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Here at Lake Champlain Chocolates, we like to say that Vermont isn’t just a state, it’s a way of doing things.  However, this isn’t just a slogan about our gourmet chocolates, it’s actually true of Vermont in so many ways. 

It’s no secret Vermonters are known for being independent-thinkers, progressive and environmentally-conscious.   We’ve been called hippies, we’ve been called liberals, but the truth of the matter is, despite these nicknames, we’re pretty proud of the fact that we like to do things our own way.

This history of our progressiveness started early on, before we were even technically a state.  In 1777, Vermont was the first of the original colonies to abolish slavery.  We were also one of the first states to give women voting privileges.  Women voted in town meetings in Vermont in 1918 – two years before the 19th amendment was put in place nation-wide. 

In more recent history, did you know we were one of the first states to embrace the Container Deposit Legislation, encouraging the recycling of glass bottles starting in 1973?  To this day, Vermont recycles more than most states, and is one of the few to still offer bottle redemption for carbonated beverages.

We were also the very first state to organize a state-wide movement to clean up our land.  Green Up Day was started when a Burlington Free Press reporter had the idea to rally Vermont citizens together on one day, to help clean up from winter – garbage, runoff and other unsightly damages from months of ice, snow and wind.  70,000 (yes that’s correct – I didn’t add any extra zeros!) showed up on April 18th, 1970 to help beautify Vermont’s parks and road systems. 

This Saturday, May 7, will mark the 41st annual Green Up day here in Vermont.  Garbage bags are available at town halls, and thousands of citizens will comb parks and roadsides, picking up litter and getting the state ready for our glorious green season.  This is such a widely embraced tradition, I can guarantee some of my fellow LCC’ers will be making a proud showing in our local town’s events.


Keeping Vermont Clean and Green

Posted on April 28, 2009 12:12 PM by Meghan

 

Since 1970, the first Saturday in May means Green Up Day for Vermont.  Appropriately, Vermont was the first state in the country to designate a day dedicated to cleaning up the entire state. Green Up Day involves far more than just picking up trash along the roads, it means bringing people together of all ages and walks of life to take care of our state. 

Surrounded by natural beauty, Vermonters take a certain pride in the work they do and the way they live their lives.  And those of us who work at Lake Champlain Chocolates (LCC) are no exception.  Whether or not you are a “true Vermonter” (I think you have to have at least 5 generations preceding you), you cannot help but be proud and inspired by our magnificent state. 

LCC’s commitment to keeping our state clean and green can be seen (and tasted!) by taking note of all the local ingredients we use in our chocolates including maple syrup, honey, milk, butter, and heavy cream.  What may not be as obvious is what happens behind the scenes.  And this can be just as important as what goes into our chocolates.

LCC recently completed a new LEED Certified Distribution Center, just down the road from our factory and administrative offices. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.  To achieve this rating, this new building had to meet a number of criteria including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor air quality. 

Using an existing building that previously housed a bristle-brush maker, approximately 75% of the old building’s materials were re-used instead of being sent to the landfill.  Recycled materials were used to renovate the building and many materials were sourced within a 500 mile radius.  There are also bike racks, showers and changing rooms for the employees to encourage alternative modes of transportation to and from work.  The entire building has daylight/occupancy sensors using natural light with energy efficient skylights and windows to provide for a better working environment.  In some parts of the building with western exposure the lights almost rarely go on! 

Here are some quick energy facts about our building:
- 42% reduction in energy costs
- 69% savings in lighting electrical costs
- 40% savings in cooling electrical savings
- $35,000 annual savings in electrical & Natural gas costs
- 45% reduction in Peak Electrical Demand – this is very beneficial to Burlington Electrical Dept electrical system because controlling the peak helps keep rates stable for the city.
- Annual electrical saving is enough to provide 33 average Burlington homes with their annual electric needs.
- Installed energy-efficient measures will save nearly 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity over their lifetime.


Lake Champlain Chocolates is dedicated to maintaining and improving the Vermont way of life in every way that we can- from making the finest chocolates using all-natural, local  ingredients to providing a healthy, safe and comfortable work environment for our employees. 

In truth, everyday in Vermont is Green Up Day but this Saturday is also about bringing the community together. So whether you live in Vermont or not, be inspired....get involved....go Green Up!