Celebrate Earth Day at the 2014-15 LGL School Partner Recognition Ceremony

Please join us as we recognize Fayette County schools for their efforts in sustainability.  Schools will be recognized for outstanding efforts in waste reduction, water quality and conservation, and energy conservation.

Over 80 public and private schools will be recognized this year.

Educators are encouraged to bring students that have had an impact on their school’s sustainability.

Please RSVP (school name, number of people attending) with Pattie Stivender, pattie@bggreensource.org.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
5:00 – 6:30 PM
The Kentucky Theater
214 East Main St. Lexington


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 LexGreenBizChallenge.com 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.


Take the Challenge: Competition Opens October 1

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Lexington’s business community is invited to participate in a new-and-improved sustainability competition starting October 1: the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge!  Formerly the LiveGreenLexington Games, the Challenge offers a structured – and fun – way for Lexington businesses to earn recognition for their sustainability initiatives, set and work toward efficiency goals, and take advantage of a broad range of trainings, resources, and services along the way.  Whether your business is already one of Lexington’s sustainability leaders, or you’re just getting started, the Challenge has something for you.

One of the big changes coming in this year’s Challenge is its new format: competition is activity-based, and all online at LexGreenBizChallenge.com.  Powered by Green Per Square Foot, the Challenge website is more than just a way to earn points; GreenPSF also assists businesses in tracking their utility usage, finding financial incentives, and locating outside resources to help make their sustainability goals a reality.

Another exciting perk for 2015 Challenge participants is the opportunity to take advantage of exclusive resources and services, thanks to support from partner organizations Office Depot, Graybar, Klausing Group, and Bluegrass Greensource.  Office Depot will be offering a workshop on green purchasing; Graybar is offering comprehensive lighting and energy assessments; Klausing Group is offering consultation on green landscaping; and Bluegrass Greensource is offering waste audits, staff training, and printed materials.  The best part?  It’s all free for Challenge participants.  Even if you’re not in it to win it, you don’t want to miss out on these great events and services.

Lexington’s business community is diverse – from mom-and-pop to large-scale industrial operations – but the Challenge is flexible enough to work for any organization of any size.  The 9-month competition period running from October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 allows participants plenty of time to complete activities on their own schedule.  Participants can peruse over 100 activities, and choose the ones that suit their needs – as many or as few as they prefer.  And if your business is already green, never fear: many of the activities can be completed retroactively, so you’ll get credit for the things you’re already doing.

Registration is open now at LexGreenBizChallenge.com.  Sign up before competition opens on October 1 and you’ll hit the ground running with 50 points from the Earlybird Bonus activity!  Any and all Lexington businesses and organizations are welcome to compete.

Whether you’ve already signed up or just want to learn more, please join LFUCG and Bluegrass Greensource as we launch the 2015 Challenge on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 5-7pm at the Carnegie Center.  The launch will feature a welcome from the city, words of wisdom and inspiration from Challenge partners Office Depot, Graybar, and Klausing Group, Challenge Q&A, registration stations, and plenty of time to network with your peers – it’s a friendly competition, after all!

Register Now!

Questions?  Contact program administrator Beth Oleson.


Congratulations to the 2014 LiveGreenLexington Games winners

In an awards ceremony held on July 31st, the winners of the 2014 LiveGreenLexington Games were recognized by Bluegrass Greensource, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and their peers.  Since 2011, the Games have challenged Lexington businesses to see how green they can go; our 2014 competitors did just that, and we’re excited to share some of their accomplishments with you.

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Overall Winner: 3M Ceradyne

3M Ceradyne earned the most points across all three categories – Energy Conservation, Waste Reduction, and Water Stewardship – making them the overall winner of the 2014 Games.  Their active Green Team keeps up with sustainability initiatives indoors and out; Ceradyne maintains a robust recycling program that extends beyond regular city pick-up, composts yard waste and uses biodegradable packing materials, and takes extra steps to ensure that their facility is energy efficient year-round.  Keep up the good work!

Energy Conservation Winner: Good Foods Co-op

Good Foods takes energy efficiency seriously, and their energy team is always busy looking for new ways to conserve!  Their building and appliances are Energy Star certified, and lighting controls in the café and market help them go dark when spaces aren’t in use.  And the Good Foods staff members do their part, too; everyone works together to make sure lights are off and equipment is shut down when not in use.

Waste Reduction Winner: Dupree Catering + Events

Dupree has made waste reduction an important part of the way they do business and their dedication has really paid off.  They have reduced their landfill-bound waste stream by 85% through a combination of composting, recycling, and use of compostable flatware, and they keep those numbers up by incorporating their green initiatives into the training of every new employee.

Water Stewardship Winner: Kentucky American Water

Kentucky American doesn’t just provide clean water to the city; they do their part to conserve and protect it, too!  Their low-flow fixtures and responsible landscaping practices keep their water consumption low, and by reducing chemical use and educating both their staff and the public on storm drain and litter issues, they’re making a positive impact on water quality as well.

Stewardship Accolade: Bullhorn Creative

Bullhorn’s impressive résumé of sustainability initiatives benefit both their staff and their community.  They compost with Seedleaf, provide bicycles for employees to ride to work, and dedicate their time and effort to partnering with other like-minded organizations to make an impact on the community at large.  100% of Bullhorn employees participated in the 2014 Downtown Trash Bash; they spend time every month working in a Seedleaf community garden; and they’re currently working with NoLi CDC on a grant that implements urban forestry and runoff abatement projects to improve storm water quality.

Education Accolade: Employment Solutions

Employment Solutions trains and educates adults with developmental disabilities to prepare them for the workforce – and they go above and beyond the call of duty to teach the value of growing and preparing food and cutting wasteful habits.  Employment Solutions staff and students have turned what was once a parking lot into a vibrant and productive garden; every individual learns to plant, tend, and harvest, and prepare their own produce and flowers, as well as care for chickens.  They have also eliminated disposable dishware from their kitchens and compost all of their food scraps to help nourish their garden.

Innovation Accolade: Bluegrass Technology Center

Bluegrass Technology Center’s Assistive Technology ReUse Program keeps waste out of the landfill by redistributing medical and technological devices that would otherwise be discarded.  BTC refurbishes computers, home medical equipment, and assistive devices for individuals with vision, hearing, mobility, and learning challenges; they then supply those items to individuals in need.

Special thanks to Blue Stallion Brewing – another one of our LiveGreenLexington Partners – for hosting the 2014 Games Awards Ceremony; and special thanks to all of our 2014 Games participants for your commitment to a more sustainable Lexington!  We hope you’ll all be back for another round of friendly competition in the 2015 LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge, launching soon.  To find out more about what’s new this year and how your workplace can get involved, go to www.LexGreenBizChallenge.com.


Volunteers Needed for Kentucky River Clean Sweep

Interested in spending a day on the Kentucky River and improving our environment? You can do both by volunteering for the annual Kentucky River Clean Sweep on Saturday, June 21.

While few of us Lexingtonians see the Kentucky River on a daily basis, 12 miles of it runs through our community and is our drinking water source. This small section of the Kentucky River that touches Fayette County is a tributary of the Ohio River, making it part of the 3000 mile long, multi-state Ohio River Cleanup that runs from Pennsylvania to Illinois.


For the last 25 years, volunteers have cleaned thousands of tons of trash from the river. You can be part of this effort by volunteering on June 21.

The Kentucky River Clean Sweep begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Clays Ferry Dock off Highway 25 (Old Richmond Road), under the I-75 overpass. Volunteers should wear sunscreen, close-toed shoes and clothes that can get muddy. All volunteers will receive lunch and our gratitude.

All volunteers can register online at www.riversweep2014.eventbrite.com.

It’s hard work, but it’s worth it to keep our water clean!


Over 60 Lexington Schools Recognized for Sustainability Efforts

Bluegrass Greensource joined forces with the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools, and the National Energy Education Development project (NEED) to award Fayette County Schools for their participation as LiveGreenLexington School Partners and to honor their commitment to other sustainability programs.  Over 60 schools received awards for their efforts in recycling, water quality improvement, and energy conservation.

The keynote address was delivered by musician Ben Sollee, a native of Lexington and a graduate of Lafayette High School.  Mr. Sollee is known not only for his innovative playing style, but also for his environmental endeavors.  Ben often travels to his performances by bicycle, therefore reducing his carbon footprint by not using an automobile.  His address was an interesting mixture of speech and music.

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Above: Ben Sollee

Susan Plueger, Director of the LFUCG Division of Environmental Policy, also addressed the students.  She summed up the goal of the LiveGreenLexington School Partners program with the comment “It’s all about taking responsibility to do the right thing. We have to teach each upcoming generation how to take care of our land, air, and water.”

In addition to schools, student groups were recognized for their outstanding commitments to sustainability.  Montessori Middle School of Kentucky was recognized for its volunteer efforts –  students Asha Ari, Cece Banks, and Nell Adkins volunteered monthly for Bluegrass Greensource performing tasks such as testing water quality, organizing books, and stuffing folders.


Above: Montessori Middle School Volunteers of the Year

The Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council was recognized for Outstanding Environmental Stewardship.   Council members placed recycling receptacles at high school stadiums, painted eco-art on storm drains to raise awareness, and conducted energy audits in schools.  They also planned and organized the Earth Day Celebration which included the sustainability fair and the award ceremony.  The sustainability fair, held before the award ceremony, included local vendors and community organization booths with information about green efforts in Fayette County.  Good Foods Market and Café provided guests with locally grown and produced refreshments.


Above: Marie Armbruster of the BYSC

Click here for more photos from the event.


It's Not Easy Being Green – We're Here to Help!

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The 5th annual Go Green, Save Green Workshop, sponsored by LFUCG, is scheduled for March 20, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the BCTC Newtown Campus (500 Newtown Pike). This one-day workshop will educate businesses of all types and sizes on practices that are both environmentally friendly and money-saving.

This workshop is a fantastic opportunity to network with sustainability professionals and learn more about the steps that businesses can take to save energy, improve water quality, and reduce waste, all while reducing your costs!


Whether you’re just getting started implementing eco-friendly practices at your business or you’re a seasoned sustainability professional, there are sessions to fit your needs. This year’s workshop offers specialized tracks for various types of businesses including industrial-sized businesses, bars and restaurants, apartment complexes, and religious institutions.

This year, we have partnered with the Kentucky U.S. Green Building Council to expand our offerings, including a session that will provide continuing education credit for LEED professionals. Sessions on energy efficient thermal comfort, grants for developing brownfields, water incentive grants, low impact development, and net-zero building will offer much to consider for businesses looking to ‘go green.’

Homeowners as well as businesses will benefit from learning about current recycling efforts in Lexington, the ins and outs of composting, and water quality issues. There will also be a presentation from the builder of Kentucky’s first net-zero energy home.

The cost to attend is $25 (general attendee), $15 (student attendee), or $50 (vendor). On-site general registration on the day of the event will cost $40. The registration fee covers admission to all sessions, a zero-waste breakfast and catered lunch, a tour of the LEED Certified BCTC Newtown Campus, chances to win door prizes (including a Haiku Fan from Big Ass Fans), and a drink ticket for happy hour. Happy Hour and networking will take place at Blue Stallion Brewing Company after the sessions. Parking is free and conveniently accessible.

To register, please visit ggsg.eventbrite.com by March 18th. Registration after that date cannot be guaranteed to include lunch.