Omega Helps Connect the Dots Between Food, the Environment & Health

Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB) June 15, 2016

“The Hudson Valley is known for its natural beauty, agricultural resources, and supporting a growing sustainability movement that is redefining how we live in right relationship with the environment. Omega is committed to sourcing as much of our food from local vendors as possible and helping people connect the dots between food, the environment and health,” said Robert “Skip” Backus, chief executive officer at Omega. “The goal is for people to leave Omega feeling more informed and ready to take initiative towards a sustainable future in their own communities,” concluded Backus.

Agriculture is a driving force behind the Hudson Valley’s economy-more than 5,000 largely family-owned and operated local farms have a gross economic impact of $810 million. At Omega, purchasing food grown in the Hudson Valley and reducing food waste are two important initiatives.

With more than 23,000 visitors annually, Omega serves approximately 700 mostly vegetarian meals, 3 times a day in its Dining Hall, and sources food from farms and vendors across the region. Extra food never goes to waste, as Omega sends meals to Dutchess Outreach’s Lunch Box in Poughkeepsie, New York, and composts food scraps at MacEnroe Organic Farm in Millerton, New York.

All of Omega’s sustainable education and environmental outreach fall under the umbrella of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL). Founded in 2009, the OCSL, a state-of-the-art water reclamation facility and environmental education center, originated as the first green building in America to achieve both LEED(R) Platinum and Living Building Challenge(TM) certification-the highest standards currently available in sustainable architecture. More than just a building, the OCSL has evolved into an environmental leader, offering programs that teach the regenerative environmental practices modeled by the building.

Omega’s commitment to sustainability also includes recycling, composting, and conservation, powering 100% of campus electricity through the purchase of wind and solar power, supporting sustainable agriculture and local business, and reducing greenhouse gases through shuttle services, ride sharing, and LiveNeutral(TM) (a program to offset carbon emissions).

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