Sharing the story of the Top 10 States for LEED

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Sharing the story of the Top 10 States for LEED

Every year, USGBC and GBCI highlight the U.S. states that are leading the way with LEED certification. By looking at regional census data, we determine the top 10 states for LEED green building per capita.

Our marketing team then produces an infographic to illustrate the number of projects certified and the millions of square feet certified the previous year, as well as the LEED-certified gross square feet per capita. This gives us the bigger picture on how different states are performing year by year. Did your state make the top 10 list for 2017? How about in 2016?

Top 10 States for LEED

We create these infographics to recognize achievements in LEED around the country and to show how the Top 10 States are setting a high bar for excellence in green building. Through social media, presentations and media outreach, the infographic helps to tell their stories and share their success with their communities.

For more details on the Top 10 States for LEED in 2017, read our press release.

Learn more about how our design team creates infographics

Creating an infographic to tell the TRUE story

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Creating an infographic to tell the TRUE story

As USGBC and GBCI, we take pride in celebrating our program milestones. That’s why we created an engaging infographic to highlight the first 100 certified TRUE Zero Waste projects. Our target audience was current TRUE participants, program prospects, the media and the waste and sustainability communities.

TRUE infographic

The infographic visually represents data about TRUE.

The design highlights the following data points for the program:

  • Number of projects by certification level
  • U.S. states and other countries (Ireland and Canada) with TRUE-certified facilities
  • Types of facilities certified (manufacturing, retail, etc.)
  • Gross square feet of certified space
  • Tonnage of total waste diverted from landfill
  • Estimated annual cost savings/reduction

Designed for social media, presentations and media outreach, the infographic is a fun and creative way of pointing out what it means to be TRUE-certified.

TRUE infographic

How the infographic appears on a mobile device.

Read more about TRUE-certified facilities in the project directory.

See more about designing for TRUE

Easy steps for taking the perfect #FindyourLEED photo

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Easy steps for taking the perfect #FindyourLEED photo

Show us where you #FindyourLEED with our iconic oak leaf:

Step 1: Print out your leaf.

Step 2: Capture a photo of your favorite LEED® project, including the oak leaf in the picture. Photos can be taken indoors or outdoors.

Experiment with interesting angles and vantage points. Have a friend hold the leaf for you to get the perfect shot.

Make sure the image is in focus and no too blurry. It’s better not to shoot straight into bright light. Adjust your angle so the background will not be blown out.

Don’t take a photo of the leaf on a flat surface. We want to see the project you are highlighting.

Safety first. Don’t take any unnecessary risks to capture your photos.

Step 3: Share your best photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to tag your photos #FindyourLEED. Check out other #FindyourLEED photos for inspiration!

Eating Local Makes a Difference: Here’s Why

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Eating Local Makes a Difference: Here’s Why

While our day to day work focuses on greening the built environment, many staff at USGBC extend those principles of sustainability into their daily lives. From shopping and commuting to buying groceries, all of us make choices that affect the environment. One way to make a difference in the community is buying from your local farmers and participating in a CSA.

What is a CSA?
A CSA stands for community-supported agriculture. CSAs help the community by providing fresh, local and seasonal produce to consumers. CSAs also help farmers by guaranteeing a market for their products, eliminating the guesswork from marketing, and reducing waste. Shareholders subscribe for up to three, seven-week plans: spring, summer and fall.

Where and who does the food come from?
Our neighbors at RTKL have invited our team to participate in their CSA subscription. Orchard Country Produce is a family-owned and operated, sustainable fruit and vegetable farm in Cumberland County, Pa., near the Appalachian foothills. Learn more about the family who runs the farm.

What kinds of fresh produce are typically delivered?
In the spring, there is typically asparagus, shallots, spring onions, radishes, strawberries, lettuce mix, spinach, rhubarb and apples. During the summer, we should see blueberries, peaches, cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, honey, sweet onions, new red potatoes and Swiss chard.

What are the size options for shares?
There are three sizes of shares offered, they are: full shares (ideal for families of four or more), half shares (perfect for couples or families of three) and personal shares (best for one-person households).

We asked some of the participants to tell us a little bit about their CSA experience:

I have been using CSAs for four years in a row now. I am in love with this whole idea of paying my money directly to the farmers in my area. I love the quality of all the produce AND I get so much for my money—it’s a truly win-win situation! I enjoy all the greens that we receive on a weekly basis. The CSA membership forces me to eat well because if I don’t eat all the veggies that I got during the week they will go bad. My general go-to recipe: sautee greens in a pan, add a drop of sesame oil, add chopped garlic, and drizzle with lemon juice. 
-Daria Gelman, USGBC

My boyfriend made this recipe last night with the beets we got in the CSA box. We almost never buy beets, so we’ve been a little at a loss for what to do with them, but the dish was delicious!
-Anisa Baldwin-Metzger, USGBC

I really enjoy participating in the CSA! Every week I get different varieties of fresh produce, so I’ve learned how to use new things like kohlrabi. I try to eat food that is local and in-season, and I like knowing where my food comes from. I’m also happy that my money is supporting local farmers who are doing great things. The cost is comparable to, or less than, what I spend at the grocery store so it’s a win-win.
-Theresa Backhus, USGBC

I think this is a really great opportunity to get farm fresh produce delivered right to our office, support a local farm, and learn about produce you might not be familiar with!
-Kathleen Mannis, RTKL, CSA liaison


If you’re looking for ways to eat healthy, expand your menu in the kitchen and support your local farmers in the process, check out a CSA near you.

And don’t forget to check out the most recent Orchard Country Produce CSA we received!


Meet Ana Leilani Ka’ahanui

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Meet Ana Leilani Ka’ahanui

Everyone: Meet Ana.

Ana is one of our team members who specializes in coordinating all the moving parts that go into our marketing projects. She is also known for being our in house photographer—she actually shot most of the photos on our USGBC Studio site!

10 Questions with Ana

  1. Where were you born? I was a Navy brat, so we moved around a lot. I was born in Long Beach, CA, but I was lucky to spend most of my childhood in Pearl Harbor, HI. If you’d like to practice some Hawaiian, my full name is pronounced AH-na Lay-LAH-nee Kah-AH-ha-noo-ee!
  2. Describe your role on the USGBC Marketing Team. I curate our growing collection of digital assets and also serve on our project management team. I’m also the staff photographer and provide video support for multimedia projects.
  3. Go-to Karaoke Song: A Little Respect by Erasure
  4. Favorite ice cream flavor: It’s a toss up between mint chip or mango sorbet if it’s really hot out. I also love Italian gelato.
  5. Best movie: The Princess Bride
  6. How do you contribute to USGBC’s sustainable efforts in your personal life? I installed a rain barrel in my backyard to water our plants. We use reusable shopping bags and purchase environmentally friendly cleaning products.
  7. Favorite guilty pleasure TV show to watch: Game of Thrones
  8. Cat or dog person? I’m a dog fanatic, 100%. I used to be the president of the non-profit that sponsors our local dog park. It’s like being on PTA for your dog. We just adopted an adorable mutt named Lani, which means “heaven” in Hawaiian.
  9. Best book you’ve read in the past year: I really enjoyed Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I think she is amazingly talented.
  10. Favorite city to visit: As a foreign language major, I studied abroad with Loyola University of Chicago in Rome and ended up living in the Eternal City for three years after I graduated. From the architecture and antiquities, to the food and the people, it’s a magical place. I feel very at home there and can’t wait to go back.

Our innovative Studio team is comprised of marketing strategists, digital analysts, designers and developers. This supergroup is responsible for making sure that USGBC communicates with the world in the most effective and compelling way while maintaining our standards of sustainability. The only way we can accomplish this is through collaboration. Glad you guys took the time to meet Ana—stay tuned to meet the rest of our talented team members!