Friday, August 1, 2008

Saturday August 2nd Sustainability Panel Discussion

The Straub Environmental Learning Center is located at 1320 A Street NE, Salem, OR 97301

About our Panel

Each person on the panel is quick to say that they aren't doing everything perfectly. They are, however, deeply involved and deeply committed to the process of a more positive impact on our environment; lowering our use of fossil fuel, lowering our use of toxic chemicals, and improving the environment for coming generations. Each person on the panel is thinking globally and acting locally.

Going Green in Salem Local area business people making the effort to run their businesses and lives in a sustainable way - local successes and challenges

Going Green in Salem Panel Members include:

Lori Beamer - Community Outreach Coordinator for Life Source Natural Foods
Debra Edwards - co-owner of Cascade Baking Company
Evann Remington - Founder and President of Organic Fresh Fingers, Inc.
John Miller - Owner of Wildwood / Mahonia Companies
Tom Allen - artist, builder and teacher - Solar home and family farm The Joy of Doing

Life Source Natural Foods: Lori Beamer is the Community Outreach Coordinator and wife of owner Alex Beamer. She was instrumental in getting Marion-Polk Food Share's Women Ending Hunger program started and both Lori and Alex are huge Food Share Supporters. Life Source has been at the forefront of buying locally grown organic fruits and vegetables for years: "as close to Salem as we can find them." They make great efforts to buy local, organic, sustainably, responsibly produced products. Additionally, they have a 100% electric pick-up truck and buy 100% wind power for the stores energy needs.
Just last Thursday, Life Source won the "Socially Responsible Retailer Award," from the Natural Products Association. The Socially Responsible Retailer Award is presented to a retail store or stores within the industry demonstrating key aspects of social responsibility. The Natural Products Association ( is the nation's largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The association represents more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and
Cascade Baking Company: is a locally owned and managed community bakery located in historic downtown Salem. The bakery houses a brick oven hand built by the owners, Stephen Perkins, Debra Edwards, along with family and friends. Guided by the renowned oven builder Alan Scott, the crew built Cascade Baking's brick oven literally from the ground up. This style of oven is a re-creation of the old bread ovens still found in European villages.
Cascade Baking Company is committed to fostering vitality in the local economy through local purchasing. We purchase our raw ingredients from local sources thus stimulating local economies. For example, we use only seasonally fresh fruit from local farmers and honey from the Willamette Valley. We are especially pleased to use flours certified through the Food Alliance. Shepherds Grain flour is produced by a group of family grain farmers located in Washington and Idaho. This group known as Columbia Plateau Producers has developed a high gluten flour perfect for bread baking. We also purchase organic, shade-grown, fair-trade coffee from local coffee roasters, Royal Blue Organics in Eugene, Oregon, who in turn purchases the coffee beans directly from a farmer's cooperative in Chiapas Mexico.
Organic Fresh Fingers, Inc.: Evann Remington, Founder and President of Organic Fresh Fingers, Inc. will discuss how they incorporate sustainability into the core of their business philosophy. O.F.F. manufactures certified Organic, nutritionally balanced meals for kids. They supply their meals in bulk to elementary schools, preschools and childcare facilities. They also have a line of six Organic, frozen, microwavable individual meals for sell in stores. Organic Fresh Fingers, Inc. has paid special attention to the packaging to ensure that it is as environmentally responsible as possible. They use only biodegradable and natural paper and cleaning products in their facility and also support the Green Source 100% renewable biomass and wind power program for all their electrical needs.
Tom Allen - Silver Cliff Family Farm in Silverton. On our family owned farm we raise purebred Shropshire sheep. The farm was first named when Tom and Debbie moved onto the property in 1977, but it really got its start in '92 when they gave their youngest daughter, Rachael, two sheep for her tenth birthday. Since those first two sheep, the farm has grown to support between 10-15 producing ewes as well as an ever-changing number of lambs and yearlings. We sell purebred breed stock, hormone-free natural lamb, and beautiful sheepskins. We built our own passive solar home and moved into it in 1981 - it works great and is very comfortable. We added a 10 kilowatt photovoltaic array in 2007. Tom will be teaching classes in solar applications for residential use at Chemeketa this fall.
Wildwood / Mahonia: Owner John Miller will share in the discussion about his efforts to create sustainable practices in the Salem area. I first ran into John at a City sponsored sustainability seminar where I learned about the Nursery part of his business: Mahonia Vineyards and Nursery belongs to the Wildwood/Mahonia family of companies which has a diverse range of activities: agriculture, urban planning and development, watershed restoration and international ventures. Our companies share a common commitment to sustainability that began over 30 years ago. Our definition of profit includes benefits to people and the environment, and we have a very active community service program that includes donating our time, dollars, materials and expertise to many community organizations such as SOLV, Family Building Blocks, the Oregon Garden, the Willamette Partnership and various local area schools. "A shared environment, a shared future."
Straub Environmental Learning Center - Gov. Bob and Pat Straub were the inspirations for the Friends of the Straub Environmental Learning Center, a non-profit organization, established in 2004 and dedicated to environmental education. The Straubs were renowned for their love of Oregon and their efforts to preserve its natural beauty. The Friends seeks to promote that spirit by fostering public awareness of the beauty and cultural history of the Willamette Valley. The centerpiece of the Friends' activities is the Straub Center (click here for directions), a structure that provides a lab, classroom, and meeting space for local organizations. Throughout the year, the Straub Center offers a stream of programs for students and adults alike, all designed to heighten concern and respect for Oregon's environment. The Straub Center also functions as a showcase of sustainable building and landscape practices. The stream bank setting is an ideal site for students of all ages to learn about watersheds, riparian areas, water quality, and their importance to an increasingly urban environment.
The ELC Building is a LEED Certified Building at the Silver level
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System® is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Members of the U.S. Green Building Council representing all segments of the building industry developed LEED and continue to contribute to its evolution.
There are a host of businesses and individuals working toward a greener lifestyle right here in Salem; many more than could be on our panel. Some examples are: a new startup company finding old barns and wood buildings that are destined to be torn down. This company salvages the wood and the stories of the old barns. They remake the wood into floors and furniture. They are Barnwood Naturals. There is a group of people from many walks of life and many parts of Salem who meet regularly to discuss how they can lower their use and dependence on fossil fuel. They share ideas and support each other's accomplishments, hopes, ideas, and challenges. They are the Salem Green Team. There is an auto repair shop, several architects and many other businesses listed on the Marion County website: The EarthWISE program is a FREE business environmental assistance program offered to all businesses in Marion County. EarthWISE program staff are available for anything from a quick phone call to answer an environmental question to a full-service environmental assessment site visit - whatever you need to get your business recycling, reducing waste, and/or saving energy