From The Editor – Spring 2023

Sustainability means many things to many people, but for businesses in our region, focusing on sustainability presents an opportunity to stand out from the rest and to map out a path to continuity and positioning for the future. There are some great examples of businesses doing just that in this issue of EVOLVE. In the article featuring Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co., you’ll find a flourishing business built on Florida’s native Yaupon tree. As Byron White explains, “When you make food products from something that’s native, it takes a lot less input to get it to thrive.”  

Sustainable agriculture was a recurring topic during our editorial board discussions. Perhaps it is the most obvious practice we think of, but growing up in a farming community in Ohio, I know there is a lot more to it than the romantic sound of “homegrown”– knowing the seasons, picking the right crops for a bountiful harvest and hours and hours of tending to the plants you hope will produce sustenance and flavors in the end. In our article on sustainable agriculture, we highlight practices that prioritize plant health and quality while maximizing cost savings as well.

Finally, we shine a light on the New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau (NSBAV) and its efforts to help visitors care for the environment they vacation in. NSBAV is an early adopter of the One Planet Living (OPL) framework, which helps businesses, local authorities, tourist destinations and others define and achieve sustainability goals. According to Debbie Meihls, “as the first destination in Florida to join One Planet Living, we hope to leave a legacy for future generations.”

When it comes to sustaining our environment, I hope we can all agree it should be a priority – and it makes good business sense too.