Preschool Programs: We’ll Bring the Science to You!

Bluegrass Greensource is pleased to extend the LiveGreenLexington Program to reach preschools and childcare centers in Fayette County. At Greensource, we believe young children need to be given the chance to fall in love with the natural world before we ask them to save it.

Our programs for early childhood include the same overarching themes as school agers, such as water, waste reduction, and energy conservation, but weigh heavily on science investigations, observations and inquiry. Designing programs that act as in-classroom field trips, Greensource educators are eager to bring the wonders of science to early childhood education.

Here is what an early childhood teacher has to say about our programs:

“Our children became the “enforcers” at home about water use, what recycles, turning off switches and litter. Personally and professionally I think we have to teach them these habits early.” – Ann McKinley, Calvary MDO and Preschool

We are currently seeking additional preschools and childcare centers who would like to participate in our free programming. For more information, please view our program flyer.


LiveGreenLexington School Partners Recognized for Outstanding Efforts in Sustainability

Students from across Fayette County marked Earth Day 2015 by holding up each other’s green initiatives and successes, and dozens of schools received banners touting this year’s sustainability achievements. Forty-two public and private schools attended this year’s recognition ceremony.

The big highlight for Morton Middle was designation as a Kentucky Green & Healthy School. (Only two others in FCPS have reached this level – Henry Clay High in 2010 and Jessie Clark Middle in 2012.) Meanwhile, Bryan Station Middle celebrated its selection as a 2015 Green Ribbon School. (Others that have received this national honor were Wellington Elementary in 2014, Locust Trace AgriScience Center in 2013 and Rosa Parks Elementary in 2012.) Providence Montessori Middle School received recognition as Bluegrass Greensource’s volunteers of the year.

This year’s ceremony was held at the Kentucky Theatre where the students learned of LFUCGs green initiatives from Susan Plueger, director for the Division of Environmental Services.  Mayor Jim Gray congratulated teachers and students for their sustainability efforts.  The Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council shared their project committee work – noting that students from eight public and private high schools worked together to achieve their goals.

The council’s facilitator, senior Millie Ma of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, delivered an impassioned speech that inspired the crowd.   “Through the interconnected networks we have formed, we can make a difference. It is up to our generation to shift the trajectory and realign our priorities,” Millie said. “Our dedication to improving sustainability will undoubtedly translate into a life-long commitment. We aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow. We are the leaders of today, and we are the key to a better planet.”

Awards included congratulations from Live Green Lexington (LFUCG and Bluegrass Greensource) to its recycling, water and energy partner schools; kudos from FCPS for E=USE2 participants; nods from Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools and Kentucky NEED (National Energy Education Development project); and “Excellence in Water Education” prizes presented by Kentucky American Water. In a new twist on the latter, 10 schools submitted public service announcements on the value of quality water from river to tap, and four were selected to receive water bottle refilling stations: Cardinal Valley, Julius Marks and Wellington elementaries and SCAPA at Bluegrass.


Green Stories

We are excited to highlight the work of our LiveGreenLexington Partners through a new video series called Green Stories. These videos will feature a Lexington business who is participating in the LiveGreenLexington Partner Program and showcase their sustainability stories quarterly. The first business to be featured in the series is Bullhorn Creative. In this video Brad Flowers gives us a tour of their building while discussing the benefits of their employee bike program, their volunteer work with Seedleaf, and office composting. The next partner to be featured is the Lexington Public Library, so stay tuned to see the exciting changes their green team is making. If you would like to have your business showcased on Green Stories, please contact Schuyler Warren at


2015 Green Business Challenge: Registration Walkthrough

Need help enrolling in the 2015 Challenge?  We’ve got you covered.  If you need additional assistance, or are encountering an errors with the Challenge website or registration process, contact us and we’ll do our best to get it worked out.

Jump To:

Create an account with GreenPSF
Property or Space?
Add your business to the GreenPSF database
Enroll in the Challenge
Navigate the activities index

1. Head to the Challenge page: Feel free to browse; when you’re ready to create an account, the link is in the upper right corner.

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2. Select “Property User” to compete in the Challenge; if your business is a contractor or other service provider you may wish to enroll as a “Solutions Provider” with GreenPSF at a later date.

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3.  Enter general information to create your account; ideally, the contact person listed should be someone actively involved in your business’s sustainability initiatives.

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4.  Select either property or space: If your business owns its facility/space, select property; if you rent your facility/space, select space.  The activity tracks for owners and renters are slightly different.

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5.  Your property (or property and space) will need to be in the GreenPSF database in order to compete.  Try searching for your address first; it may already exist in the database.  If not, click “Add New Property & Space.”

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6.  Fill in all relevant information for your property, or for your property and space if you rent – see below.  Renters: Property information refers to the building in which you are located (in this example, a shopping center called “Fictional Plaza”), and space information refers to the space specific to your business (“Suite 555”).  Add a photo of your business if you like, then click “Save & Continue.”

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7.  Once your property/space is added, you have two options: Complete your profile, or go to the Dashboard.  To enroll in the Challenge, click “Go to the Dashboard.”  If you opt to complete your profile, GreenPSF will walk you through a series of questions about your property/space; you can finish this all at once, complete it partially and come back at a later date, or skip it entirely.  It will remain an option throughout the Challenge.

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8.  Welcome to your GreenPSF dashboard!  From here, you can access your space/property profile, view financial incentives, sync your Portfolio Manager account, see suggested ways to save, and get to the Green Business Challenge.  You can add multiple spaces and/or properties to the same account if you so desire; each space or property can compete in the Challenge independently.  But to do that, you’ll need to enroll in the Challenge.

Click “Challenges” on the left side menu bar.

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9.  You should see both the DC Smarter Business Challenge (a national competition) and the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge.  Click “Join the Challenge.”

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10.  Congratulations!  You are now enrolled in the Challenge.  Click “Get More Points” to access the activities index and start racking up points!  You will be able to view full activity details and begin completing activities on October 1, 2014.  From this page, you can also view the leaderboard and see where your business stands.

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11.  The activities index is sortable by category (drop down menu on the upper right), or by status (open vs. completed).

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That’s it!  You’re registered with GreenPSF, enrolled in the Challenge, and ready to compete.  Get your green on, Lexington!


Does your business measure up? Find out with Green Business challenge

Being sustainable at home? Piece of cake. Being sustainable at work? A little tougher.

When your coworkers are all using energy, running water, printing documents, commuting to work and using (or not using) the recycling bins, it’s easy for your workplace’s environmental footprint to get big in a hurry. That’s where the LiveGreenLexington Green Business Challenge comes in: it’s designed to help Lexington’s business community be a sustainable one.

Since 2011, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and Bluegrass Greensource have teamed up to host an annual, friendly competition for Lexington businesses, formerly known as the LiveGreenLexington Games. This year, Lexington has the distinction of being one of only four cities nationwide to receive grant funding from the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives to expand and improve that competition.
And expand and improve it we have.

The challenge is designed to engage participants from start to finish, keeping them actively improving their energy and water efficiency and reducing their waste production throughout the nine-month competition. Participants complete activities to earn points and move up the leader board.

With more than 100 activities to choose from, from “Form a green team” to “Earn LEED certification for your facility,” there are opportunities for any organization of any size to compete. We know sustainability for sustainability’s sake isn’t every company’s cup of tea; but even if going green isn’t a top priority in your workplace, the challenge is still a great opportunity to save some green – those shrinking utility bills look pretty good from where we’re standing.

Challenge participants don’t have to walk the road to sustainability alone. With the support of partner organizations Green Per Square Foot, Office Depot, and Graybar, the 2015 challenge offers more trainings, workshops, and services than ever before. The challenge is all online and powered by Green Per Square Foot, which also helps businesses track their energy consumption, bid out facility improvement projects, and find financial incentives. Energy and lighting assessments, waste audits, and much more will be available free of charge during the challenge period. Additionally, nearly all activities come with a host of resources to help participants achieve their goals.

Want to take the challenge? Here’s what you need to know:

‣ Any Lexington business or organization can compete – not just LiveGreenLexington Partners, as in the past (although we hope you’ll become a partner if you decide to compete).
‣ It’s free! Just go to to sign up and get started.
‣ Registration is open now. Sign up before Oct. 1 and start off the challenge with 50 bonus points for being an early-bird.
‣ Competition runs from Oct. 1 through June 30, 2014, with an awards ceremony in July 2015.
‣ The challenge is whatever you want it to be: you choose which activities to pursue, you work on your own timeline, you tailor it to fit your business and your needs.

Whether you’re ready to drop everything and sign up now, or you want to find out a little bit more about the challenge, join us on Oct. 2 from 5-7 p.m. at the Carnegie Center in downtown Lexington and represent your workplace at the official 2015 Green Business Challenge launch. We’ll be kicking off the challenge in style – and there will be plenty of time to network and share ideas with your peers. It’s a friendly competition, after all.

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Beth 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 August 21, 2014.


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.

3M Ceradyne - overall winner

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


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

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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.

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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.


Tired of Tenants Leaving Furniture on the Street after Move-Out?

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Unwanted furniture and home items often find their way to the curb when apartment tenants move out. Unless otherwise collected, these materials create an eyesore and typically end up in landfills.  The Greater Lexington Apartment Association’s Green Committee has partnered again this year with Bluegrass Greensource, LFUCG, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Hippo Crate, and God’s Pantry to develop Move-Out-Madness.  The goal is to collect gently-used items left behind by tenants and make it possible for them to find new homes.

How does Move-Out-Madness work?  Hippo Crate has donated storage crates to be placed at two Lexington apartment communities – Newtown Crossing and Campus Court at Red Mile.  The crates will be placed at each property for one week during their busiest move-out times this summer, allowing tenants to place their unwanted furniture and items inside.  Habitat for Humanity ReStore will pick up the furniture and home items from the crates while God’s Pantry will collect non-perishable food items.  Tenants will be encouraged to take unwanted clothing items to Goodwill, the Hope Center, or Salvation Army.

How can I get involved?  Deliver gently-used, unwanted items to the Hippo Crate at Campus Court at Red Mile from July 16 to July 23, or to Newtown Crossing from July 26 to August 2.  Please contact Lisa Conley with questions or to get your property involved:  or 266-1572, ext. 237.


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

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

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