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Green Living Columbia River PDX

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment

Power Plants Azure Standard PDX Sets the of the Trend for Future Recycling Books. Clean Diesel Ethical Consumerism

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Contents Publisher’s Page - Green is Bustin’ Out All Over ..... 5 National Editors Page - The Great Debate . .............. 6 Local Notes . .......................................................................... 8 Celebrating 20 Years - Azure Standard .................... 14 Food Locavore Basics: Eight Budget Tips for Going Local .... 15 Transportation - Clean Diesel....................................... 17 Business Ethical Consumerism .....................................................19 PDX Sets the Trend for Recycling Books .................28 Building - Power Plants of the Future .........................21 Gardening - Gardening Like the Forest .................... 23 Home - Creating a Relaxing Healthy Home Haven . .......26 Earth Talk Which Woods Are OK to Purchase ....... 27 Book Reviews Footprint ............................................................................29 Ecotrain ...............................................................................30 Events .....................................................................................30 Classifieds..............................................................................31

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Green Living Journal P. O. Box 677, Cascade Locks, OR 97014 Publisher: Columbia River Press LLC PDX Editor: Gary Munkhoff 541.374.5454 Advertising: Susan Place 541.374.5454 Production Graphic Services: Katie Cordrey, Sticks and Stones Company 509.493.1250 National Editor: Stephen Morris Webmaster: Michael Potts Cover Photos: Van de Graaff generator - Chris Devers Flickr* Stacks - Brett Weinstein (Nrbelex) Flickr* Farmers market - Julia Manzerova Flickr* Combine - Azure Standard

*Images courtesy of photographers sharing through Creative Commons

Printed with soy-based inks on Blue Heron recycled paper by Signature Graphics. The Columbia River edition of the Green Living Journal is published quarterly and 16,000 copies are distributed free of charge throughout the Portland-Vancouver metro area. We encourage our readers to patronize our advertisers, but we are not responsible for any advertising claims. Subscriptions $9.95 per year. Copyright © 2010 Columbia River Press LLC The Green Living Journal Family is Proud to be a Member of . . .

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Publisher’s Page Green Is Bustin’ Out All Over By Gary Munkhoff

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My earliest recollection of being afraid of the outside world was during the air raid drills of World War II that were occasionally conducted in the New York City area. Lights went out, cars stopped, curtains were drawn and mom would try to reassure us by telling us that this was only a drill, just like a fire drill at school. The only light in the whole house came from the dial of our big console as we sat wondering and waiting for the all clear. Dad was somewhere in the Pacific, we were in the dark and we were sure that the boogieman was coming. My sister and I knew, even as young as we were, that this was no fire drill. Well, as we all know, that boogieman was crushed by a generation of Americans that endured a depression and then, with grim resolve, went to war. White crosses, purple hearts, ration books, savings bonds, and victory gardens were the badges that millions of them earned for their sacrifices and courage. Many years have passed and any of my lingering childhood fears of the outside world were erased by the following two decades that are fondly referred to as the “Fabulous Fifties” and the “Soaring Sixties”. “Let the Good Times Roll” was the theme song of the day and we sure did. But by 1968, storm clouds were gathering and by 1970 the time had come to start paying the piper. Again, many years have passed and once more there is good reason to be afraid of the boogieman coming again, judging by the doomsday messages that bombard us daily on TV, over the internet and in print. Only this time he is not some evil empire from across the ocean bent on our destruction. No, this time he is “us”, as so astutely declared by Walt Kelly’s Pogo almost 40 years ago, That’s the bad news. The good news is that we as individuals don’t have to be one of the “us” if we choose not to be. And more and more of the “us” are opting out of the boogieman role. One by one, individuals, families, companies, governments agencies, schools, and groups are shedding their ugly masks and getting more in tune with the natural world. The badges that Oregonians are earning now for their courage and sacrifice in struggling for a more sustainable future are showing up everywhere we look. So take heart, keep your eyes open for new ideas, gather inspiration and find ways to change. You don’t have to be an “us”. CORRECTION: In the Spring issue we failed to include the author’s credits for the article “How to Make and Use Biochar.” The author is Tracy Volan and the article was reprinted from her website:

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National Editor’s Page The Great Debate By Stephen Morris

Environmental decisions are never quite as cut and dried as they initially appear. “Paper or plastic” can still generate a lot of murkiness, especially when considered in the context of a third option “reusable.” My neighbor, Sam, and I agree on politics, religion, and government. We have the same outlooks on the economy and the innate nature of the human species. We even root for the same baseball team and are card-carrying members of the Red Sox Nation. Where we part ways is on pea fences. This can be an emotion charged subject and discussions can get ugly. Turn the page if you do not have the stomach for a bare-fisted discussion of pea fences. Sam’s pea fence is meant for the ages. Each spring he pulls out the metal fence posts and drives them into the just-thawed earth with a sledgehammer. Then he rolls out the chicken wire that has been in storage since last summer. He lays it out straight and true, and when he finally steps back to admire his work, he sees a fence that will let his peas grow skyward, straight and true. He sees a thing of beauty. I see the prison camp at Stalag 17. The advantages of Sam’s pea fence are (in his view) economy, aesthetics, and yield. He gets about six years out of his chicken wire and ten from his posts. I don’t know that he tracks his costs methodically, but his claim that it costs “only a few dollars a year” is probably safe. He loves the neatness of his fence, the angularity. The peas are cooperative, growing straight up at right angles to the earth. As for the yield, Sam claims that the vertical configuration maximizes the harvest of solar energy and, therefore, his harvest. It’s hard to argue with his logic, but it’s also the logic that guides factory farming. Now, let’s talk about my pea fence. My pea fence is a study in “just enough.” Unlike Sam, who installs his pea fence before he’s planted his peas, my pea fence goes in when the plants have just reached the height where they are just about to topple over. This happens around Memorial Day. My pea fence does not come from the local lumber supply or Home Depot, but is clipped from the extremities of saplings that a neighbor has allowed me to thin from his land. Twigs. That’s what they are. 12 “ to 36” inches in height; I press them into the soft soil, creating a spider work of wood tendrils above the peas. It doesn’t take long for the peas to catch on, especially since I plant in pods rather than rows. My reasoning is that my peas are a community, not an army like Sam’s, and they like having their roots intertwined with their brethren. I have no idea what I’m talking about. There’s not a lot of science to this. I am largely a self-taught gardener.


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My peas grow, maybe I should say sprawl, because they move out as well as up. I have to stick in remedial twigs where things seem to be breaking down. Occasionally, I have to create little superstructures out of garden twine to give an errant pea something to cling to. When the harvest is complete, Sam’s fence stands straight and tall, ready to withstand the next earthquake. Mine is on the brink of collapse, its purpose served. The spent pea plants will go into the compost. The twigs will be employed to prop up sagging beans, and the garden twine (no dye) will find new life trussing tomatoes to their stakes. I like using the twine from the peas for the tomatoes. I like the fact that my pea fence costs me next to nothing. I like that when the garden is mostly over, the twigs of

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

the pea fence will find their way into the outdoor fireplace, and the flames that lick from them will roast my marshmallows. Afterwards, the ashes will go directly into the compost. This is all lost on Sam. He thinks that I am both cheap and an idiot. I see it as an epic philosophic debate, a continuation of the Biblical question of whether or not Man has Dominion. (Pronounce these three words as if in an echo chamber.) My view is that we’re here to work with nature, not to dominate it. It’s also an example of “systems thinking,” the process of understanding how things influence one another other within an ecosystem where various elements such as air, water, movement, plant and animals work together to survive or perish. Sam, poor fellow, is only concerned with solving the problem of sagging peas. My solution may not result in taller peas, but its total effect on the garden is more benign.

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Green Living Journal Recognized with Vermont Governor’s Award The Vermont edition of Green Living: A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment is the 2010 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Education and Outreach. It is the only publication to receive this Governor Douglas, Stephen Morris, Secretary Wood recognition. In notifying the company of its selection Jonathan L. Wood, Secretary of the Vermont Agency for Natural Resources, said “On behalf of the Governor I am pleased to inform you that a panel of judges has selected Green Living Journal for recognition in this year’s Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Education and Outreach. Your award-winning project stands out as a model that should inspire all to find innovative approaches to conserve natural resources, safeguard human and environmental health, and prevent pollution before it is generated.” He then invited the company to an award ceremony in its honor with the Governor, adding “On behalf of all state residents, thank you for your efforts to protect and enhance the state’s environment and congratulations for your achievement.” The reception was held May 3 at the State House. Green Living was founded by Marshall Glickman in Brattleboro in 1990. Current editor and publisher Stephen Morris credits Glickman with the simplicity and effectiveness of the original business model. “It’s rare that a free

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 9 Summer 2010


publication has the quality editorial content for which Green Living is known. Many of the top environmental writers in the world have appeared on our pages, and they let us use their material at no charge because it expands awareness of the key issues facing us.” Morris, who acquired the business in 2004, has expanded the business model into new territories, including the Upper Valley, the Champlain Valley (published by Ellen Shapiro), and Portland, Oregon (published by Gary Munkhoff). Circulation has quadrupled in the last five years and the paper edition has been supplemented by an electronic presence at According to Morris there has been little change in the mission Green Living since its earliest day. “It’s always been about serving the local community of ‘friends of the environment.’ This includes individuals, non-profits, and also the business community.” Companies and organizations recognized with Governor’s Awards in other categories include IBM, Vermont Country Store, Vermont National Guard, Green Mountain Coffee, and Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Local Notes Ariens Electric Riding Mower Available Locally

The Ariens AMP Rider all-electric, riding lawnmower delivers as much drive and cutting power as a conventional gas-powered riding mower without the emissions, oil, belts or noise associated with gasoline-powered mowers. The AMP Rider is designed to meet a growing market need for all-electric riding mowers that can match the power, cutting precision and reliability of gas-powered riding mowers offered by Ariens. Ariens is the first company to offer a riding electric mower in conjunction with a mass channel retail chain and through a wide and proven dealer network across the U.S. AMP Rider sells for an MSRP of $1,999, reportedly the lowest priced all-electric riding lawn mower on the market. “We understand that our customers desire alternative energy fueled mowers, and we are methodically moving our company towards offering a line of products that run


off electric and other alternative fuels,” said Dan Ariens, company president. “With AMP Rider, we are able to offer homeowners a way to reduce fuel expenses and produce zero emissions, without sacrificing the power, reliability and support they expect from Ariens’ products.” The AMP Rider is available locally at Henderson Turf & Wear.

Lillian’s Natural Marketplace Set to Open in July Lillian Negron has a mission: To paint Gresham green, and do it in a way that’s sustainable. The first step is to create a natural foods store in the heart of downtown Gresham that can serve not only as a store but also as a gathering place, an information hub and a place to fill the void for local, fresh, natural products, produce, music, and much, much more. Lillian’s Natural Marketplace is set to open in July, 2010, and Negron, a veteran of the natural, whole foods world, hopes it will shine a continued new light on Downtown Gresham and the community. Negron, who has served as a buyer for Whole Foods and Natures and several other large retailers, is parlaying that experience into a new 4,450 square foot storefront at 283 NW Miller Ave. While touring the site that’s currently being finished, Negron noted that she wanted to create a store that “adapted to the needs of the community” and featured foods that are, “organic, natural and local.” The store has received kudos and support from the city of Gresham and Negron’s partner, developer Dwight Unti, President and owner of Tokola Properties. The grand opening will feature music, giveaways, events and activities for all ages. Negron emphasized that if any individuals or businesses in Gresham or surrounding communities wants to contribute entertainment, product giveaways, or attend, all are welcome. For more information contact Lillian Negron at 503-3332478 or

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

Reserve Your Nissan Electric Car Now The Nissan all electric Leaf will be arriving in December, but the buying process is a little different than the usual walking into a dealer and picking one out. For this reason the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association (OEVA) got together with Joel Fowler, Sales Manager for Tonkin Wilsonville Nissan, and held the OEVA’s monthly meeting at the dealership to bring these EV enthusiasts up to speed. In order to purchase a Leaf you must first reserve one in advance and the reservation process is well explained on the Nissan Leaf ’s website at http://www.nissanusa. com/leaf-electric-car. Most of the OEVA crowd was already familiar with the reservation process and several had already reserved theirs. Over the next two hours, Joel, who has gone through extensive Nissan training in order to become the dealership’s Leaf specialist, gave us an overview of how the dealers are being trained and investing in special tools and equipment in order to be able to service the Leaf. He also brought up the following key points that all prospective buyers should pay attention to: 1. The price that Nissan quotes for the Leaf does not include dealer destination charges or set up fees. 2. Dealers may charge an additional mark-up fee. 3. The dealer is required to have a designated service area and special tools just for the Leaf 4. The Leaf comes with an extensive warranty that includes roadside service should you run down your battery while on the road.

5. The Leaf can’t be towed. It must be hauled on a flatbed tow truck. 6. There are tax credits available to the purchasers of the Leaf. By the end of the evening there was no doubt in my mind that Nissan, the Tonkin dealership and Joel were all making a tremendous effort and financial commitment to making the Leaf a successful new choice of automobile for the American consumer. So if a new car is in your future why not go on line and reserve a Leaf and then go on down to Wilsonville and talk to Joel.



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Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 9 Summer 2010


Local Notes cont.

Integrated Solar Design, LLC Relocates to Oregon

Oregonians are enjoying the most lucrative incentives in the country – all for making a decision to harness our natural resources, a decision to convert to solar electricity using photovoltaic (PV) panels. And now, Integrated Solar Design is bringing their specialty product to Oregon. In spring of 2008, solar installer, Delmar Benjamin was faced with the task of constructing a PV solar awning on the Ive residence in Lakewood, CO. The Ives wanted to use the bi-facial Sanyo panels that collect energy from both top and bottom in addition to letting 15% of the sunlight pass through. The problem was that the owners wanted a watertight awning and none of the racking systems available at the time afforded that feature.


Benjamin had experience working and designing with aluminum after decades in the flying industry. He designed the awning structure to support the modules, paying special attention to strategies for hiding the wiring and keeping the back of the array free from shading which would degrade performance. To address the need for a watertight system, Benjamin designed an aluminum extrusion that clamps and seals between the individual panels. “This system meets the criteria of a roof structure that is designed to withstand 100 psf snow load and 150 mph wind gusts.” Out of this design project grew a new solar company – Integrated Solar Design, LLC serving the niche market of watertight PV solar awning covers and was based in Colorado. During the summer of 2009, the company created leading edge solutions that were utilized by University of Arizona’s Solar Decathlon Team. In the fall of 2009, the company was approached to submit a proposal for an electric car charging station at OMSI in Portland, Oregon. While conducting research for this project, they discovered the incredible incentives being offered in Oregon. Because PV solar is an incentive driven industry, Integrated Solar Design decided to expand its company into Oregon, choosing Canby to house their corporate headquarters. We are going to have all of the components of our racking system machined and coated in Oregon; along with the Sanyo crystals being grown in Salem, this truly is a “Made in Oregon” product.

Local Landscaper Achieves Organic Accreditation

Apogee Landscapes LLC, a local company that focuses on sustainable landscaping, recently participated in the first ever Oregon Tilth Organic Land Care Training session, which enabled them to become one of the first Oregon Tilth Accredited Organic Land Care professionals in the nation. There is rising concern over the detrimental effects of conventional landscape practices in the Pacific Northwest. Urban runoff from lawns and gardens is finding its

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

way into urban streams and waterways. A USGS study found extremely high levels of pesticides and herbicides throughout the Clackamas River and its tributaries, including glyphosate and 2/4-D. Of the more than 63,250 square miles of lawns in America, over 50% of them are treated with pesticides, and even more use synthetic fertilizers. Unregulated practices in our landscapes affect our air, water, and soil qualities, as well as our natural populations of wildlife and plant communities. Apogee Landscapes is committed to practicing a new kind of landscape contracting, and is currently certified by Portland’s Eco-Logical Business Program, and is also accredited by Oregon Tilth’s OLC program. Some of our notable practices include: • Disconnecting downspouts and installing raingardens and bioswales • Installing Permeable Pavements • Eliminating the use of synthetic chemicals • Planting edible and native gardens • Building with recycled and salvaged materials • Installing living roofs • We even have an employee bike to work incentive program For more information contact Michael LaCasa at 503.312.1811 or

Solarize Southeast In the first round of Solarize Southeast in 2009, they organized 350 people to go through workshops and get a site assessment. One hundred thirty of those went on to have a solar installation, for a total of 350 kW’s installed on the roofs of our community. That’s the equivalent of taking 650 cars off the road. Round two closed this spring with nearly 800 people interested in joining their community to make their neighborhoods more sustainable by investing in renewable energy! Congratulations to everyone who was involved, and a very special thanks to the neighborhood associations and volunteers who helped bring this opportunity to their neighbors. They were able to get enough people involved to reach their pricing goal of $5.90/watt! With the number of people signed up they are confident that they will surpass their goal of 400 kW’s installed!

Other Solarize Projects The first solarize Southeast project was so successful that other neighborhoods quickly organized projects in Northeast, Southwest, and way out in Pendleton. There is also a movement forming to Solarize the Gorge.

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 9 Summer 2010


Local Notes cont.

PGE Plans Largest Solar Array in the NW

Portland General Electric is expanding its solar energy resources with a new 2.4-megawatt rooftop project -- the largest rooftop solar project in the Pacific Northwest. PGE is partnering with U.S. Bank, ProLogis, and several Oregon companies on the project. Northwest Solar Solutions, a division of locally owned Snyder Roofing and the installer for this project, estimates 60,000 hours of union-wage electrical and roofing Oregon jobs will be created by this project. The roughly 900,000-square-foot project will cover the roofs of seven ProLogis distribution warehouses in Portland, Gresham, and Clackamas. The new project will use UNI-SOLAR innovative “thin-film” solar panels that are similar to the ones used on the 1.1 megawatt rooftop project PGE and ProLogis brought online in 2008. With the new 2.4-megawatt project, PGE will have more than 12 megawatts of solar capacity in its resource mix, including the 104-kilowatt solar highway project with the Oregon Department of Transportation and 9.1 megawatts of customer-owned solar energy projects PGE supports through its net metering program. Among utilities, PGE ranks 8th in the nation for total solar capacity, according to the national Solar Energy Power Association. Energy Trust of Oregon is providing about $2.3 million in incentives for the project. Other partners on the project include PV Powered (Bend, Ore.) and Tonkon Torp (Portland). The project also received funding from PGE’s Clean Wind program, which helps fund renewable energy projects in the region. For more information, contact: Elaina Medina, PGE, 503-464-8790

Build It Green Tour The ninth annual Build it Green! Home Tour (BIG!) and Information Fair will take place Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. We are looking forward to another great tour of new and remodeled projects showcasing differing sustainable design styles, construction strategies and lifestyle choices. Do you have an interesting residential project you’d like to have considered for this year’s tour? Check out more tour info and the nomination form. Help us create a diverse and appealing event for more than 900 tour-goers. We welcome your nominations. BIG! is presented annually each September by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Read about past tours at Questions? Call Valerie Garrett at 503-823-5431.


SolarWorld To Culminate Expansion, Adding 350 Workers In Five Months SolarWorld group is launching the culminating phase of its employment, equipment and manufacturing ramp in Hillsboro. The company plans to add a total of 350 workers for two factory buildings here by Sept. 30. The largest and oldest U.S. solar manufacturer, SolarWorld expects to interview many hundreds of job seekers, including soldiers returning from the Mideast, to supply production operators, administrators and engineers at its Hillsboro site. The site will swell from about 650 people now to about 1,000. In all, it will employ about 1,250 people at its U.S. sites, including its plant in Camarillo, Calif. SolarWorld continues its expansion as several competitors phase out U.S. production to shift overseas. In the works nearly five years, the U.S. expansion to 500 MW of annual capacity has come thanks partly to tax incentives from the city of Hillsboro, the state of Oregon and the U.S. government. Their interest has helped SolarWorld spearhead growth of a solar industry in Oregon at a time of stubborn national unemployment. “SolarWorld is a great Oregon success story,” said Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski. “This next phase opens the doors of opportunity for hundreds of Oregonians seeking employment and advances the production of clean, renewable energy.” Over coming months, job seekers can keep track of employment postings and application instructions at the company’s online Job & Career center on its U.S. website Media contact: Ben Santarris, 503 927 9858 (o),

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

Energy Trust Wants Your Old Refrigerator

Outdoor Ride Share Launches Carpooling For Sports Activities There is a new way to get to the coast this year- by carpool. The recently launched was created as a way to get the Oregon outdoor community to cut back on their carbon footprint and save money on gas by ride sharing outdoors. Skiers, snow boarders, surfers, climbers, kayakers, kite boarders, mountain bikers and hikers can now easily find other outdoor goers with the same interests -and- car racks. This carpool forum organizes postings by sport and car status making it easy to find others with the same gear and interests and helping drivers match up with riders. The site was created by a Portland local and is available in Portland, Hood River, Eugene, Bend and Tri-Cities. Needless to say, this is not your average carpooling website. For more information go to: or

Sustainable Today on TV

Keeping an older refrigerator may seem like a great way to conserve on costs — whether waiting another year to replace one in the kitchen or hanging on to one in the garage as a backup. But if it was built in the 1990s or earlier, it could be costing a bundle to keep around - guzzling up to $200 a year in energy costs. That’s a lot compared to today’s more energy-efficient models that on average cost only $40 a year to run. Homeowners can calculate the annual cost to run their old fridge or freezer at www. To help utility customers unplug and save, Energy Trust of Oregon is offering free refrigerator and freezer recycling, along with a $30 cash incentive in exchange for the unit. Homeowners simply call to schedule an appointment, and Energy Trust takes care of the rest. Hauling and pick up are free from any room in the house or the garage. While numbers show that more and more Americans are buying energy-efficient refrigerators, there is also a growing trend for those same buyers to keep the old one as a second fridge. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, secondary fridges can currently be found in 26 percent of homes in the U.S. and that number is rising by one percent each year. In the Northwest, that average is higher, with 35 percent of households owning a second fridge. Purchase of a new refrigerator is not required to participate in Energy Trust’s recycling offer. However, homeowners can receive an additional $50 cash incentive from Energy Trust, and up to $90 in state energy tax credits, when purchasing a new ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerator or freezer. To qualify, the refrigerator or freezer must be between 10 and 30 cubic feet and in working condition. Oregon customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power are eligible to participate. An Energy Trust incentive check is mailed within six weeks of pick up. To schedule a free pick up, call 1-866-444-8907 or visit

The Center for a Sustainable Today has monthly gatherings that feature dinner and a viewing of the cable show Sustainable Today. Special guests that were on the show are present for questions and answers after the showing. Sustainable Today is a non-profit organization dedicated to public education about sustainable lifestyles and living. Their cable show looks at issues such as dining out, solar energy, prisons, agriculture, wave energy, spirituality and other interesting topics. You can see Sustainable Today’s broadcasts on The Oregon Channel and on Cable Access outlets throughout the State of Oregon via the Oregon Public Affairs Network (OPAN). The program is produced at Portland Community Media and is broadcast throughout Portland on Comcast channel 11 on the second Saturday of each month. To find out about the next dinner and viewing visit their website: or call 503-734-5375

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 9 Summer 2010


Celebrating 20 Years! The Green Living Journal has been publishing practical information for friends of the environment in Vermont for 20 years and our Portland-Vancouver edition has been up and running for over 2 years now. As part of our celebration of these milestones we felt we needed to publish the stories of some of the other local businesses that are also 20 years old or more. We look forward to the next 20 years and all the exciting changes that are coming. In this issue we asked David Stelzer of Azure Standard to tell us their story.

Azure Standard

By David Stelzer Five generations of our family have been farming in the Dufur area since 1954. The Azure Standard story really begins in 1971 when we made radical changes in the operation of our 2,000-acre dry-land wheat and cattle ranch. In the 1950’s almost all the farmers in America began using chemical fertilizers because the lure of higher yields was just too great to pass up. Not long afterward, the soil deteriorated to the point where the weeds and insects began to attack the crops, so pesticides and herbicides soon followed. Our family was caught in the cycle like most farmers, until 1971 when we took our farm out of the chemical cycle “cold turkey,” so to speak. In the first year, the chemical-dependent land only produced a small percentage of what it had formerly produced. At this point most farmers would have gone back to chemical use for economic survival. But, sticking to our convictions, we fought ignorance and lack of information in order to keep on without chemical use. As the years went on, the soil slowly regained its natural fertility. As a result of farming in this manner, both commercially, and on smaller scale in large gardens and orchards for our own use, our family became healthier. We began selling this healthier food to others who also wanted to reap the benefits of better nutrition. Our newfound customers soon began asking for different natural and organic products, that we didn’t grow here on our farm, but we scrambled to find those products for them. Thus, in 1987, Azure Standard was born. Here, we understand that naturally grown foods are instrumental in producing a long and satisfying life. We’d like to see more farmers and home gardeners turn to natural organic growing practices, so we do what we can to not only support the organic farmer, but also provide as many organic products as possible. We chose to call our business Azure Standard, to signify by the name what we are attempting to do. Azure is a shade of blue that has been associated with law, justice, and honesty. In raising an azure standard, we want to place an honest standard in the marketing of food. We feel that the correct way to effect a positive change is not to attack the way it is being done, but to begin to do it right. Azure now delivers to 40,000 customers in 21 states and we have about 7,500 items in our catalog. Two generations of our family work here and we employ a total of 70 people directly plus we work with 22 independent delivery truckers. In an average month there are about 125 drops made in the Portland area (between Salem and Battleground, WA) to health food stores, food coops, and individual homes. We are dedicated to the “organic principle” of cooperating with nature and we pray others will join us so that we may once again see prosperity in our land. To see their catalog or to learn more about Azure Standard visit their website: 14

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010


Food Locavore Basics: Eight Budget Tips for Going Local

By Leda Meredith The stereotype of someone who can afford to eat local, organic ingredients is a foodie with lots of free time and disposable income. That’s not me. I try to eat mostly foods raised sustainably within 250 miles of where I live, but I don’t have time or cash to spare. What I’ve learned is that a local, organic diet can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, from June to November, I get all of my fruits and vegetables for free (more about how to do that below). It’s worth remembering that those seemingly cheap prices for conventionally raised foods are an illusion, because you pay the price at tax time, via government subsidies that support chemical agriculture but not small farms practicing sustainable agriculture. I wish there were a tax deduction for locavores who don’t eat the conventional foods subsidized by those taxpayer dollars, but since there isn’t, here are a few of the ways I’ve discovered to eat local on a budget. Grow or forage your own grub. Gardening is the ultimate local-foods diet, matched only by foraging for wild edible plants. There are delicious wild fruits and vegetables

as well as gourmet mushrooms growing right at your feet, even if you live in the city. Usually overlooked as “weeds,” these free foods are yours once you learn some simple but essential identification skills. Sign up for one of the wildedibles classes offered nationwide, and you’ll soon be safely harvesting the free food growing all around you. No room, time, or interest in gardening? Get involved with a CSA. If you can volunteer a few hours a week for a few weeks each year, you may be able to get a communitysupported agriculture (CSA) share totally free. CSAs depend

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Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 9 Summer 2010


on a core group of volunteers who are responsible for tasks that range from bookkeeping to website maintenance to communicating with the farmer. In exchange, most CSAs offer core members discounted or free vegetable shares, depending on how much time they put in. (I volunteer five hours a week as site coordinator for my CSA for eight weeks, in exchange for which I get my vegetable share for free. If I put in more weeks than that, I also get my fruit share for free.) Many CSAs also offer discounted shares to lowincome families, and most CSAs accept EBT payments at a discounted membership rate. Ask if discounted shares are available at your local CSA, and be prepared to show some proof of your income status to qualify. Even with a CSA, you might need extras. Be a savvy shopper at the farmers’ market. Walk through the entire farmers’ market before you buy anything, checking to see what looks the best and which stalls have the lowest prices. Often there’s a huge difference in price for the same vegetable between one farm’s stall and the next. Pay attention to peak seasonality. Each crop has a season and a peak season. “Peak season” is when the produce is both tastiest and cheapest. For example, tomatoes appear at my farmers’ markets in June, but aren’t really at their tastiest or most affordable until August.


Put up your harvest (or bulk purchases) for the cold months. By freezing, canning, pickling, or otherwise preserving summer’s bounty, my locavore meals in wintertime are varied and delicious, and they balance the budget of what I spend during the warm months. The strawberries I froze when they were at their most luscious (and cheapest) become breakfast smoothies in January; the ratatouille I made with summer squash and eggplant becomes a quick pasta sauce long after squash and eggplant season is over. So pick up a few food-preservation skills, not only to add interest and nutrition to your winter diet but also to keep costs down. Waste not, want not. Instead of throwing apple cores and peels into the compost, I stockpile them in the freezer to make homemade apple vinegar and to use as pectin for jellies and jams. I also use my freezer to save vegetable trimmings and poultry, meat, and fish bones, which I turn into delicious stocks that later become soups and sauces. Carrot leaves, onion skins, parsley stems, and the tough green parts of leeks are among the usually thrown-out parts of vegetables that are great in stock. Eat fewer animal foods. Even sustainably, humanely raised animals and animal products require a heftier input of resources and labor than plants do. That’s why they’re the most expensive items at the farmers’ market. By eating vegetarian meals several times a week, even if you enjoy your dairy, eggs, or meat on the other days, you’ll significantly reduce your food costs.

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

Eat at home. And no, takeout doesn’t count. If your lifestyle till now has included more than one restaurant, takeout, or delivery meal a week, then cooking at home will definitely save you money. Leda Meredith is a dancer and writer in New York City. She also teaches botanical courses for the New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and has her own horticultural services company, Urban Edens. She is the author of The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budge/ and maintains a local food blog “Leda’s Urban Homestead” at This article appeared on the “Culinate” website: and is reprinted with the author’s permission.

Transportation Clean Diesel

How Diesels Are Different

Diesel automakers have used two technologies to deliver better, sleeker performance: turbocharging and direct fuel injection. Audi and Volkswagen’s clean diesel designation, TDI, stands for turbocharged direct injection. Modern injectors meter fuel quite precisely, injecting diesel fuel into the combustion chamber as many as seven times for each power stroke of the engine. By adding injections at different times — rather than injecting the fuel all at once, as was formerly the case — diesel engines run smoothly and quietly. This also increases fuel economy and lowers tailpipe emissions. Another rub against older diesel cars was that they were

What Makes Diesel Clean

By Todd Kaho Whatever notions you have about diesel cars, forget them. Long gone are the days of smelly, black plumes of smoke, noisy engines, slow acceleration, and sometimesfinicky operation. Diesel technology has evolved significantly in recent years, making diesel cars a strong green transportation option. Modern diesel powertrains are quiet, clean, smooth, reliable, powerful, durable and economical. A diesel vehicle will usually cost more than a comparable gasoline vehicle, but the diesel engine’s more robust design means that, with proper maintenance, it should last considerably longer. Plus, some clean diesel cars qualify for a federal tax credit. For generations, diesel power has been the best choice for work-intensive applications, with no other engine delivering as much stump-pulling power. What’s evolved is how the engine compresses and ignites the fuel to propel the vehicle — a change that has capitalized on diesel’s inherent advantages while virtually eliminating the traits that previously made diesel dirty.

slow, with lethargic acceleration that sometimes made freeway merges challenging. That’s no longer true. New diesel cars have a bit less horsepower than their gasoline counterparts, but they make up for that with more torque. Think of torque as the get-up or pulling power of the engine, which impacts how the vehicle accelerates. Diesel engines deliver significant power at low revolutions per minute (rpm), whereas most gasoline engines deliver their best power at higher rpm. So with a diesel vehicle, abundant torque is available right off of idle. Torque is partly why modern diesels are not only powerful, but also fun to drive.

What triggered diesel’s recent evolution was the 2006 federal mandate that all highway-grade diesel fuel sold in the United States have sulfur content of no more than 15 parts per million. Ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel allows automakers to incorporate more sophisticated after treatment devices in the cars’ exhaust systems. Previously, high levels of sulfur in diesel fuel would have poisoned the advanced catalytic converter needed to scrub out pollutants. Modern diesels that use these devices are truly “clean” diesels — meeting even California’s emissions standards, which are the strictest in the country. To publicly demonstrate just how clean and soot-free modern diesel cars are, auto industry representatives hold white handkerchiefs to the tailpipe while the engine is running. Minutes later, the white hanky is still white — not a trace of soot or other emissions. This is made possible by catalytic converters designed to reduce emissions, a particulate filter and, in larger engines, a final catalyst that uses a small amount of ammonia from an injection of urea solution to minimize nitrogen oxide emissions. The diesel particulate filter is an innovative device — it literally traps harmful particulates, and then burns them off, producing carbon dioxide and water vapor.

The Advantages of Diesel

Fuel economy is the primary reason many folks consider diesel. Compared with a similar-sized gasoline engine, a diesel engine delivers about 30 percent better fuel economy,

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 9 Summer 2010


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signup with code GREENJOURNAL and save $25 at which also means roughly 30 percent less carbon dioxide emissions. While diesel fuel is more expensive than regular gasoline, diesel’s better mileage saves money in the long run. Diesels also generally have a long service life. If properly cared for, it’s not uncommon for a diesel car to be reliable for more than 300,000 miles. The increasing desire to wean America off foreign oil also plays in diesel’s favor. True, diesel fuel is still a petroleum product, but using 30 percent less of it has a considerable impact on how much we buy. Diesel engines are also compatible with biofuels, which can be derived from domestic sources. Most new diesel cars are certified for use with B5, a mix of 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent petrodiesel. B20 (20 percent biodiesel) is an option in some diesel cars that are more than a few years old.

Clean Diesel Options

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors have diesels available in full-size, heavy-duty pickup trucks. Over the past few decades, the rising popularity of these trucks has made diesel fuel widely available such that it’s no longer necessary to go to a truck stop to find a diesel pump. As for clean diesel cars and SUVs, the pool of options is growing, with German automakers leading the charge. Volkswagen currently offers a clean diesel version of its Jetta model (30 city mpg, 42 highway mpg), which is available as a sedan or station wagon. The Volkswagen Touareg SUV is rated at 18 city mpg and 25 highway mpg. Volkswagen has also reintroduced a diesel version of its Golf Hatchback (30 city mpg, 42 highway mpg). The Q7 SUV from Audi (17 city mpg, 25 highway mpg) is now available in the United States. Also from Audi is the smaller, super efficient A3 hatchback (30 city mpg, 42 highway mpg), which was recently named the 2010 Green Car of the Year by “Green Car Journal.” Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz 18

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From fabulous outdoor activities to art and cultural events, Cascade Locks is a Great Place to Live, Work, & Play now offer clean diesel technology in their upscale sedans and SUVs. BMW has the sporty 335d sedan (23 city mpg, 36 highway mpg) and X5 SUV (19 city mpg, 26 highway mpg), while Mercedes-Benz is offering its BlueTEC clean diesel engines in its GL350, ML350 and R350 SUVs. Asian automakers Honda and Nissan are eyeing the American diesel market as well. Expect Honda to unveil a clean diesel version of the Accord in the future. Excerpted from Mother Earth News, the Original Guide to Living Wisely. To read more articles from Mother Earth News, please visit Copyright 2010 by Ogden Publications Inc.

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

Business Can Ethical Consumerism Create a Greener Society?

By Wendy Priesnitz “Buycotting” is the opposite of boycotting. It is a positive activist tool that leverages consumer power to make the most socially-responsible business practices also the most profitable choices for companies. Whereas a boycott is a punishment of a company for negative behavior (think formula maker Nestlé), a buycott is a positive reward to a company for good behavior and a carrot to promote change. It works on the understanding that corporations have profit as their top priority and, rather than rage against that, buycotts work with it to make responsibility the most profitable choice. You might think of buycotting as the formalization of actions already being taken by many people – that is, taking responsibility for our consumer choices based upon ethical, environmental, social, and political criteria. Such ethical shopping is increasingly aided by certification programs, like “organic” and Fair Trade, and their accompanying labels. It can be done individually or in a group. A good example of group buycotting is the activity undertaken by Carrotmob. This social enterprise solicits businesses to compete with one another to see who can do the most good, and then sends a big mob of consumers to buy their products and thereby reward whichever business made the strongest commitment to improve the world. So, instead of wielding a big stick (petitions, boycotts, lawsuits…), they use the carrot of improved reputation, market exposure and, therefore, increased profit to encourage the participating companies to create positive change. Buycotting has also been used in a more political way as an anti-boycott. An example is the Fair Play Campaign Group, which fights politicallymotivated boycotts of Israel and Israeli businesses. They promote doing exactly the opposite of what the boycotters want – buying more Israeli goods. Another example is the National Tea Party Coalition’s organization of

a one-day buycott last fall in support of Whole Foods after a boycott against the chain in reaction to CEO John Mackey’s opposition to the ObamaCare bill. (Activism was never simple!) Buycotting was also used in Palermo, Italy, where an anti-mafia civic effort used a fair-trade certification type process to identify businesses that had refused to pay a bribe and to encourage customers to shop there. Is this sort of consumer activism effective? Can shopping really change the world? Lawrence B. Glickman, who teaches American history at the University of South Carolina and authored Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America (University of Chicago Press, 2009), thinks not, aside from drawing attention to problems. He says that although Americans boycott and buycott regularly, very few of these campaigns succeed. “The use of coordinated economic pressure rarely forces companies to change policies, or politicians to alter positions,” he writes. On the other hand, consumer boycotts of South Africa over apartheid are credited with contributing to the fall of the white regime. And the fact remains that ethical consumption is still consumption. Most definitely purchase organic, ethical, fairly traded, locally produced, etc. whenever you can. But be sure the purchase is even necessary because

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decreasing levels of consumption are preferable to ethical consumption. In other words, don’t justify your purchase of an iPod with the reassurance that, according to the marketing campaign, you’ll be helping finance the battle against AIDS in Africa. In 2005, there was a campaign attempting to organize a buycott of gasoline retailer Citgo, which is headquartered in Venezuela. The suggestion was that by buying their gas, you would be contributing “to the billions of dollars that Venezuela’s democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans.” In reality, however, there are questions about that country’s democracy and the origin of the gas that Citgo sells. In commenting on the email campaign, Barbara and David Mikkelson of the debunking website concluded: “Complex problems rarely lend themselves to simple, painless answers. Simply shifting where we buy gasoline isn’t nearly as good a solution as the much tougher choice of sharply curtailing the amount of gasoline we buy.” Sometimes, attempts to find simple, painless answers can create a massive headache for well-intentioned consumers. For instance, single issue activism can be problematic, which happened when a boycott collided with a buycott a few years ago. Many supporters of the long-standing Nestlé boycott over its infant formula marketing are the same people who support fair trade products. But life became a bit more complicated when Nestlé created a fair trade coffee brand. While it may seem like a victory to have a large multinational aboard the fair trade bandwagon, many people saw the move as a cynical attempt to cash in on a consumer trend by demonstrating token support for fair trade principles rather than making any fundamental changes to its business practices. Indeed, it isn’t easy to separate out the greenwashing and political correctness from the legitimate improvements businesses might make, in spite of a plethora of labels. The average consumer doesn’t have the time, energy or knowledge to figure out if the high price they’re paying for apparently sweatshop-free clothing is actually trickling down to the workers or if a new brand of dish soap is truly organic and packaged in recycled plastic. We also wonder if “market citizenship” as some critics call it, has become a substitute for real civic engagement. The increase in buycotting, petitions, signing on to Facebook “campaigns” and other relatively low demand activities coincides with a decrease in voter turnouts and membership in traditional activist organizations like political parties, NGOs, and trade unions. In a widely quoted article published at last October, writer Anand Giridharadas called ethical 20

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

consumerism (including buycotting) “boycotts minus the pain.” “The question,” he wrote, “is this: Have we, with our ethical cars and condoms and carrots, found a way to make markets humane? Or have we rather found a way to make politics bearable to us by turning it into shopping?” Buycotting, like all types of ethical consumerist practices, has an important role to play in greening society. But it is just one tool in a whole kit of tools for social and environmental change. We absolutely promote an increased awareness of the impact of our purchasing decisions on the environment and on health and life in general. But it must be part of a larger change in personal behavior and lifestyle, rather than an occasional activity. And it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for other types of political engagement. Reprinted with permission from Natural Life Magazine. Wendy Priesnitz is Natural Life’s editor and a journalist with 33 years of experience.

Building Power Plants of the Future By Steve Heckeroth

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Meanwhile, humanity struggles with the effects of pollution, climate change and fossil fuel dependence. Could it be that the solution to these problems is right above us? Modern photovoltaic (PV) technologies take advantage of renewable energy from the sun by converting sunlight into electricity. So why aren’t more of us using this remarkable technology to power our homes? When asked, the reason most people give is the cost of installing a PV system. But new thin-film PV products are getting better and cheaper all the time. This technology could soon change the way we think about electricity and make sunshine our “fuel” of choice.

The Rise of Thin-film Solar

The type of solar-electric module currently dominating the industry is crystalline silicon, which is made by encapsulating wafers of highly refined silicon under rectangular sheets of glass framed with aluminum. These modules have been the primary solar energy technology for more than 50 years. Crystalline modules still dominate in PV sales, but in the last few years most new development work has focused on thin-film PV technologies. In 2005, more than 95 percent of the PV market was served by crystalline modules. Since then, thin film’s share of the market has risen steadily and is now 25 percent. Hundreds of thinfilm companies have entered various stages of product


development or production. Large-area thin-film PV modules and laminates have been commercially available since the ’90s. Thin-film modules still aren’t as efficient per unit area as crystalline silicon modules, however, they have other advantages over crystalline silicon. Perhaps most importantly, thin-film solar is much less expensive to produce. Many thin-film panels are produced from amorphous silicon. These solar cells require much less high-grade silicon than it takes to produce crystalline silicon panels. Thin-film solar cells can also be made from other semiconductor materials, including copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) and cadmium telluride.

Can We Make Every Roof a Solar Roof?

Rather than building massive new power plants, why not install PV panels on every sunny roof and on simple shade structures over every parking lot? The same mass adoption that allowed room-sized mainframe computers to morph into laptops could cause huge, centralized power plants to give way to rooftop PV panels. In fact, some U.S. policies already encourage distributed generation by giving substantial tax incentives to homeowners and businesses that install PV systems. Because thin-film solar panels are both lightweight and flexible, it’s possible to incorporate them directly into buildings — as roofing materials, for example. The idea of building-integrated photovoltaics is not new. Architects have been using PV modules as roofing since the early ’80s, but using the glass modules available at that time was both challenging and expensive. Glass is transparent, longlasting and weatherproof, but it can shatter and is not an ideal roofing material. In contrast, thin-film solar cells work very well on rooftops. Uni-Solar’s amorphous silicon thin-film laminates have been available for more than a decade, and new solar roofing products may soon be coming on the market. In October 2009, CertainTeed, a leading North American manufacturer of asphalt shingles, announced an agreement

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

to develop roofing-integrated PV products for the residential market. In September 2009, Dow Building Solutions announced it is working with Global Solar, a leading manufacturer, to develop thin-film solar roofing shingles. Many other possibilities exist for building-integrated photovoltaic applications. A few companies are producing thin-film modules that can be used as windows, and there is also great potential for developing low-cost solar siding. For every new technological development that’s announced, there are dozens more in the works. In short, solar power is becoming more affordable and available all the time. It’s possible that future generations will wonder why people ever used fossil fuels to produce electricity. Excerpted from Mother Earth News, the Original Guide to Living Wisely. To read more articles from Mother Earth News, please visit Copyright 2009 by Ogden Publications Inc. Editor’s note: UNI-SOLAR thin-film solar panels will be installed in PGE’s newly announced 2.4 megawatt solar project.


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The Oregon Feed-in Tariff Is Coming. If all goes as planned, homeowners or businesses that install grid-tied solar photovoltaic systems for producing electric power could soon be paid premium rates for that power from their utility company. What this means is that investing in solar power would produce an income to the owner of the system which would, over time, pay back all of the installation costs and after that point would then generate an income stream. Money from the sun. The feed-in tariff is what propelled Germany to become the world leader in solar power generation and it is expected that once the tariff is available to Oregonians there will be a statewide surge in solar panel installations. Jobs will be created, more clean energy will be available on the grid without building new dams or wind farms and our power generation system becomes more dispersed. _GM

Gardening Gardening Like the Forest by Mark Krawczyk

Modern gardeners have grown accustomed to segregating different types of plants into different places— herbs in one bed, veggies in another, perennials and flowers somewhere else, while the orchard stands alone. But this isn’t the way things work in a forest. Nature functions in wholes, enabling cooperation between species to generate robust, resilient systems that optimize the use of available sun, water, nutrients, and space. With this understanding, we can model the interconnectedness of the forest in our own backyard. When we plant an edible forest garden, we create a “cultivated ecosystem” composed of a wide diversity of primarily perennial plants (trees, shrubs, and perennials) that work together so that the needs of one species (minerals, mulch, pollination, and pest and disease suppression) are filled by the products of others (nitrogen-fixation, mineral accumulation, mulch, beneficial insect attraction, etc.). In time, the garden becomes largely self-maintaining, minimizing work for us while providing us with food. To be clear, we aren’t talking about establishing a garden in



Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 9 Summer 2010


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the forest. This is designing, installing, and maintaining an ecosystem that functions like the forest, while providing myriad yields sometimes referred to as the “Seven Fs”— food, fiber, fodder, fuel, fertilizer, “farmaceuticals,” and fun. While annual gardens are very effective at producing large quantities of food for humans, they require a significant amount of work—much of it devoted to fighting against the natural process of succession (the evolution of field to forest through a shifting mosaic of species over time). Additionally, annual gardens are often planted in single-species rows or blocks, making them far more susceptible to pests and disease. As forest gardeners, we ask, “Instead of motoring against succession with each passing season, why not put up a sail and follow along?” So with this in mind, we design our gardens to develop and evolve over time, requiring no tillage and little to no watering or planting once established, all while letting the garden grow more productive with each passing season. Following is a very basic overview of what it takes to establish your own backyard edible forest garden. Edible forest gardens will thrive at just about any scale; an urban or suburban backyard (or front yard!) is just about perfect. As for a specific site, many of the species you’ll want to highlight in your forest garden are much more productive in full sun, so paying close attention to the patterns of sun and shade will pay off greatly. (Generally, if possible, I plant trees and large shrubs along the northern boundary of a property to reduce the effect of their shade on the rest of the yard and garden. In this way, the garden takes on a “stepped” character, with plant height increasing from south to north.) You’ll also want to test your soil, especially if you’re in an urban setting or planting a garden for the first time; it’s incredibly helpful to know the status of your soil’s mineral reserves, and in urban areas it’s vital


to test for contamination, namely lead. (for more on soil testing visit: Once you’ve chosen your site, it’s time to develop a plan. To do this, let’s look briefly at the components of a forest garden. We simply break it down into two primary categories: structure and function. Consider a natural forest. Its vegetative structure is made up of vertical layers—trees, shrubs, perennials/herbs, annuals, ground covers, roots and vines—and it’s this stacking of vegetation that makes natural forests immensely productive. We can do the same thing with our gardens. So start off by making a list of the multi-functional plants you like most (plants that provide at least a few of those “Seven Fs”), and categorize them into layers. When approaching design for backyard-scale forest gardens, I typically begin with the “overstory”—the trees that will comprise the canopy of the system—and here, there is an impressive array of fruit and nut trees from which to choose. Depending on your local microclimate, you could plant peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, quince, apples, pears, walnuts, hickories, hardy pecans, paw paws, and many others. Once you have canopy trees chosen, you can begin to select a complementary “guild” of species that fill in the structure and provide some of the important functions— fertilization, pest control, pollination, and mineral cycling—that make for a healthy, resilient plant polyculture. You may choose to include a native nitrogen-fixing perennial vine like groundnut, a couple of fruiting, shrubby currants, a white clover ground cover, patches of mint for tea and pest deterrence, and a few tomato and basil plants to fill in the gaps while the guild is still young. While the process may seem overwhelming at the outset, if we approach it systematically, we develop gardens that thrive in beauty and productivity, while we become intimately

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

For more information on edible forest gardens: •

Dave Jacke’s and Eric Toensmeier’s Edible Forest Gardens, Volumes 1 and 2, is the most extensive work on edible forest garden design and species selection. They also have a website:

For plants: •

Forest Farm Nursery, Williams, OR

Burnt Ridge Nursery, Onalaska, WA

One Green World Nursery, Molalla, OR

Raintree Nursery, Morton, WA

J. L. Hudson, Seedsman, La Honda, CA

Wild Garden Seed, Philomath, OR

Humbleroots Farm & Nursery, Mosier, OR

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of Vermont’s Local Banquet Magazine,

connected to the guilds we create. As our forest gardens grow and evolve, our role as gardener changes as well. Because the garden is primarily composed of perennials, it regrows each year, minimizing our need to start seeds and to plant. The diversity and varied structure of the garden make it much more resistant to pest and disease outbreaks, while providing habitat for a healthy and balanced insect population. And since trees, shrubs, and perennials, once established, are much hardier and resistant to fluctuations in soil moisture, they don’t need to be watered after the first year. We even begin to question the concept of “weeds,” instead recognizing them as gifts of “green manure” that we can use to mulch our precious fruit trees and shrubs. This isn’t to say we won’t ever find unwanted plants (a.k.a. weeds) emerging in our gardens, but in this system we learn to appreciate the contribution they make, in light of the work they create for us. A stroll through an edible forest garden takes us on an ecological adventure, allowing us to meander from observation to harvest to mulching and fertilization (“weeding”) to relaxation. Edible forest gardening is really about building connections between natural elements. As we actively and knowingly participate in our gardens, we create living legacies that nurture, maintain, and evolve themselves over time. And what could be more rewarding than leaving a little piece of the planet more diverse, healthy, beautiful, and productive than it was when you found it?

Mark Krawczyk is a permaculture designer, educator, traditional woodworker, natural builder and community organizer. He owns and operates Keyline Vermont, a permaculture and ecological land planning design company that specializes in the design and installation of edible forest gardens. He also works as the cofounder of the grassroots community nonprofit Burlington Permaculture. He lives in Burlington and can be found at

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 9 Summer 2010


Home Creating a Relaxing, Healthy Home Haven By Valerie Garrett

In these current times, having a safe, healthy home space to unwind in has untold positive effects for our personal well-being, our family’s health and the greater community we are a part of. Many individuals and households are currently facing incredibly tough external pressures including employment challenges, financial insecurity, health issues and watching friends, neighbors and local businesses struggling to stay afloat. Regardless of income, here is a selection of simple immediate actions involving little effort and cost to instantly boost the rejuvenation, affordability and comfort rating of your home or apartment.

Interior Home Health

The colors surrounding us have a huge impact on our well-being. 26

Painting walls a fresh color is a quick and inexpensive way to improve our mood and change the feeling of a room. Relaxation and calmness come from pale blues, warm spring greens or subtle mauves. Energy and invigoration come from buttery oranges or fresh yellows. Groundedness comes from understated earth tones like moss green and soft browns. Reds tend to increase blood pressure, increase appetite and heighten anxiety. As we age for older eyes, hues in the yellow/ orange/red range are more recognizable whereas blues/greens/purples tend to blend together. For high quality, extremely affordable ($9 to $11 per gallon), 100 percent recycled latex paint, check out MetroPaint, available in 15 pre-mixed colors (custom mixes available) and now at all Miller Paint stores. Zero- and low-odor paint is preferable for not introducing paint fumes into the space and good for those with chemical sensitivities and widely available from larger paint suppliers (Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, Rodda Paint, Miller Paint, etc…) for the same price as traditional paint. A low-sheen flat paint will not highlight wall blemishes, whereas higher sheens like satin or gloss will. Good to remember - paint tends to appear lighter on walls and ceilings than on the color chip. Ensure ample access to outside daylight. Opening up curtains or windows and allowing sunlight and outside views of nature inside enlarges our sense of well-being and grounded connection. Before the warmer days of summer (when the sunlight is in greater supply), having living greenery and potted plants in your home is a great way to access nature’s restorative power and maintain healthy indoor air quality. In addition to purchasing fewer items, de-cluttering works wonders for creating space. Whether choosing to resell, re-gift, recycle or donate unused household goods, you create a more peaceful and open space. For the

nearest recycling drop-off spots contact Metro Recycling Information at 503-2343000. Donations of household goods can be made to Community Warehouse where they will in turn be given to families in dire need. Before making a new purchase consider if it was made locally, its useful life, packaging, and how it will be eventually be disposed of. Not only will this save money, it’ll save space. Adequate lighting is important for safety and ambience, especially with seniors or disabled people in the home. Ensure stairs, halls and any changes in floor height are well-lit, but not the cause of glare. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) use a fraction of the energy and have a brighter light than incandescent counterparts. A CFL uses only 13 watts of energy to output the same light a 60 watt incandescent bulb does (a 78 percent energy savings), and CFLs need to be replaced less frequently. Look for warm white bulbs which have a softer light. Since CFLs contain a small amount of mercury ensure they are disposed of responsibly (not curbside) at a collection center like a Metro Transfer Station, Ikea or Home Depot.

Controlling utility costs while helping our environment

If new ENERGY STAR appliances, heating system or water heating equipment are not in this year’s budget, take heart as energy efficient equipment and appliances are only half the story in cutting energy bills. We can reduce our lighting, heating and water bills and reduce our carbon emissions by reducing use. This involves strategies like getting in the habit of turning off lights in empty rooms, cooking with a microwave or crock pot instead of the range, unplugging appliances when not in use (coffee makers, TVs, cell phone chargers and stereos), installing an inflatable chimney balloon to stop fireplace drafts (about $50), installing foam pads behind outlets and wall switches to stop air leaks, taking shorter showers, and setting the water heater at

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

120 degrees. Helpful programs to take the sting out of high bills are the equal pay or budget billing programs utility companies provide. With one year of past utility history, Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and the Portland Water Bureau will average projected use over the next 12 months and set your monthly bill at the same predictable amount, with no seasonal variations or surprises. A new local program open to City of Portland residents is Clean Energy Works This is a hassle-free pilot program making homes more energy efficient with no upfront costs. It is open to all electric or gas-heated homes and includes an energy assessment, a personal energy advocate, qualified Energy Trust contractors, and a low-cost loan paid back monthly on your heating bill. Enjoy a more comfortable home while helping the environment. Do you need water-saving kitchen and bath faucet aerators or low-flow showerheads to lower your water bills? Contact the Portland Water Bureau at 503-823-4527 to have some mailed out to you for free.

Outside environment

Not only do views of trees have a noticeable calming effect on our psyches, they provide natural habitat, shade, seasonal beauty, soak up storm water, clean the air and store away carbon dioxide. Connect with Friends of Trees to see about an upcoming neighborhood group planting in your neighborhood, or for the yard www.friendsoftrees. org. Trees, maintenance, and planting are available at reduced cost ($25 - $75 per tree). Disconnect downspouts (keeping water runoff at least six feet away from basements and foundations) can yield quarterly discounts on the sewer portion of your water bill, and you can also get paid for the initial disconnection. Check out this free City of Portland Bureau of Environmental

Services (BES) program for your home: Want to learn how to do more with less while preserving resources? Contact the Regional Green Building Hotline at 503-823-5431 or Valerie Garrett is the Coordinator of the Regional Green Building Hotline and Annual City of Portland Build It Green! Home Tour

Dear EarthTalk: Which woods are OK to purchase, and which are not, in the interest of preserving forests and not harming those who depend upon them? -- Jon Steiner, Boise, ID Deforestation continues to be one of the world’s biggest environmental problems, especially in fast developing regions like South America, Southeast Asia and Africa. Cutting down large numbers of trees erodes land and silts waterways, displaces native people and wildlife, and releases tons of carbon dioxide (which is stored in living wood fiber) into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Of course, wood products are essential to modern life. Without wood we wouldn’t have the buildings, furniture, paper and other essentials we make use of every day. That’s why protecting sources of wood has become a leading concern among not just environmentalists but everyone else as well. In response to the problems wrought by increasing deforestation, some forward-thinking wood products professionals teamed up with environmentalists, native people’s advocates, community forestry groups

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and responsible corporations to form the nonprofit Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 1993. Previous attempts to stem the tide of unchecked logging—including international negotiations and boycotts—were having little effect, so FSC vowed to use the power of market forces to create change for the better. FSC promotes responsible management of forests by certifying forestry operations around the globe and promoting its certification system at every step of the wood products distribution chain. Whether you’re shopping for wooden furniture, building materials or other items, one easy way to tell if the wood you are considering buying was harvested from sustainable sources is to look for the FSC label on it or its packaging. If it is, you can trust that such products were harvested sustainably and are not contributing to deforestation-related woes. If you don’t see the FSC logo, you should inquire as to where the wood came from and whether or not it was harvested sustainably. The nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) warns consumers to avoid purchasing some tropical hardwoods unless they can be assured that it came from sustainable forestry operations. Many of these woods—including Big Leaf Mahogany, Spanish Cedar, Caribbean Pine, Ipe, Rosewood, Teak, Ramin, Merbau, African Mahogany, and Okoume—are difficult to manage sustainably as they typically grow in low densities in natural forests and regenerate poorly after logging. Some woods and wood products may contain FSC-certified wood without bearing the logo, while other woods may be OK without going through the FSC certification process. If you don’t see an FSC logo you should ask. If the store salesperson can’t provide information, then you can’t be sure. Even better than purchasing sustainably harvested new wood is to seek out reclaimed or salvaged wood, as it precludes the need for logging altogether. An added benefit of using reclaimed or salvaged wood—look for it at used building supply stores and even at construction sites where older materials are being tossed—is that it provides incentives for municipal recycling programs. NRDC suggests that if you can’t source used wood, consider recycled plastic lumber or composites if they are applicable for your project.


From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine SEND YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS TO: EarthTalk®, c/o E – The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; E is a nonprofit publication. Subscribe: subscribe; Request a Free Trial Issue:

Portland Sets the Trend for Recycling Books

By Raymond F. Quinton The number of new book titles being produced each year has dropped significantly over recent years, but that still leaves millions of titles and books already in circulation. Consumers have gotten more savvy about recycling, borrowing, loaning and trading while bookstores and brokers around the country have tried to figure out the best way to serve that trend. Making use of the Internet and direct sales they are creating a new, greener, growing marketplace for recycled books. In the Portland area several companies are part of a thriving, local and national marketplace of buying and selling recycled books on the Internet and through brick-and-mortar stores. And they’re seeing a trend that indicates that if it’s made easy, people will jump on the opportunity to buy and sell used whenever they can. Jim Smith, CEO of McKenzie Books and Cash4books. net in Beaverton, noted that 20 million trees are used to make new books every year, so recycling books significantly reduces that need. His companies specialize in buying and selling used books over the Internet. “Used books reduce the need for using virgin fiber,” Smith said. His online book-buying company, Cash4books. net, was started when he was a senior, studying programming, at the Oregon State University. “This is not just a fad or trend,” he said, “people love that we’re a green company.” And he said that selling used books from the comfort of your home is a great way to make extra money, so he makes it simple and even pays for the postage. Another large purchaser of used books in Portland is Powell’s, a name that has become synonymous with used books of all types. Since 1971, Powell’s has been a large dealer in used books and is now a destination point for book lovers from around the world. In recent years, the internet has made it possible for Powell’s to expand its

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

reach for buying and selling worldwide. For Portland area residents, however, Powell’s buys used books out of their six retail locations and the process is relatively simple. Sellers can load up their books, take them to any retail outlet and have the barcodes scanned and then get paid immediately for the books that are approved. Powell’s continues to be the worldwide leader in used book sales through its stores and continues to look for the formula that will help grow its internet buying and selling. Today, and thousands of other large and small online booksellers nationwide are helping save books from the landfills, but with so many local independent used book stores, Portland remains the trend-setter for recycling used books. McKenzie Books - (503) 488-5439 Powells Books - - (503) 228-4651 Cameron’s Books & Magazines - (503) 228-2391 Title Wave Used Bookstore - (503) 988-5021 Longfellow’s Books & Music - (503) 239-5222 Murder by the Book - - (503) 232-9995 Daedalus Books - - (503) 274-7742 Autumn Leaves Bookstore - 503-760-5607 Artifacts - Hood River 541-387-2482


June 12th . August 7th October 9th . December 4th

Book Reviews Footprint

By John Patterson, Reviewed by: Kate Lundin & Richard Taylor John Patterson’s Footprint takes on a serious subject in a sincere, entertaining and straightforward manner. This handysized book gives the reader a compact and relevant overview of the current global situation in regards to increasing CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels in our atmosphere, and how that is directly

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Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 9 Summer 2010


affecting our climate stability. Using easy-to-understand analogies, the story allows the reader to follow the author’s personal journey towards lowering his carbon footprint, and empowers the reader to do the same. John offers over a hundred energy-reducing tips, ranging from simple to complex, and many of them are free. Because it is written in a condensed format, fans of Friedman’s Hot, Flat and Crowded, will find this book much easier to pass on and recommend to friends and colleagues interested in learning more. The energy culture of post World War II America has been characterized by opulent cars and cheap energy. Global warming, which quietly began 200 years ago with the advent of the industrial revolution, now reveals itself in the disconcerting form of climate change. In the last two decades, with China joining the party, the threat has become unsettling enough that world leaders are meeting to try and avert the disaster of climate change – a disaster already showing itself in unusual and record-breaking weather such as Katrina and the snowstorms in Washington, DC. Rather than concentrating on a political or a scientific solution, Footprint focuses on the individual’s role as an energy consumer. Footprint’s energy saving tips demonstrate how Americans can reduce their personal carbon footprint by at least 50% regardless of where and how they live. With charming and captivating illustrations, this delightful 260-page journey takes the reader from energy oblivion to energy awareness. The journey ends on a strong note of hope, with a glimpse of the renewable energy future that is just around the corner as more and more of us heed the call. Editor’s Note: Hooray! Here’s a great handbook for those of us who prefer the simple, the practical, and the truth, written, not by some theorist, academic, or barnstorming celebrity/politician, but by a person that has


been in the trenches for the last 30 years resolutely talking the talk and walking the walk. John Patterson owns Mr. Sun Solar located at 6125 NE Portland Highway. For more information call 503-222-2468 or visit his website at -- GM

Green Career Guidance Almanac 2010.2011

Compiled by Kevin Pile and Elise Ringer, Reviewed by: Gary Munkhoff The folks at Ecotrain Media Group, LLC have put together an invaluable resource for anyone contemplating a career in the green world or is looking to advance their already green career. This almanac style publication has 223 pages full of information on and reference links to green or sustainable industries, employers, staffing and recruiting firms, educational institutions, associations, books, investors, venture capitalists, and events. Well organized and indexed, it even includes a glossary of terms. If you are serious about your green career then you should invest in this reference book. In addition to the printed almanac, Ecotrain Media Group also offers a “Mind Your Own Green Business” Ecopreneur 20.10 Seminar Series. Check their website for more info:

Here’s what others are saying about this desk reference tool: “The Ecotrain Green Career Guide Almanac is a must-see reference tool designed to assist you in your green job search or transition into the fiercely competitive green workforce. This guide will provide you with the know-how to

get networked, get educated, and where to submit resumes for your green career destination.” Portland State University Career Center “It is indeed a great book. Congratulations on a fine product” John Schaeffer, President and Founder, Real Goods Solar Living Center Ecotrain Media Group, LLC is located at 322 NW 6th Ave, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97209

Events Green Drinks 1st Tuesday of the month Eco Trust Building Eco Tuesday 4th Tuesday of the month Third Annual Greenlight Economic Summit Tuesday, June 22 2010 @ 7:30 AM Portland Art Museum 6th Annual North American Organic Brewers Festival June 25 - 27, 2010 Overlook Park in Portland North Sunday Parkways June 27th, 10AM-3PM Earth Bag and Cob Build workshop July 10th-15th Squirrel Farm, Troutdale Electric Vehicle Awareness Day Sat, July 10, 9am – 4pm Pioneer Courthouse Square www. East Portland Sunday Parkways July 18th, 10AM-3PM Crackedpots July 20th and 21st Garden Art Show Mc Menamins Edgefield Troutdale

A Practial Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Summer 2010

SolWest Renewable Energy Fair July 23rd, 24th & 25th Grant County Fair Grounds, John Day www. Tour De Coops July 24th from 10am to 3pm N, NE, and SE Portland Mid Summers Green Festival Saturday July 31st 10-4pm Atkinson Park Oregon City Ecopalooza Sat Aug 7 - Fernhill Park in Portland SE Sunday Parkways August 15th, 10AM-3PM Lake Oswego Electric Vehicle Expo Sun, August 22, 10am – 3pm Millennium Park, Lake Oswego Muddy Boot Organic Festival September 10th to 12th, 2010 St. Philip Neri Church at 2408 SE 16th Ave Portland VegFest 2010 Saturday, Sep. 18 - Sunday, Sep. 19 Oregon Convention Center 2010 Build It Green! Home Tour + Info Fair Saturday, Sept. 25 2010 @ 11:00 AM Mystery Sunday Parkways September 26th, 10AM-3PM Go Green 2010 Wednesday, October 6th Gorge Enviro House Tour October - Hood River

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Green Living Journal Summer 2010 # 9  

"A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment" Articles: Power Plants of the Future, Recycling Books, Locavore Basics, Clean Diesel, E...

Green Living Journal Summer 2010 # 9  

"A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment" Articles: Power Plants of the Future, Recycling Books, Locavore Basics, Clean Diesel, E...