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Side Dishes: Businesses put their ethics where their mouths are

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And the list of things we have no excuse for not recycling keeps growing . . . The folks at Dedalus Wine Shop on College Street have a solution for oenophiles who worry about depleting cork resources. According to their online newsletter, if you bring them your old corks, they’ll “ship them off to be turned into flooring and other products.”

You’ll still have to toss the newfangled plastic stoppers, however.

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In 2006, a group of Vermont companies, nonprofits and government agencies created the “Best Places to Work in Vermont” program, which rewards businesses that make an extra effort to be good to their employees.

For the third year running, King Arthur Flour is on the short list of companies with more than 100 employees; it won the top honor in both 2006 and 2007. (The program was suspended for 2008.) The final ranking of the five nominees will be announced on April 1.

This Valentine’s Day, those treats you buy for your sweetheart could say something besides “I love you.” Until February 14, the Vermont Brownie Company is donating 10 percent of its proceeds from heart-shaped brownies to Women Helping Battered Women. “We were actually approached by them, and it’s an organization we feel strongly about supporting. Their theme for this fundraising is healthy relationships, and it’s centering around Valentine’s Day,” says co-owner Katherine Hayward.

Fans of Hayward’s business partner — Former Channel 3 sportscaster Shawna Lidsky, who was recently laid off during a spate of downsizing — will be happy to know she’s working in the brownie biz full-time. “It was unexpected, but the timing has worked out really well,” Hayward says. “We’ve been getting in more and more stores . . . We’re really busy.” Healthy Living, Natural Provisions and Sweet Clover Market now carry the sweets.

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