Healthy World Sedona advances to Advocate/Gold Sustainable Business Certification

michael-greger-vegfest-2020Healthy World Sedona is the first organization to achieve Advocate/Gold level in the updated version of the Sustainable Business Certification, upgrading from their previous Conservationist/Bronze status earned in 2016 with the original criteria.

HWS promotes a plant-based lifestyle to improve human health, reduce environmental impacts, and protect animal welfare. For the past four years, they have hosted the annual VegFest event as well as the Health and Nutrition conference for medical professionals, drawing national audiences. Due to the pandemic, HWS will postpone the next VegFest until January 2022, but will continue with the 2021 Health and Nutrition conference on January 29 as planned, shifting to a virtual format. Interested learners can always check out the HWS website which is filled with videos from all of the conferences, cooking demos, and other resources.

cordon-bleu-chef-jason-wyrick-vegfest-2020HWS was one of the first Sedona organizations to use the Sustainability Alliance’s Zero Waste Event tools for their offerings. In 2020, VegFest achieved a 91 percent waste diversion rate, meeting the international standards of ‘zero waste.’ They improved upon their previous year’s 80+ percent diversion rate by coaching vendors and cooking staff, and training volunteers. They also banned single-use plastic water bottles.

don-fries-bev-bowFounders Don Fries and Bev Bow run the organization out of their custom-built home which they designed for energy efficiency. “It’s close to a ‘net zero energy’ home,” Fries explains. It’s oriented for passive solar gain while roof overhangs protect the interior from late-spring and summer sun. They installed double-pane windows with a .33 U-value, LED lighting, a geothermal HVAC system, and energy efficient appliances. Hot water is pre-heated in an 80-gallon SunEarth solar system. Grid-connected solar panels with a battery backup provide almost all the energy they need for their all-electric home. They also run their Tesla on solar energy generated from the panels. (Learn more about their house in the March 2020 architectural publication, “Build With Rise.”)

Fries and Bow are particularly proud about the impact their followers have on the planet. Each day, a person who adopts a compassionate, plant-based diet will reduce their greenhouse gases by 20 lbs. of CO2 equivalents, save 30 sq. ft. of forested land, and reduce their water use dramatically. “People living a whole food plant-based lifestyle typically save 1100 gallons per person per day,” Fries explains. Imagine wasting 14 bathtubs of water per day, just to eat meat and dairy.  See who else is certified.

Article provided by Darcy Hitchcock.