A program through Sustainable Kingston called The Green Economy Program is helping many Kingston businesses achieve their sustainability goals. Through the program, Sustainable Kingston provides the support and recognition businesses need to start measuring and reducing their carbon footprints. Members gain access to carbon footprinting services, sustainability coaching, and a host of other sustainability resources. I had an opportunity to visit two program members, Kingston’s Tri-Art Manufacturing and Tara Natural Foods.
Rudi, owner of Tara Natural Foods, showed me around his store on Princess Street and took me through the various initiatives he’s implemented to reduce the store’s carbon footprint. One of the most fascinating approaches is the way he manages the store’s temperature. He installed a system that re-circulates waste heat from his refrigeration units. This heat is stored and used as needed. In addition, he uses Energy Bee, an app that gives him the ability to manage temperatures from his mobile device. Not only has this helped Rudi with his sustainability goals, the amount he has saved heating the store is substantial. He also saves on energy by using his lights infrequently thanks to the installation of skylights. In addition to these initiatives, Tara Natural Foods is a zero-waste operation.
I also had the pleasure of touring Tri-Art’s manufacturing facility. This family-run art materials company makes their own labels and packaging. Instead of shipping bulky tubes and bottles from across the world, they instead use small beads which are blown to size in the facility. Within this process they recycle any unused waste material back into production. This in-house manufacturing model reduces inefficiencies in a multitude of ways. Tri-Art also has an elaborate waste-water recycling system. It takes a great deal of water for the production and clean-up of paint materials. Tri-Art recycles this grey water for the cleaning of equipment and conserves a great deal of water by doing so.
Tara Natural Foods and Tri-Art Manufacturing are among many members in Sustainable Kingston’s Green Economy Program. A look at these two local businesses shows how unique each organization is and how each one can employ various measures to reach their sustainability goals. Sustainable Kingston is a great resource, being experts in the multitude of supports available, to help our businesses reach their goals. I’m so glad to see so many of our local organizations leading the way to better our community and our world.
If you know of a fresh or innovative approach being taken by a community group, organization or business, I want to hear about it. Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram by following @MayorPaterson and the hashtag #MITour.