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Earth Day celebration addresses long-term sustainability

Michael Koss, Malibu Country Mart owner, speaks to guests about the center's Green Initiative at the Earth Day Celebration. Photo submitted.
Sarah Siegel sets up water bottles, emergency backpacks and compost at the Green Initiative table on Sunday, April 27, at the Earth Day celebration.
Mayor Skylar Peak (left to right), Mayor Pro Tem John Sibert, and City Council members Lou La Monte and Laura Rosenthal sport their “Keep It Clean, Malibu” hats during the Earth Day celebration co-hosted at the Malibu Country Mart. Photo by Stephanie Chaisson/22nd Century Media
Ashleigh Fryer, Senior Editor
7:12 pm PDT May 9, 2014

The Malibu Chamber of Commerce and the Country Mart teamed up to celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 27, with the Malibu community. 

The event served as a forum for residents to get comprehensive information about sustainability methods, as well as for the Country Mart to showcase many of their recent “green” initiatives. Inspired by the City of Malibu’s “Keep It Clean, Malibu” storm drain art project, the Country Mark unveiled bronze medallions featuring a dolphin, starfish or seashells that mark where the 10 of the 20 storm drains on the property are. The Country Mart hopes to have all of the drains marked in the near future.  

The Earth Day celebration also featured refreshments and vegetarian appetizers from the Country Mart’s numerous restaurants, eco-friendly face painting, succulent plant potting, performances by the Our Lady of Malibu’s Junior Chorus, the Malibu Ballet and Performing Arts Society and Affiliates and the Louks sisters who shared their poetry entitled “Fresh Whole Foods For Kids — Fun Poem About Food.”  

“I ate, breathed and slept this event for the past three months,” said Julie Labin, director of sustainability at the Malibu Country Mart. "Under Michael Koss' leadership, this Green Intiative program that he started six years ago has come so far and this event is an example."

In keeping with their prolonged committment to conservation, the Country Mart's sees sustainbility as more than something to celebrate for just one day, according to Labin. With more than 20 sustainability practices actively in use, the Country Mart is approaching LEED certification — a designation from the United States Green Building Council that recognizes a facility’s low environmental impact. Labin said they have been working closely with all of their tenants to reduce the overall energy use of the Country Mart. 

With Malibu Mayor Skylar Peak and several City Council members on hand, Labin also discussed the idea of eradicating the use of rodenticides in Malibu. 

“I really felt like the community came together this year for sustainability,” Labin said. “It was a community collaboration between the Malibu Country Mart, the City of Malibu, eco and green service providers and the Malibu Chamber of Commerce.”