2015 Mid-Valley Green Awards Nominees and Winners
We are excited to announce the 2015 Mid-Valley Green Awards Nominees and Winners. This year we had an overwhelming community response to nominate their friends and local businesses. We have over 42 nominations with pages upon pages of good deeds and earth-friendly behaviors to sift through. The 2015 Mid-Valley Green Awards wash a smashing success with proceeds supporting the Straub Environmental Center, a Trashion show by DIY Studio, and live music and activities during the silent auction. 2015 Recycler of the Year Individual: Dana CanningDana Canning created the Salem Sleeping Bag Project, where volunteers crochets mats and sleeping bags for homeless people from recycled materials and plastic bags. One sleeping mat uses 600 to 900 plastic grocery bags. In addition to using plastic bags, she reuses old clothing, blankets, sheets and other fabric for the bags. To date, the project has finished 180 mats and 80 sleeping bags, and Dana has volunteered more than 100 hours teaching community members to make these items.Nominees in this category merit this award because of their outstanding efforts and/or leadership in the area of recycling. Individuals:
2015 Recycler of the Year Business: South Salem Cycleworks
South Salem CycleWorks hasn’t had garbage service in 25 years of business, collects compost, refurbishes old bikes using as many used components as possible for those unable to invest in a new bike; scraps unusable bikes for parts, and recycles other parts—worn out chains, for example, are sent to Resource Revival. Fluorescent bulbs are saved for decontamination before discarding; batteries from cyclometers and lights are collected for recycling; all cardboard, paper and plastic is sorted and recycled; packing material is delivered to the Mail Depot or FEDEX for reuse; and Styrofoam is taken to the downtown collection site at the Farmers Market. The shop uses recycled product packaging where it can and promotes products made from recycled material.
2015 Sustainable Small Business of the Year: Rafns'
Rafns’, a restaurant and specialty grocery store supplying local and responsibly raised products and ingredients, produces very little waste. Chef Nate Rafn uses every part of his food scraps—chicken bones for broth, vegetable pieces for stock, and pork fat for rendering. Every other item in the business—from menus, paper tickets and food containers to wash water, wood pallets and glass jars—are reused as many times as possible and then recycled. During construction, wood pallets were used for the rustic wall sign and two counters. Chefs cook in an open kitchen and talk openly about the use of local, organic and sustainable ingredients.Nominees in this category merit this award because of their outstanding efforts and/or leadership to foster sustainability in their organization and/or the community. Small:
2015 Sustainable Large Business of the Year: BrucePac
BrucePac, a local large-scale meat processor, recycled more than 60,000 pounds of metal and 1.3 million pounds of cardboard in 2014, worked to redesign a supplier’s cardboard box so that it could be recycled, has an entire department dedicated to reusing and repairing wooden pallets, and is designing custom equipment to clean dirty plastic enough for recycling, which would mean an extra 50,000 pounds of plastic would not be trashed each year. Since 2009, the company has reduced energy use by 22 percent, and a condensate return project saves more than 2 million gallons of water a year by recycling it back into the steam boiler system.
2015 EarthWISE Business of the Year: Kerr Concentrates
Kerr Concentrates, producer of fruit and vegetable concentrates, purees and specialty fruit and vegetable blends among other products, sent metal drums to a reconditioner for reuse, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 468 tons a year. The company also provides customers with credit when they return empty plastic poly drums. Its energy upgrades are expected to reduce the facility’s annual kilowatt hours by 287,000 units and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 382,000 pounds. But the company’s greatest reduction in waste comes from capturing the organic waste produced from processing lines and sending it to composting facilities, diverting more than 8 million pounds of material from the landfill just this year.Nominees in this category merit this award because of their outstanding efforts in continually reducing their environmental bottom line and improving their progress on the continuum of qualifying EarthWISE criteria. EarthWISE certified businesses are committed to working toward sustainability and have documented efforts to refine their practices to protect the environment in their community. Only businesses that are EarthWISE certified prior to January 1, 2014, are eligible for nomination in this category.
2015 Green Apple Award: Dan Hoynacki
Dan Hoynacki is the founder and organizer of many Oregon State University K-12 after-school programs for Marion County’s at-risk and vulnerable youth. Over the past 13 years, he has engaged nearly 3,000 at-risk youth in more than 130,000 hours of service to the community. From his Youth Enviro Squad to Youth Farm to Wildlife, Watersheds, and Whatnot programs, students learn ecological principles, community gardening, natural resource management and career opportunities in environmental fields.Nominees in this category may be classroom teachers or someone involved in general public education. This environmental educator not only imparts knowledge about the natural world, but provides meaningful and constructive ways for students or the public to interact with it.
2015 Green Product of the Year: Zena ForestZena Forest Products, certified through the Forest Stewardship Council, provides 100-percent locally sourced and produced flooring and lumber, and almost all of it is sold and used in the Willamette Valley. The company works hard to maintain and expand the rare Oregon white oak ecosystem, which has only about 5 percent of the original pre-settlement area left intact in the valley, by providing an economic incentive for forest landowners to responsibly manage their oak ecosystems. The durable hardwood flooring that is produced from these forest lasts longer than any other flooring alternative, reducing the pressure on our valuable natural resources, and ensuring that these forests will be maintained.
2015 Sustainable Wine Producer or Brewery of the Year: Willamette Valley Vineyards
Willamette Valley Vineyards, certified sustainable through LIVE and Salmon Safe since 1997, offers a 10-cent refund for returned bottles, recycles corks so that they can be made into high-value products, offers 50 gallons of biodiesel a month to each employee at no cost, installed solar panels, and waters half the vineyard with water runoff stored in a tank under the production facility. In 2010, the company launched a sustainable wine-casking technology that saves 1,300 bottles for each bio-cask filled, which on average is refilled 15 times a year. The following year, the vineyard introduced rehabilitated raptors onto the property to control the rodent population that damages the vines.Nominees in this category merit this award because of their outstanding efforts in continually reducing their environmental footprint and improving their progress on a continuum of qualifying sustainable criteria. Sustainable wine producers and breweries are committed to working toward sustainability and have documented efforts to refine their practices to protect the environment in their community.