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Salem Green Awards fundraiser honors local sustainability work

Salem held its first Green Awards on Saturday honoring 10 businesses and residents for their efforts in sustainability. The fundraiser highlighted efforts in four categories: Recycler of the Year, Business of the Year, Green Building of the Year and EarthWise Business of the Year. Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center, Marion County Environmental Services and Garten Services selected the 10 winners from a list of 27 nominees

Salem Green Awards fundraiser honors local sustainability work

Recycler of the Year (resident): Steve DePina (Timothy J. Gonzalez | Statesman Journal)

By Stefanie KnowltonStatesman Journal see original article• March 14, 2010

Salem held its first Green Awards on Saturday honoring 10 businesses and residents for their efforts in sustainability.

The fundraiser highlighted efforts in four categories: Recycler of the Year, Business of the Year, Green Building of the Year and EarthWise Business of the Year.

Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center, Marion County Environmental Services and Garten Services selected the 10 winners from a list of 27 nominees.

 

Recycler of the Year (Resident): Steve DePina

Lisa Walker, co-owner of the Volcanoes baseball team, raved about DePina's work to help the stadium become a more sustainable facility.

"His enthusiasm and desire to share with others his knowledge and excitement about recycling is inspiring." Walker said.

Debilyn Janota, principal at Queen of Peace School, also nominated DePina for his work at the school and home. DePina serves as a chair of the school's facility, technology and green committees.

"Steve DePina not only talks the walk; he is a role-model in doing the walk."

His efforts include raising chickens, recycling everything, growing a large garden to feed his family, landscaping to promote food and cover for wildlife, composting, donating household items and construction materials, teaching children about shopping needs vs. wants, packing lunches in reusable containers and reusing materials such as crawl tube converted into an incubator.

Outreach Recycler of the Year: Linda Nishioka

When Nishioka submitted her nomination it was for her employer Willamette, Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery.

But when the selection committee read all that she had done to help the company start the first medical waste recycling program in Marion County and her efforts to expand it to other facilities, they honored her instead.

"I have made it a personal mission to expand the medical recycling program to other medical, veterinarian and dental facilities in our county," she wrote.

She helped connect Salem Hospital with Garten Services.

As a result the hospital is training for its first full medical recycling program. She has also met with a few local medical clinics and Silverton Hospital.

Business Recycler of the Year: Habitat for Humanity ReStore

ReStore gives everything from doors and windows to shower heads and appliances a new life.

Contractors, builders and homeowners donate reusable building materials, and the nonprofit sells them at reasonable prices to the public. Since ReStore opened in 2007, it has saved 600 tons of recyclable and reusable materials. It gives contractors and builders a place to donate leftover items.

"The ReStore is doing an incredible job of keeping unwanted but reusable or recyclable materials out of the waste stream," said Eddie Nelson with ReStore.

EarthWISE Business of the Year: SAIF Corp.

SAIF took a look at its practices from top to bottom — hiring a sustainability coordinator and organizing an employee-led green team to inspire efforts in recycling and energy-savings.

As a result the company has made sustainability part of its business culture.

Each of the company's 800 employees has a mixed recycling bin at their desk and a bin for confidential papers. The company also focuses on a new recyclable material each month ranging from polystyrene to cell phones, during which employees can bring those materials from home to recycle.

SAIF also reduced its paper use by 4.8 million pieces last year, saving about 576 trees, simply by making long reports available electronically and encouraging double-sided prints.

The company also conducted an audit of its energy use and made several changes to reduce it.

EarthWISE Business of the Year: DeSantis Landscapes

The company's seven-page nomination chronicles a wide-range of sustainable practices from the solar power cell on the main office roof to its fleet of biodiesel-fueled vehicles.

DeSantis also composts the leaves coming in from its yard maintenance services, recycles and composts a good portion of its waste and runs a demonstration garden to test sustainable practices including water-saving irrigation, bioswales and permeable landscaping that prevents water run off.

The company also switched to organic or natural fertilizers and cut its pesticide use in half.

In addition to reducing its own carbon footprint, the company helps clients reduce theirs. DeSantis installs rains sensors in all its irrigation systems and encourages drip irrigation to save water, according to the nomination.

Green Business of the Year (Large) : LifeSource

LifeSource Natural Foods strives to reduce its footprint not only in the products its sells but also in how the company does business.

About half of all the items on its shelves have an organic label and that number jumps to 99 percent in the produce aisle, which means fewer harmful chemicals in the environment.

But the company also works to shrink its footprint with efforts including installing solar roof collectors to generate power and sourcing remaining energy from wind farms. The grocery also educates the public through monthly newsletters, recycles and reuses resources, including paper and food scraps, and sponsors local farmers for organic certification.

Green Building of the Year (new construction): 16th and Nebraska by Bilyeu Homes Inc.

The two-story home might look like any other building site, but once finished it will be one of the most efficient buildings in the country.

Bilyeu Homes used a technique called Passive House that relies on super insulation, an air-tight envelope, window type and placement, home placement and internal heat from its residents to maintain air temperature. A single mini-split heat pump will be enough to heat the home when needed. It's the first Passive House on the West Coast and one of the few in the nation.

Other green features include a solar hot-water system, dual-flush toilets, recycled permeable hardscapes, low or no VOC paints and finishes, and recycled material throughout the home.

Green Building of the Year (retrofit): Travel Salem

When Travel Salem moved to its new location in the Historic Grand Theater last year, organizers worked hard to reuse many of the buildings existing resources to minimize waste.

Most of the fir studs were salvaged for framing, batt insulation was reused for sound insulation between offices, ceiling grid and tiles were used in the office areas, fixtures were kept and existing beams were refinished.

In addition to saving these materials, Travel Salem also used earth-friendly products throughout the new space including recycled materials and low-VOC paint. It also includes zoned lighting controls and heat as well as an emphasis on using natural light.

 

Green Business of the Year (large) : LifeSource

LifeSource Natural Foods strives to reduce its footprint not only in the products its sells but also in how the company does business.

About half of all the items on its shelves have an organic label, and that number jumps to 99 percent in the produce aisle, which means fewer harmful chemicals in the environment.

But the company also works to shrink its footprint with efforts including installing solar roof collectors to generate power and sourcing remaining energy from wind farms. The grocery also educates the public through monthly newsletters, recycles and reuses resources, including paper and food scraps, and sponsors local farmers for organic certification.

Green Business of the Year (small): Pringle Creek Community

The development was built as a living laboratory to show sustainable practices from its geo-thermal heating to its strict green-building standards.

Painter's Hall, the development's community center, is one of the few buildings on the West Coast to reach the highest level of LEED certification from the Green Building Council. It also has a zero-waste policy for events. Developers also reused materials from several existing buildings on site, repurposed others to minimize waste and used local, sustainable products and practices throughout.

The development was recently certified as the Salmon Safe residential development for its efforts to promote water quality and fish habitat on site.

Green Business of the Year (organization): Oregon Department of Energy

The Oregon Department of Energy strives to be a leader in energy conservation because part of the agency's mission is to help Oregonians save energy.

Motion sensors are used for lighting control, and the HVAC system is set to be off during non-work hours. All thermostats in addition to the water heaters and refrigerator are all set at the most efficient settings.

The department developed its sustainability plan in 2003, which spurred the development of its Sustainability Team.

Carpooling, vanpooling, busing, biking and walking to work are highly encouraged. For instance, carpoolers pay a lower monthly fee for parking at the office. Additionally, bike commuters have access to a locked room for bike storage and all employees can utilize lockers and showers in the restrooms. In addition, all employees that bike, walk, bus, or vanpool are eligible for the DAS Smart Commuter Program which provides an emergency ride home, vendor coupons and occasional parking passes.

In addition to reducing its own carbon footprint, the company helps clients reduce theirs. DeSantis installs rains sensors in all its irrigation systems and encourages drip irrigation to save water, according to the nomination.

Green Business of the Year (large): LifeSource

LifeSource Natural Foods strives to reduce its footprint not only in the products its sells but also in how the company does business.

About half of all the items on its shelves have an organic label and that number jumps to 99 percent in the produce aisle, which means fewer harmful chemicals in the environment.

But the company also works to shrink its footprint with efforts including installing solar roof collectors to generate power and sourcing remaining energy from wind farms. The grocery also educates the public through monthly newsletters, recycles and reuses resources, including paper and food scraps, and sponsors local farmers for organic certification.

Green Building of the Year (new construction): 16th and Nebraska by Bilyeu Homes Inc.

The two-story home might look like any other building site, but once finished it will be one of the most efficient buildings in the country.

Bilyeu Homes used a technique called Passive House that relies on super insulation, an air-tight envelope, window type and placement, home placement and internal heat from its residents to maintain air temperature. A single mini-split heat pump will be enough to heat the home when needed. It's the first Passive House on the West Coast and one of the few in the nation.

Other green features include a solar hot-water system, dual-flush toilets, recycled permeable hardscapes, low or no VOC paints and finishes, and recycled material throughout the home.

Green Building of the Year (retrofit): Travel Salem

When Travel Salem moved to its new location in the Historic Grand Theater last year, organizers worked hard to reuse many of the buildings existing resources to minimize waste.

Most of the fir studs were salvaged for framing, batt insulation was reused for sound insulation between offices, ceiling grid and tiles were used in the office areas, fixtures were kept and existing beams were refinished.

In addition to saving these materials, Travel Salem also used earth-friendly products throughout the new space including recycled materials and low-VOC paint. It also includes zoned lighting controls and heat as well as an emphasis on using natural light.

Green Business of the Year (large) : LifeSource

LifeSource Natural Foods strives to reduce its footprint not only in the products its sells but also in how the company does business.

About half of all the items on its shelves have an organic label, and that number jumps to 99 percent in the produce aisle, which means fewer harmful chemicals in the environment.

But the company also works to shrink its footprint with efforts including installing solar roof collectors to generate power and sourcing remaining energy from wind farms. The grocery also educates the public through monthly newsletters, recycles and reuses resources, including paper and food scraps, and sponsors local farmers for organic certification.

Green Business of the Year (small): Pringle Creek Community

The development was built as a living laboratory to show sustainable practices from its geo-thermal heating to its strict green-building standards.

Painter's Hall, the development's community center, is one of the few buildings on the West Coast to reach the highest level of LEED certification from the Green Building Council. It also has a zero-waste policy for events. Developers also reused materials from several existing buildings on site, repurposed others to minimize waste and used local, sustainable products and practices throughout.

The development was recently certified as the Salmon Safe residential development for its efforts to promote water quality and fish habitat on site.

Green Business of the Year (organization): Oregon Department of Energy

The Oregon Department of Energy strives to be a leader in energy conservation because part of the agency's mission is to help Oregonians save energy.

Motion sensors are used for lighting control, and the HVAC system is set to be off during non-work hours. All thermostats in addition to the water heaters and refrigerator are all set at the most efficient settings.

The department developed its sustainability plan in 2003, which spurred the development of its Sustainability Team.

Carpooling, vanpooling, busing, biking and walking to work are highly encouraged. For instance, carpoolers pay a lower monthly fee for parking at the office. Additionally, bike commuters have access to a locked room for bike storage and all employees can utilize lockers and showers in the restrooms. In addition, all employees that bike, walk, bus, or vanpool are eligible for the DAS Smart Commuter Program which provides an emergency ride home, vendor coupons and occasional parking passes.

 
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