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Lifefactory

Living Aware Daily completed a 10K this morning  called, the Dawg Dash.   The weather was perfect and the course twisted through the University of Washington’s beautiful campus.  The only thing more satisfying than the great run, was that we could collect our Lifefactory water bottle from the bag check.  I am so proud that we all thought ahead, instead of contributing to the hundreds of plastic water bottles and cups being used.  On top of not adding to the waste stream, we were promoting and using a bottle made free from BPA, phthalates, and PVC glass, instead of plastic.  

Check out Lifefactory’s glass baby bottles too.

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One Tree Makes a Difference

I wanted to share with you the happiness I had today by having a tree planted at my office.   The spot was a little precarious because of the way we receive deliveries, but the grate covering the hole where a tree should have been planted was worse than a few extra turns.  To Live Aware Daily, you must make conscious choices that the most convenient or cheapest way, is not always the best.  Making the trucks take more time so we could have a tree, turned out to be the highlight of my day, as well as my tenants.  Sharing it with you, is the highlight of my year.  Thank you for following and living aware.

Side note:  Your local city park’s office or the street maintenance division may offer FREE trees this time of year for your yard.  Check with your local government on what programs they offer to add native trees and plants back to your environment.  If they don’t, advocate for them with a local nursery or grower and do your part to make a difference.

These Come From Trees, Damn It!

So very excited that our “These Come From Trees” stickers have finally arrived!  I cannot wait to adhere them to all of the towel dispensers in every building.  I am very hopeful that they will have the same impact on me that they have on the tenants and reduce our paper towel waste.  If the estimate of 1oo lbs of paper (one tree) is saved for each sticker attached to a dispenser, we will have saved a couple dozen trees by this time next year!

P.S.  Dirty paper towels are compostable people!  Whether they are soiled with food or used to dry your hands, be sure to add them to the compost bin.

Portland, OR

Living Aware Daily is heading to the Eco District Summit, in Portland.  After a long day of amazing trainings, we will be reporting on the best the City has to offer in local establishments.  It will include the best restaurants serving local, organic fare, and boutiques selling  their beautifully made sustainable goods.  All them are sure to be a  must see during your visit to the, City of Roses.

Living Aware Daily has officially booked The Nines, a LEED Silver-Certified hotel, for our stay in Portland next week.  We can wait to bring you more on what is sure to be sustainable luxury.

EcoFriendly Office Favorites

Wausau 100% Recycled Paper, a simple solution to promoting green and creating a demand for more from buying copy paper.

Love these Stride, Inc Binders for our tenant handbooks, client presentations, welcome packets, safety trainings, and whatever else needs a sleek and sustainable look.

We love these recycled binders by Wilson Jones too.

Avery, now makes a sheet protector from 40% pre-consumer recycled polypropylene material.

Investing in a nice pen like a, Mont Blanc, that you refill is ideal for producing minimal waste.  Since that isn’t always feasible the Pilot VBall, made from 81.6% recycled content, is the next best thing.

 For the snail mail we still have to send every once in a while.

Carpets Have Come a Long Way

We recently did a minor remodel on our lobby and two conference rooms at one of my Buildings.  Both spaces had all of the original colors, carpet, and finishes that were put into place when the Building was completed in 1998. 

 Shaw Diffuse Conference Rooms & HallwayMy goal for the project was to reuse the beautiful features of the existing buildout, create as little waste or environmental impact as possible, and minimize the cost.  With the goal set in place, I made sure we captured and highlighted the 14-year-old light wood and Terrazzo finishes from the original installation, that are still in excellent condition.  The green, aged, and stained carpet had to go.  It made the Building feel dingy and its ornate pattern was dated. 

I was aware there were environmentally friendly options in the carpet world, I did not realize how many there now are.  The options seemed endless from the dozens of manufacturers that I could choose from, allowing me to achieve the entire objective.  Working with an Interior Architect, we whittled it down to either Shaw’s Eco Solution Q or InterfaceFlor‘s carpet tiles.  We ultimately decided on Shaw’s Diffuse for the conference rooms and Embellish for the small pad in the lobby, primarily because of cost. 

A key point in doing a green project, especially if you want to use it to gain LEED points, is communication with the vendor(s).  We made sure to convey our goals for a green project and they would need to assist by providing us with the documentation to support the ecofriendly removal and installation.  The paperwork included documentation for using low-VOC adhesives and the disposal of the old carpet to the proper facility for recycling.  

 The new environmentally friendly carpet not only supports innovation and green products, but it gives the Building a new and fresh feel.  We couldn’t be happier with the end result.

The Bullitt Center ~ Greenest Commercial Building in the World

Living Aware is so proud to be surrounded by such innovation in green building.  The International Living Future Institute has prescribed a set of standards for the structures we use through the Living Building Challenge.  The program addresses development at all levels with seven basic performance areas: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty.  The Challenge is to diminish the space between current limits and ideal solutions that will craft a healthy and green built environment around all of us.

The Bertschi School’s Science Wing was the first project to be completed in Washington under these guidelines and ground has been broken on a second called The Bullitt Center.  The Center is slated to be the greenest commercial building in the world and completely self-sustained.  The six-story structure will only use the water it collects and meet net-zero energy, meaning it will only use the energy it produces.

This innovation is so exciting and we hope it becomes the standard for all new developments.  Hopefully, one day, we will all get to office out of a structure as environmentally responsible as this one.

Children of the Plains

I was moved by Diane Sawyer’s report on Hidden America: Children of the Plains. Despite desperate and adverse conditions these impoverished children dream big.  Living Aware is researching more ways we can help the people of Pine Ridge create a better life.

Bamboo~tiful

So excited, just ordered my handmade Bamboo iPhone Case from Grove out of Portland, OR.   I chose the Two Birds design with the natural bamboo bezel and cannot wait to see the final product.  Have to say, we are in love with the company’s “do it ALL ourselves” setup, without official corporate titles.

Meatless Monday~ Ratatouille

Living Aware started participating in Meatless Monday 3 weeks ago and I have to say the change has been pretty amazing.  We have all found ourselves eating less meat during the rest of the week and focusing a diet based more on plants, fruit, and whole grains.  It reminded me to seek out  my Mother’s Ratatouille recipe  that she made us when we were kids.   If your Farmer’s Market is still active, it would be the ideal source for organic and local ingredients to whip up this yummy recipe.  Bon appetit!

Ratatouille
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lg onions sliced
2 lg garlic cloves
1 medium eggplant (1/2″ cubed)
6 medium zucchini (wide slices)
2 green peppers (cubed)
2 tblspn salt
1 tsp basil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 lg tomatoes (cubed)
Brown onions in oil with garlic, add remaining ingredients, cook for 30 minutes stirring occassionally