Buy Local!

shop local

Some of you may already be familiar with Rely on Renton and their buy local campaign. Well, Sustainable Renton is now selling the Local Rewards card. If you are not familiar with the program, here’s how it works: (taken from the Rely on Renton site) Local businesses want to reward you for your loyalty and support by offering you special deals on everything from your daily coffee to a new roof for your house. These rewards can save you a few cents on a car cash or a few hundred dollars on car repair. And, the best news is – the cards are valid for one full year! Businesses will post their ever-changing “Rewards” right on the Rely on Renton site. Or you can use the cool mobile app to access them on the go! All you need to do is show your own Local Rewards card to the vendor in order to receive their special reward.

You can purchase a Local Rewards card for the nominal price of $15. This card will provide you excellent savings on a great variety of products and services. It’s up to you how quickly this card pays for itself determined by how loyal of a local customer you already are or hopefully will become. You can buy this card in two different ways, 1) you can go to the Rely on Renton website ( and purchase a card there. During checkout you will be asked which non-profit you would like to donate the proceeds to and you will check Sustainable Renton and then Rely On Renton will make sure that our organization receives the funds. It’s as easy as that. Or you can order one from us by contacting us at and we will send you a card.

Not only can you support Rely on Renton and our local business owners, you can also support some really great non-profit organizations in the process. So, get your card today and buy local to start the savings!

2014 Master Recycler/Composter (MRC) Training Announced



I just spoke with Kim Ducote. She is asking Sustainable Renton to spread the word about an upcoming program being offered through King County offering FREE training for folks who are interested in Recycling and Composting. See the information below:

Spread the word about 2014 Master Recycler Composter program

 Did you know half of what goes to Cedar Hills Regional Landfill could be recycled? We are looking for outgoing individuals who want to inspire others to reduce waste and recycle more. King County Solid Waste Division invites you and your community to upcoming Master Recycler Composter (MRC) training.  Learn all about the do’s and don’ts of curbside recycling, including food scrap recycling, and then put your training to work through volunteer outreach. This is a train-the-trainer program with a community service component.  Applications will be accepted through April 30th. The program is open to King County residents outside of the cities of Seattle and Milton only. The training will be in Kent, Saturdays May 3rd and 10th, with an optional field trip on May 17th. This FREE training is open to King County residents outside of the cities of Seattle and Milton only. For more information, see




Sustainable Renton Meaningful Movies Presents “Feeding Frenzy”


Every day we are bombarded by marketing, and our diet is one of the main targets. We are flooded with messages trying to get us to consume more fast food, sugar, potato chips, soda, and anything else the industry can come up with. On Friday night at 7PM, Meaningful Movies takes a look at the food industry and its marketing practices with the film “Feeding Frenzy: The Food Industry, Marketing & the Creation of a Health Crisis”.

Here’s a synopsis from the film maker:

“Over the past three decades, obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled for children and tripled for adolescents — and a startling 70% of adults are now obese or overweight. The result has been a widening epidemic of obesity-related health problems, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. While discussions about this spiraling health crisis have tended to focus on the need for more exercise and individual responsibility, Feeding Frenzy trains its focus squarely on the responsibility of the processed food industry and the outmoded government policies it benefits from. It lays bare how taxpayer subsidies designed to feed hungry Americans during the Great Depression have enabled the food industry to flood the market with a rising tide of cheap, addictive, high calorie food products, and offers an engrossing look at the tactics of the multibillion-dollar marketing machine charged with making sure that every one of those surplus calories is consumed.”

The film features industry analysts, health experts, and advertising scholars, including Marion Nestle, Kelly Brownell, Sut Jhally, Brian Wansink, and Michele Simon.

The film has received critical praise. Here’s a sampling:

 “Joining Supersize Me and King Corn as one of the decade’s very best food documentaries, Feeding Frenzy covers important and, as of yet, unchartered territory as it turns a keen and critical eye on the marketing practices of the food industry. A must-see!”

– Justin Lewis | Head of the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media, and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University

“Powerful, important, and damning. Zeroing in on the corporate practices of the multibillion-dollar food industry, this film adds a fresh and essential perspective to current debates about corporate power, food, and health. Watch this film and show it to your students!”

– Erica Scharrer | Chair of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Given the sheer power of today’s consolidated food industry as a marketing behemoth, it’s a relief to have the critical eye of Media Education Foundation dissect what’s being sold to consumers as a healthy food system. In their new documentary Feeding Frenzy, Sut Jhally and a savvy set of experts and practitioners unpack the contradictory, confusing, ubiquitous, and deeply problematic discourses of agriculture, food, and health, raising critical questions about responsibility, choice, and power without succumbing to the moral panic of many other films. This will be a powerful tool for the public, the classroom, and political discourse.”

– Alice Julier, Ph.D. | Program Director & Associate Professor of Food Studies at Chatham University

“So many videos on food focus on production, but not as much on the market and consumption side. Feeding Frenzy does a fine job of explaining how our food environment is manipulated to get us to buy and eat more than is good for us.”

– Dr. Christine Barbour | Department of Political Science at Indiana University.

Please join us at Sustainable Renton HQ, 970 Harrington Ave NE, Renton, WA 98056, Friday night at 7PM for this interesting film, and great conversation afterwards! See you there!


A x B = ?


While attending a social media workshop this past weekend, the word “product” came up several times as the message was geared towards small business owners. At the beginning of the session, the instructor advised us to work with the ideas presented and fit them into our own personal situation. But, Sustainable Renton doesn’t have a tangible “product” that we can advertise per se. We don’t have videos of folks taste testing our homemade brews. We don’t have photos of kids with our t-shirts on. We don’t have artistic renditions of our pets for sale. So, what then, is Sustainable Renton’s “product”?

While looking in Merriam-Webster, one definition of the word product is: the number or expression resulting from the multiplication together of two or more numbers or expressions. This is obviously a mathematical definition of the word, but I think it fits for what we have to offer.  Our product comes after our hard work.  Our product is the result of two or more people gathering together for a common purpose and to make something amazing happen. We offer the ability to create something larger than individuals are capable of creating alone-a type of multiplication process.

Our product, so far, has been the emergence of a Community Farm. This was an amazing effort by a group of individuals that came together to create a space where food can be grown and community can be built.

We have the beginnings of the Renton Food Co-Op-an effort that will bring a place for people to buy local and organic foods and become more educated about how to live healthier lives.

We have Meaningful Movies of Renton-a once a month gathering of folks that watch a documentary film and have roundtable community discussions about the topic discussed.

We have the Sustainable Renton Study Group which is a once a month meeting of folks who want to learn about the systemic reasons for the dilemmas that our planet faces and are discussing how to take positive action to help create change and live a more sustainable life.

From the very first meeting between Chris Conkling and Michelle Kelley in August of 2010, Sustainable Renton has stayed true to its mission and that is to foster a healthier community and planet. Our Board has grown, our ideas have taken shape, we have learned a lot and are anxious to continue to make things happen in Renton. With more people showing up and offering their skills and time to our organization, our ability to reach more people in our community grows.

So, if you would like to be a part of the magnificence of multiplication that is occurring at Sustainable Renton we would love to hear from you. The best part about the products that we offer is that they are free and available to any who want it.

21 Acres Field Trip



A few of us visited 21 acres yesterday for the first time and can I just say, “Wow!” It is obvious that some very hard work has paid off immensely. I am including some photos but for a more comprehensive view you can visit their website: 

First of all, it was spectacular weather for late February. The sunny, (almost) spring days in the Pacific Northwest are so full of hope and smiles (let’s not think about the snow predicted for tomorrow). It was the perfect day to tour 21 acres, which do the fourth Friday of every month from 11-2 pm, but no need to wait until then; self guided tours are available anytime the farm gate is open.  


There is plenty of space for kids to run around and have fun. There are two goats on the property that will love to nibble at your sweater as you scratch their heads.


There is a beautiful pizza oven/outdoor fireplace.


There is a magnificent herb spiral that is in need of an organization to take over its care and make it thrive once more. If you or your organization is interested you can contact 21 acres to offer your services.


It was at this point of the tour that someone said, “I don’t ever want to leave.”

I laughed and agreed, but it got me to wondering why we couldn’t have something like this in Renton? The answer is: we can and dare I say we will. We have some very motivated, intelligent and amazing people that are willing to work towards making this happen. Although the demographics are slightly different in Renton than they are in Woodinville and the initial motivation for a project like this may have to be tweaked to suit our community needs, the basic principles can be the same: A vital, public space where people can rediscover or perhaps discover for the first time the importance and heritage of local agriculture. 

One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to the Farm Store where they sell local produce and value added products. The pickled blueberries put out by Bow Hill Bluberries from Bow, WA, were highly recommended so I bought some and can I say that my mind is sufficiently blown. They were absolutely amazing. The Farm Store is open Fridays 11 -6 and Saturdays 10-4 during the winter. Yesterday was truly our lucky day.



I encourage everyone to go and see how their green building handles gray and green water off of the grid, truly an innovative system.


The bottom line is we all had a great time exploring the possibilities and day dreaming.


Renton Food Co-Op needs you


This past Wednesday was inspiring at the Renton Food Co-Op meeting. We had a larger than normal turn out and there is nothing more energizing than sitting with a group of good people that want to band together to make something happen. Any event that brings people together for a common cause is a power that cannot be denied-take the recent success of the Seahawks for example. People who would have not normally spoken to each other at the grocery store were suddenly striking up conversation-they had a common bond, perhaps for the first time. I couldn’t help but wish people would bond together for a more lasting purpose, like creating a Renton Food Co-Op, or resurrecting the downtown area, or localizing our economy. That is what we are doing at Sustainable Renton-one baby step at a time.

Sustainable Renton will table at events and educate the community about our mission in general and specifically about why a Food Co-Op-or any cooperatively run business is a good idea for Renton. If you are in the dark about what a cooperative is and why it is especially important in this economic environment, you can find out more about them here: The wonderful part about cooperatives is that they are cooperative, not competitive. They operate democratically and everyone has a voice.

Our plan is to be at the Farmer’s Market a couple of times this summer, in the Renon River Days Parade and man a community booth at the Renton River Days Fair. Our annual fundraiser will be held in August this year and we are scheduling an event specifically for co-ops with the showing of a film followed by a lively Q and A with the filmmakers, so keep your eyes on our blog to find out more about when and where that event will be.

One more thing we have decided to look into is the idea of a local Buying Club. When we first gathered about a year ago we looked into the idea of a Buying Club and after some research we voted it down because we thought it would detract us from our ultimate goal of a brick and mortar food co-op. However, we are re-visiting the idea because we are looking at it as a means to an end, a way to draw interested people out, people that will ultimately shop at the Co-Op. To find out more about Buying Clubs you can visit here:

The Renton Food Co-Op Steering Committee meets the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30 pm for a potluck followed at 6:00 pm for the regular meeting at the Sustainable Renton Headquarters. Everyone is welcome. We discuss what steps we need to take next on the road to starting a cooperatively operated grocery store in the Renton area. We are in the organizing phase and are in need of people to help make this dream a reality.

For more information you can contact



Meaningful Movies of Renton presents

On Friday, January 31, Meaningful Movies of Renton presents An Exploration of Alternative Economics: Two perspectives on Money, Economics, and Radical Trust.

First, we present Charles Eisenstein on Sacred Economics. Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth.

Today, these trends have reached their extreme – but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.

Second, we present musician Amanda Palmer on The Art of Asking. Today, many people are trading music for free and record companies as well as some musicians are up in arms about it. Amanda Palmer has a different perspective.

Don’t make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer: Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer, she examines the new relationship between artist and fan.

Summing up her business model, in which she views her recorded music as the digital equivalent of street performing, she says: “I firmly believe in music being as free as possible. Unlocked. Shared and spread. In order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them.”

“A lot of people are confused by the idea of no hard sticker price [on my music]. They see it as an unpredictable risk, but I see it as trust.”

Moving beyond the environmental and economic crises we face requires an new approach to economics. After the two films, we will discuss ways to move away from the economics of separation to an economics of connection and radical trust.

Come join us for what should be an invigorating and inspiring conversation. We need your voice.

This event is held at the Sustainable Renton Office located in the Renton Highlands neighborhood at 970 Harrington Ave NE Renton 98056

Hope to see you there.

Welcome to our new blog!

Cedar River


We are launching a new blog for Sustainable Renton that will also function as our organizational website as well.

This is the place to come to find out about upcoming events in our community, to learn more about projects we are working on, to get inspired by new ideas related to sustainability, and more.

Of course-we welcome your involvement and feedback. If you would like to contribute a blog entry for us, let us know. You are also encouraged to comment on articles and blog entries, and share on Facebook and other social networks.

Come back soon-We’ll be updating this site very soon with upcoming events and other announcements.

Thank you for your support!