfect opportunity to earn a little extra credit.

Water Week 2014

Water quality and conservation issues are often overlooked in the workplace – especially for those of us who rent our offices and have little control over the big picture – but there are steps we can take to make a difference.  The goal of Water Week is to illuminate the many ways that we impact water quality and consumption, and the many ways we can make positive change without breaking the bank.

All of our Water Week activities are free and open to representatives of any Live Green Lexington partner business.  Email Beth for more info or to register for our Water Week activities, or to get involved in the Green Games…it’s not too late to sign up and take the Water Stewardship season by storm!