Podcasts are a booming business nowadays, lending insight and introspection on topics far and wide. Nona Yehia, our co-founder and CEO, has been a popular guest recently on programs as diverse as The Evolving Digital Self, which explores conscientious use of technology, to Soul of a Leader, which explores leadership styles that uplift and embrace people.

Evolving Digital Self Podcast

In her conversation with Dr Heidi Forbes Oste of The Evolving Digital Self, Nona discussed the power of architecture to be a vehicle for social change, and shared why providing a career path to community members with disabilities is vital to Vertical Harvest’s mission. “The disabled community is the largest in the nation, and one that anyone could become a part of in the blink of an eye,” she said. 

Oste heralded the work of the Vertical Harvest team as, “not just using technology in a cool way, but using it in a way that looks at the full systemic perspective of what it can do.” Nona agreed that while technology makes life easier for most people, for those in the disabled community, it truly makes life possible.

Listen to this fascinating conversion here, or download from your favorite podcast player.

Vertical Harvest is paving the way to an even more sustainable future with two recent changes:

  1. Transforming the vast majority of our produce waste into fertilizer, and
  2. Switching to 99% compostable packaging 

Greenhouse Waste = Fertilizer

Working with WyoFarm Composting, each week we send 320 gallons of produce waste to decompose into fertilizer instead of rotting in a landfill. Most of what we use to grow food — cellulose medium, peat moss plugs, hemp — and our vegetable waste now composts down into a substance that will be used to grow even more food. “It feels great to contribute to this full circle,” says Molly Belk, Vertical Harvest Packaging Coordinator.

Composting can help tackle global warming by diverting organic waste away from landfills where it produces methane. Decomposed waste then creates a natural fertilizer for plants that can replace nitrogen fertilizers, which produce nitrous oxide, an extremely potent greenhouse gas. It’s a win-win all around.

A Shift to Plastic-Free Packaging

Vertical Harvest also is converting to 99% compostable packaging made by Good Natured. All of our microgreens are now packaged in this compostable, plastic-free option. Durable, plant-based, and with a built-in snap seal, your Vertical Harvest greens will stay fresh in your fridge for days. We currently are in the process of transitioning our lettuce packaging, as well, and hope to have all of our packaging updated in 2021. 

We were so honored that Vertical Harvest, our team of changemakers, and our CEO Nona Yehia were named a CNN Champion for Change in 2020. This award profiles 10 innovators leading the charge to a better world with new ideas and groundbreaking solutions. Click the button below to view a promotional clip, or read the article and view the three-minute segment specifically about Vertical Harvest.