Going Green in Cook County

North Shore businesses find the benefits of ‘going green’

A variety of local businesses in Cook County are finding firsthand some of the benefits within the green movement. From restaurants that rely heavily on locally-resourced foods such as fish or fresh produce, to bed and breakfast operations that stay lit via solar power, the variety and diversity of the green movement in local businesses is energizing in its own right.

Joe Sullivan is the deputy commissioner for the Division of Energy Resources at the Minnesota Department of Commerce. He says more small businesses across the state are embracing the concept of going green into their business model for both economic and environmental reasons.

And while businesses have an assortment of reasons to embrace green technology and renewable energy, on occasion these efforts get noticed on a national scale. A recent example of this includes the Cook County Whole Foods Co-Op in downtown Grand Marias. In September 2019, the co-op found out it was the recipient of an achievement award from the US Environmental Protection Agency for the local grocery store’s effort to reduce its refrigerant emissions and thus decrease its environmental impact.

It’s possible, and even likely that more local businesses will embrace green technologies and renewable energy into their operations as time rolls along, according to Sullivan and the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

In part three of this series, WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs finds out what local businesses are doing currently and planning for in the future when it comes to ‘going green in Cook County.’