Three years ago, Larry Lile became his own boss. He started a consulting group that does energy audits of businesses and helps plan sustainable buildings.
His favorite part is the short walk to work: “I have about a 15-step walk to the office.”
But Lile also finds purpose in his work. Energy decisions, he said, are some of the most important issues we as a culture are making. He is dedicated helping businesses see that sustainable decisions are not only more ethical, but also economical. His personal life is proof of that.
This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production.
Retailers and restaurants like Whole Foods, Chipotle, Safeway, McDonald's and Wal-Mart are all providing information to consumers about how sustainably some of their foods were produced. But as I found doing this story, it's hard to know just what "sustainability" means and how to judge whether food was produced in a "sustainable" way.
Consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for foods they believe were sustainably produced, like free-range chicken, fair-trade coffee and pesticide-free wine. But what does “sustainable” actually mean?
Inside a high tunnel at Berry Patch farm near Nevada, Iowa, strawberry baskets hang overhead and tomato plants stand tall already laden with fruit. Farm manager Lee Matteson picks several zucchini. Then, he stands there, holding the fresh squash while Will Weber, a sophomore environmental science student from Ames High School, takes a series of photographs. Beside Weber, and holding another impressive-looking camera, Douglas Gayeton also takes pictures—and issues advice and suggestions to Weber.
This week: The front man for the band Guster leads a discussion on sustainability at MU, DESE is trying to become exempt from No Child Left Behind, and a new scholarship is available for students statewide.