Duckweed Urban Market owner Michelle Deatherage is finding new ways to make her downtown Tampa grocery store more earth-friendly. Over two months, she cut down on waste output and energy costs to make her store a little more green. Now, a garden of produce grows vertically in the back of the store, including green tomatoes hanging from vines. Coffee is now poured into cups made of recyclable material and the store’s paper towels are now also made of recyclable material.
Duckweed made these changes this year while participating in the inaugural environmentally focused Sustany Sustainable Business Program organized by the nonprofit Sustany Foundation and the Tampa Downtown Partnership. Sustany is the organization that vets all the candidates for green business designations given by the City of Tampa. Normally, the steps needed to earn a designation are completed through a self-guided process. The Sustany Sustainable Business program is different. Businesses get extra help over a prescribed period of time.