Do Your Homework

The title of this post comes from idea number 48 in the book The Third Teacher. It’s in the chapter called Sustainable Schools.

In order to teach and promote sustainability, it’s important to learn a little bit about the topic – and as I’ve mentioned before (here), it’s not so easy being green. What is easy for me though, is to eat and today I walked to a new eatery for lunch called Homegrown. Here’s the sandwich shop’s ‘theory’:

Our goal at Homegrown is not only to create sandwiches out of sustainable ingredients but also to make sandwich creation sustainable itself.

This goes beyond using fresh, sustainable ingredients in our gourmet sandwiches, salads and soups. Homegrown strives for sustainability as a local business through the green materials we print and serve on, to our rejection of bottled water, to our 100% compostable and recyclable product.

We consider our environmental impact for every ingredient choice, often between two competing theories: eating organic and eating local.

We take the best from both worlds to create our sustainable sandwiches. We like to call this sandwich environmentalism. Enjoy.

Well, the pictures below are the sandwich I had for lunch and the menu board of Homegrown. I think I’m going to like this trend of local and sustainable. I also have to say that this was probably one of the best sandwiches I’ve had. It’s located in the new Melrose Market just minutes from Downtown Seattle in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The space also includes a local butcher, cheese monger, and an organic flower and produce shop. All of these focusing on local and sustainable products. Even the building it is housed in (formerly 2 auto shops built in 1919 and 1925) were preserved.

After heading downtown, I decided to try the fairly new South Lake Union Streetcar. It’s a 1.3 mile streetcar line connecting downtown Seattle to the SouthLake Union area and would get me about half way home. What could be more sustainable than supporting local transit? I thought.

Well when I got to the station, the sign reported that the streetcar would arrive in 12 minutes. I decided to walk. Well, I actually arrived on foot at the same time the streetcar did at its terminus. At a cost of over $50 million, and almost no one riding it, I wonder how sustainable the streetcar really is. Nonetheless, Seattle has agreed to add another streetcar line by 2013. I still don’t see how smaller, more energy efficient/electric buses with fewer stops that ran more frequently wouldn’t be cheaper, scalable, and more sustainable. Oh well, still a lot of homework to do.


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