Atlanta Intown - Corner Commitment

Va-Hi businesses create ‘carbon neutral zone’

Global climate change is one of the most daunting challenges of the 21st century, and the recent growth and popularity of American eco-consciousness has created a new sense of urgency to address this problem. The green movement took a significant step forward as the first "carbon neutral zone" in the United States was unveiled in November peter dye in the Virginia Highland retail community, known as The Corner-Virginia Highland, effectively offset its residual greenhouse gas emissions usingan innovative collective

Signage designating The Corner Virginia Highland as a neighborhood. By purchasing carbon offsets, an entire carbon neutral zone was unveiled in a ceremony on Nov. 14.

approach that the creators hope will set the standard for other communities in the United States. The zone was initiated by Verus Carbon Neutral, and spearheaded by Antje Kingma, founder of Eco-Bella. "Many of us have taken steps to run environmentally friendly companies for years," said Ms. Kingma. "This zone gave us all a chance to come together for our community."

Verus Carbon Neutral specializes in auditing individual and corporate footprints and providing carbon offsets from the highly acclaimed Chicago Climate Exchange. Sponsored by the Meddin Company, each of the 18 businesses located at The Corner submitted to a carbon footprint audit. Verus Carbon Neutral completed all audits and calculated the metric tons of carbon emissions that needed to be offset. The local shop owners then volunteered to purchase the required offsets to create this first of its kind carbon neutral zone. The participating shops will have signage in their windows signifying their participation the project. "Climate change is the number one issue of our time, and it is critical for our leaders to be committed to addressing these issues on a local level, and to lead by example," said Mandy Schmitt, director of sustainability for the City of Atlanta. The offset provider for each retailer at The Corner-Virginia Highland is Valley Wood Inc, a sustainable forestry manager, and 100 percent of offset profits are donated to the Humane Society and other charitable organizations. The 18 businesses that are part of the zone are : Bella Cucina, dabberdoo, Dakota J’s, Eco-Bella, Everybody’s Pizza, Fontaine’s Oyster House, Half Moon OutשּׁĀtters, The Highland Tap, La Tavola Trattoria, Lulu Blue, M/3, Mitzi & Romano’s, Mitzi’s Shoebox, Nadine’s Triple Crown, Noche, Paper Source, South of Market and Wired & Fired Studio.

-published by Atlanta INtown Paper

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