The Little Red (and Green) Barn That Could! A nod to World Earth Day 2022.

In acknowledging World Earth Day on April 22nd 2022, it is timely to reprint this excerpt published in the Dedham Times in 2017. It shows that the Dedham Exchange has continued to be a committed leader in green sustainability.

Just as ‘The Little Red Engine That Could’ children’s book by Watty Pier chugged along, so does the little red barn, home to the Dedham Exchange non profit gift shop. Established in 1914 to support artisans and donate proceeds back to the the community, the Exchange has been operating in the red Baker Barn on Washington Street since 1948.

In 2015, the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) of Massachusetts awarded the Exchange green certification as the first  business in Dedham to complete the sustainability checklist for improvements to the shop and operations. Amy Haelson, Executive Director of Dedham Square Circle, and Virginia LeClair, Dedham’s Environmental Coordinator, challenged the Exchange to work with SBN’s team to make adjustments so that the little red barn could become more green. Tasks to the barn included electrical and plumbing improvements to be more efficient and environmentally responsible. Renewed efforts were focused on supporting local artists and their hand made products, as well as sustainability awareness within shop operations. Slogans such as ‘Reduce, Reuse & Recycle’ and ‘Cary Out What You Carry In’ serve as inspiration to the 50 volunteers and 2 staff members who dedicate their time, energy and expertise at the non profit gift shop. So, indeed, the little red barn could and did become green!

Please visit the Dedham Exchange to see first hand many local products such as hand crafted beeswax candles and honey, hand knit baby sweaters and hand woven textiles. We also carry a wide variety of commercial gifts, home decor and gourmet foods. Ask us about our commitment to sustainability, thanks to SBN’s guidance.

To learn more about Sustainable Business Network of MA please visit

To learn more about the Town of Dedham’s Green Business Program and other environmental programs please visit

Make a difference by supporting a local green business.

Excerpt from original article written by Dedham Exchange volunteer Elsie Aubrey.


Local artisan weaver Carole Chapin with some of her finished products that she wove by hand on her loom. Enduring quality, sustainable and green.