June 26, 2009

Gymnasts go green

Category: Environment — admin @ 1:00 am

NW Gymnastics Training Center

NW Gymnastics Training Center

At their core, kids’ sports, dance classes and other extracurriculars are about teaching little people how to grow up into decent big people.  Sure they learn how to hit a ball or do a pirouette, but it’s the hidden lessons that seem to be the most valuable.

Take turns.

Be a good winner or a good loser.


Practice makes perfect.

Time management.

There’s a gymnastics school in Gresham that is going a step further.  Northwest Gymnastics Training Center got some appluase from the city this week for incorporating the environment into the curriculum.  Yeah, in between back handsprings and proper stretching, their kids are learning about recycling and conservation.

It wasn’t too tricky.  Tina Stinson who bought the gym in November, says they do little things like use recycled paper, turn off lights they aren’t using and refill ink cartidges.  But the kids absorb every little step.  And then mom and dad pick it up. 

In just a few months, they’ve cut down on the amount of trash going out the door and energy being wasted. 

To learn more or to sign your kid up for lessons at the gym, click here.

June 19, 2009

Finding cold hard cash in your fridge

Category: Environment, Freebies — admin @ 1:00 am

A new fridge can save you hundreds of dollars

A new fridge can save you hundreds of dollars

It’s pretty common these days for families to keep a spare fridge in the garage or basement.  It keeps extra soda chilled.  Stores that side of beef you got on sale at the grocery store.  And in times like these, isn’t it wise to be buying in bulk when there’s a sale and stashing the extra in your garage?

Yes.  But, there could be an even smarter way for you to save money.

Replace the fridge with the help of Energy Trust of Oregon.  They’ll buy your old fridge for $30.00 cash and recycle it (guaranteeing 95% of the materials are recycled . . . something not many electronics recyclers can guarantee).

Then, when you go and buy a NEW unit, they’ll give you a cash rebate on any energy-efficient model.  Plus, you’ll be saving money every month (about $160 per year if you pitch a model that was made before 2001).

Considering you can buy a decent fridge for about $1,000 (depending where you go and what features you want) . . . the new fridge has paid for itself in 6 years.  Not bad, eh?

To call Energy Trust for a pick up, click here.

April 22, 2009

Turn your trash into treasure

Category: Community, Environment — admin @ 1:00 am

swap-n-playAnyone who has cleaned out a closet, a garage or an attic will always wind up with the same piles: Stuff you want to keep, stuff that’s garbage/recyclable and stuff that is in perfectly good shape but you’ll never use again.

This weekend, you can swap that old set of golf clubs for a like-new microwave.  Or trade in some children’s books for a computer keyboard.  It’s all part of the Trash to Treasure day in St John’s.

Credit for the idea goes to Andrea Davey.  She started this cool place called Swap N Play where families bring their kids to play together and swap gently worn toys, books and clothing (call it “hand me downs” for only children and first borns).  Goodwill will be on hand for the event and gets to take all of the items that don’t find a new home.

But Trash to Treasure is more than just a free swap meet.  Davey tells Good News PDX they’ll also be taking all that junk that is recyclable but you can’t leave at your curb (old electronics, styrofoam, metal, etc.).  Volunteers will shuttle it to the proper dump sites throughout the day.

The event is on Saturday at 7535 N Chicago Ave in St John’s.  For more info or to learn about Swap N Play, click here.

April 6, 2009

Green Posting

Category: Environment — admin @ 2:05 am






It’s almost the norm these days to see a business that claims to be “Earth Friendly” or “Going Green” or “Practicing Sustainability.”  But how, the heck, are you supposed to know who is REALLY doing their part and who isn’t?

Thanks to Jonathan Davis, it’s a bit easier.

Davis created a website called Green Posting that lists local businesses (yep, it’s a Portland product) that are Earth conscious.  But, participants are not taken at their word.

First, a business has to send in an easy-to-read statement of what EXACTLY they do that is so green.  Anything from using recycled paper to encouraging employees to use mass transit.  Then, users of the site get to check in and write reviews on the companies.  If a business is caught not living up to their standard, they get booted.

Since its launch last year, the free service is growing rapidly.  You can scope things out here.