By: Jonathan Burgess, LEED AP ND, BD+C
Project Manager, The Spinnaker Group
An Open Letter to LEED Building Owners: “From Green Building to Green Eating”
Dear Sir or Madam,
Congratulations on your LEED certified green building! Your commitment to creating high-performance, healthy and environmentally responsible buildings is certainly much appreciated. On behalf of your employees and commercial tenants; thank you.
We appreciate our comfortable working conditions and the ability to adjust the lighting levels and temperature to suit our various needs. We love the ample natural daylight and direct views to the outside. Thank you for selecting paints, flooring, furniture and cleaning products that don’t smell up the place. We can work productively knowing our air is clean and free of toxins.
Thank you for your efforts in building efficient energy and water systems. We recognize that since you pass along these costs to us directly, you could have just gone with the less expensive first cost. But you didn’t; you realized that would be wasteful and would cost us more in the long run. For our part, we enjoy the lower utility bills so we’ll run our business in your building as long as we can.
Now it’s time to build on your commitment of creating productive, healthy work places– by engaging us (your building’s occupants) in healthier and more sustainable ways to eat.
One way to do that is by bringing organic , local, and/or seasonal foods to the premises. Here in South Florida we have seen a huge trend towards eating local and Organic produce. Organic CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), Farmers Markets, and Organic Prepared Food Delivery services are expanding rapidly to meet the market demand.
Innovations in the organic co-op business have allowed them to be viable at commercial buildings and large companies. Endlessly Organic, a Wholesale Organic buying club, pre-sorts and boxes organic produce to be delivered to over 40+ locations. Tenants pick up their boxes once every two weeks and enjoy them at home. They love the convenience and the community created around healthy eating. It fosters conversations amongst co-workers and people that may not know each other already.
Other buildings are bringing in Farmer’s Markets to feed the needs of busy office workers who are looking for both produce and healthy, fresh lunch options. Organic and vegan/vegetarian food trucks, like Veggie Xpress, are another way that building owners and managers are providing healthy options.
As reported by Cindy Goodman in the Miami Herald: “plenty of employers have hosted health fairs and launched wellness programs, only now are they focusing on workplace eating habits. Businesses are swapping out offerings in vending machines and rethinking meal choices in the company cafeteria. Some even have implemented policies that require healthier food options be served at staff meetings or employee events.” Click here to read more.
For those people who don’t cook, and want organic, diet specific food options, a delivery service like Deliver Lean or Fit 2 Go may be a solution. They deliver directly to your door, but you will pay a premium for the convenience.
There are many ways to engage your building occupants around being green. Eating local and organic produce is just another way to keep that going. Thank you for your continued interest in our health and our well-being.
Your LEED Building Occupants