Door County Green Business Briefs

Bridenhagen Landscape and Garden Center is accepting all plastic landscape and nursery pots from any garden center, greenhouse or person. This includes all pots, trays, cell-packs or any greenhouse plastic coverings.

The items can be of any size, shape, or color and can have printing on them. There will be bins conveniently located along the side of driveway for recycling drop off. People are under no obligation or should feel no pressure to shop in order to take advantage of this service. Hours at 2271 Old Lime Kiln Rd between Sister Bay and Baileys Harbor are 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Saturday.

All materials will be picked up and ground into decking and landscape timbers once or twice a season.

"We feel very strongly about starting this program,” said owner Keith Bridenhagen. “For years our so called ‘green industry’ has been one of the worst violators about putting plastic into the landfill. We would take pots from people and reuse what we could, but we would still end up with large amounts of un-recyclable plastic. Finally a niche has been created for these products. It’s nice to feel like we can become a leader in the recycling cause instead of one of the problems."

For more information contact Keith or Ivan at 920.854.5993.

• Base Camp Coffee Bar reopens April 18 with a week of Earth Day-related celebrations. Base Camp received Travel Green Wisconsin certification last year, and will host a series of events throughout the week to celebrate Earth Day and its 10-year anniversary at the Old Liberty Grove Town Hall just north of Sister Bay.

Base Camp coffee shop is open daily from 7:30 am – 4 pm. Ecology Sports is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm, and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm. Both businesses are located at10904 State Hwy 42, Sister Bay. For information call 920.854.5724.

• Great Northern by Design, a home interiors shop at the Settlement in Fish Creek, buys organic cotton with low impact dyes whenever possible for table linens and has organically grown cotton rugs. All paper bags used to pack items a buyer brings home are made with recycled paper and the name of the game with packing materials is reuse, reuse, reuse. Often different shops and galleries give each other packing materials if one or the other is doing lots of shipping.

• The 2009 environmental theme at Crossroads is "Great Lakes and Its Tributaries." Crossroads is dedicating this year to increasing awareness and helping the general public appreciate the wonders of and the problems facing the Great Lakes.

Crossroads is a donor-supported preserve welcoming learners of all ages to programs in science, history and the environment, located at the intersection of Highway 42/57 and Michigan Street.

• The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County (UUFDC), Ephraim, has a long tradition of supporting environmental efforts that influence the quality of life in Door County and the world.

At its Justice Sunday service in March, the Fellowship began organizing carpooling. Many members have committed to boycotting bottled water.

UUFDC has also showcased documentaries about water use, war, oil, and agri-food in their monthly “Movies that Matter” series. Fellowship members pick up trash three times a year along a stretch of State Hwy. 42, between Ellison Bay and Gills Rock.

For several years, the Fellowship has encouraged buying locally to cut down on the transportation required to bring goods to market. “Meatless and Dairyless” days are being promoted due to the tremendous carbon footprint to produce these products. A number of members signed on to live one day per week this way. An Earth Day service on April 19 will include post-service refreshments that meet the criteria of being meatless, dairyless, and for the most part, produced in Wisconsin.

The UUFDC is located at 10341 Water Street, Ephraim and meets Sundays at 10 am. Visit for more information.

• In Sept. 2008, Cellcom built its second alternative-energy cell site, or green cell site, on Chamber’s Island, providing enhanced radio coverage for Door County emergency responders.

Prior to the erection of the green cell site, the cliffs lining Door County’s rugged shoreline blocked the signals from mainland towers, leaving many coastal residents with limited cellular service. Radio coverage for emergency personnel was also insufficient and unreliable. The green cell site will improve cellular reception and radio signals in the area in case of an emergency.

Delivering wireless coverage to these geographic areas required an innovative approach.

The green cell sites run on batteries charged by solar panels at the base of the tower, and a wind turbine located higher on the tower. Emergency responders long faced seemingly insurmountable communication challenges, but thanks to the green cell site, a large portion of previously uncovered areas now have reliable, potentially lifesaving communications.

Monticello, a clothing and gift shop on Sturgeon Bay’s Jefferson Street, sells sweatshop-free clothing, made predominantly of natural fibers. Some are produced by stay-at-home moms, others by fair-trade producers. Monticello sells many recycled products – such as carrying bags made of old canvas money bags, frames and clocks made from old silverware, and mittens and scarves produced from re-purposed wool and cashmere. Owner Diane Mangolan seeks out small artistic producers and supports local businesses. Visit

• When Cellcom built Glas Coffeehouse in Sturgeon Bay visions were tinted green.

When an old building on the site of the coffeehouse was demolished, Cellcom, in partnership with SMET Construction Services, diverted more than 89 percent of materials from landfills. All asphalt and concrete was crushed for use in roadbeds. Metal, lamps and ballasts were recycled. As the new building was erected, unused wood, plastic and metal were recycled in a program called WasteCap.

A wide range of earth-friendly products were used in construction. Paint, stain and carpet adhesives emit less volatile organic compounds (VOC) and promote better indoor air quality. Insulation used in the walls is Greenguard indoor-air certified, and is free from the aldehydes and VOCs regular insulation may emit. The large, energy-efficient windows meet requirements for the Energy Star Northern Zone.

All electric equipment is Energy Star rated. The building utilizes a tankless water heater to provide hot water on an as-needed basis. According to the US Department of Energy, heating water on demand increases energy efficiency by 24 – 34 percent over standard water heaters. Water-saving systems includes low-gallon-per-flush (GPF) toilets, and faucet aerators that reduce water consumption by up to 60 percent over normal faucets.

Parking lot size was reduced and a rain garden planned to better manage water and runoff. An extensive green roof will be installed to reduce water run-off and help insulate. It will also reduce the heat-island effect a black roof creates, and extend the life of the roof membrane.

Tables are made from reclaimed wood from lab desks at Lawrence University in Appleton. Glas uses to-go containers and utensils that are 100 percent compostable. To encourage customers to be more earth friendly, Glas even offers a 10 percent discount to bike riders.

• The “Go Run & Recycle” shoe recycling program returns this spring in conjunction with the Door County Half-Marathon.

Co-sponsored by Going Garbage & Recycling and the Peninsula Pulse, the project enables runners to bring their worn-out running shoes and other sneakers to three separate drop-box locations in Door County

Three drop box locations – Going Garbage & Recycling (10564 Old Stage Road, Sister Bay), the Peninsula Pulse office (10331 Highway 42, Ephraim), and Gibraltar Schools (3924 Highway 42, Fish Creek) will be collecting shoes from Monday, April 27 through Wednesday, May 27. On Friday, May 1, there will be a shoe-recycling cart at the Ephraim Village Hall during race packet pick-up and the pasta dinner, and on race day a cart for shoe drop-off will be available in the Runner’s Concourse.

Collected shoes will go to Wipers Recycling, based in Maplewood, Minnesota. Wipers will grind up the shoes and turn them into a sorbent material for oil spill cleanup kits to be used around the world. Patty Gearin, company founder, says that leather, rubber, and cotton do a wonderful job of absorbing oil when broken down into tiny pieces.

“I think shoes are often overlooked when it comes to the things people think can be recycled,” says Going Garbage co-owner Christi Decker. “Partnering with the Pulse and the Door County Half-Marathon gives us a platform to build awareness about this.”

Only running shoes and sneakers will be accepted, and people should donate gently used shoes to local charitable organizations, such as Bargains Unlimited in Sister Bay.

For more information contact Going Garbage & Recycling at 920.854.2114 or visit For information about the Door County Half Marathon, visit

• WPPI Energy has established a $10 million revolving loan fund to make zero-interest loans to help members lead by example in energy efficiency, conservation and the use of renewable energy.

The WPPI Energy Member Loan Program is designed to help members implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on utility and other municipally owned property, lowering operating costs and meeting members’ local energy needs with local renewable resources.

Typical projects will include:

• Building or equipment efficiency upgrades

• Meeting U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for building projects

• LED street lights and traffic signals

• Efficient fleet vehicles

• Photovoltaic solar panel systems

Only projects involving property owned by WPPI Energy member utilities or municipalities may qualify. Eligible projects include those that will reduce local energy costs as well as those that visibly demonstrate developing or cutting-edge energy technologies.

In each member community, WPPI Energy will lend up to $500,000 at zero percent interest for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

The zero-interest, revolving loan program is designed to be used in conjunction with WPPI Energy’s other incentive programs. Projects receiving loan funding also will be eligible for other WPPI Energy programs. Visit

• Jason Feldman was recently named production manager for Door Landscape, a local full-service landscape company with a focus on sustainable landscaping with native plants.

Feldman has been with Door Landscape four years and has over 15 years of professional experience in the Landscape Installation and Landscape Care industry. Feldman will manage Door Landscape’s full service landscape division that will grow to six seasonal employees this year.

For more information on Door Landscape and landscaping with Door County native plants please visit or call 920.746.9770.

• A new environmentally conscious shop, EcoDoor, will open for the 2009 season in the Top of the Hill Shops in Fish Creek.

Steve and Sherry Ziolkowski, owners of EcoDoor, plan to sell furniture, home decor and housewares that fit two or more of 10 criteria. The criteria include items made from sustainable resources or recycled materials, items that are natural or organic, and handmade and locally made items.

Portside Builders will be remodeling the shop using eco-friendly materials. They will install cork flooring and a bamboo staircase. The check-out counter will also be made of bamboo plywood, and it will have a Paperstone top. Paperstone is a product made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper and a resin derived from cashews, but it is as hard as stone. Energy Star rated ceiling fans and wall sconces will be installed and there will be no incandescent lighting in the space. The entire space will be painted with low VOC paints.

For more information call 847.560.0863.