Governor's Award for Sustainable Practices
Boxcar/The Little House
Boxcar/The Little House, in Olympia, is a one-person environmental education program. Dee Williams built her 84-square foot bungalow in 2005 as a personal journey, but in three years she has taken 20,000,000 people along on the ride. Williams uses her tiny home as an object, tangible lesson in green building, renewable energy and energy efficiency, communitecture (community design) and voluntary simplicity. Her message is simple: positive change begins at home. She hosts tours and tells her story of building the home from salvaged and environmentally-friendly materials. She uses speaking engagements, videos on the Internet, and media events to reach more viewers and readers.
l to r: Kathleen Drew, Dee Williams, Jay Manning
Some of the numbers: Reduced material use approx. 1700% (1,500 sq ft house down to 84 sq ft), 100% renewable energy (solar); reduced water use by 13,000 gal/yr.
Canyon Creek Cabinet Company
Canyon Creek Cabinet Company, in Monroe, makes affordable custom cabinetry for homes. The company has won many government and industry awards for its products and practices, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s Evergreen Award for Environmental Excellence. Canyon Creek was also the first cabinet company awarded the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers’ Association Environmental Stewardship Program certificate. Canyon Creek explores new finish technologies and works with its suppliers to create coatings that reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while providing a durable, quality finish. The company helped develop waterborne finishes for use in the cabinet industry. They have now developed a coating with an even lower-VOC than waterborne, which gives them room to increase production while staying in a synthetic minor regulatory category. Canyon Creek was the first business to sign on to the Lean and Environment pilot program with the Dept. of Ecology and Washington Manufacturing Services to streamline processes and reduce waste. Canyon Creek also worked with the Pollution Prevention Resource Center to find and use the latest techniques and tools for training in finish spraying.
l to r: Kathleen Drew, Roger Felton, Mike Jackson, John Earl, Bryan Jarvis, Bill Weaver, Jay Manning
Some of the numbers: Eliminated use of toxic material: 68,723 lbs/year; reduced energy use: 518,868 kWhs/year; reduced water use: 40,000 gal/year; reduced VOC discharge: 60,000 lbs/yr; reduced waste: 568,605 lbs/yr.
N.W. Bloom - EcoLogical Landscapes
N.W. Bloom – EcoLogical Landscapes, in Mill Creek, is dedicated to maintaining an ecological balance while maximizing land use. The locally owned and operated company designs and builds their projects as self-sustaining landscapes. They do not use pesticides or other harmful chemicals, relying on organic, non-toxic methods. The company uses recycled material, locally produced mulches and compost and native plants in their work. They send organic debris to recyclers, and then close the loop by buying back the compost and mulch. They reuse rock, lumber and other materials from demolition projects and even maintain a “Plant Orphanage” for unwanted plants until they can be used. Their designs conserve water by building healthy soil, using drought-tolerant plantings, and incorporating features that absorb rain, such as rain gardens, bio-swales and by using pervious surfaces. The company uses biodiesel in all of their vehicles and equipment and runs a 4-day workweek to cut down on transportation. They are also using electricity from the Planet Power program, which buys “green” power from renewable resources.
l to r: Kathleen Drew, Jessica Bloom Kenney, Greg Kenney, Jay Manning
Some of the numbers: For 2007 - Biodiesel used: 3314 gal, saving 73,570 lbs carbon dioxide emissions; recycled material purchased: 405 cubic yards; material sent for recycling: 25 tons concrete, 67 cubic yards green debris, 150 cubic yards sod.
Seattle Children's Hospital
Seattle Children’s Hospital is a 250 bed hospital, specializing in pediatric care and research. The hospital was one of the first to recognize the dangers of plasticizers to newborns and has phased out medical devices that contain the chemical. Children’s is also mercury free and has reduced its annual hazardous waste amount by more than 27 tons. They were the first hospital in the region to compost food waste and now send about 1400 pounds each week for composting. The hospital has saved water and energy by retrofitting and changing equipment, from the surgery autoclave to floor mops. They improved the management of waste from the operating rooms and in six months had reduced their amount of regulated medical waste by 36,000 pounds. Children’s also uses integrated pest control management for their grounds and follows environmentally preferable purchasing. In 2007, Children’s shared their clean, green hospital efforts with more than 80 organizations around the country through a teleconference organized by Hospitals for a Healthier Environment.
l to r: Mitch Birchfield, Kathleen Drew, Todd Johnson, Jay Manning
The numbers: Annual water savings: 7,042,276 gals, $89,891 in costs; reduced/diverted solid waste: 284,542 lbs, $50,796 in costs; reduced annual use of toxic material: 120 lbs xylene, 856 gals methanol, 1086 lbs soda sorb, 856 gals formaldehyde.