Travel Salem’s Travel Café wins Green Building of the Year

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Travel Salem’s Travel Café was recently named Green Building Retrofit of the Year at the 2010 Mid-Willamette Valley Green Awards ceremony held at Willamette University. The awards were put on by the Friends of Straub Environmental Learning Center.

The award recognizes outstanding efforts and leadership in green building practices. A green building is one that focuses on resource efficiency – energy, water, and materials – while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and materials removal.

The Travel Cafe was designed and constructed by CB|2 Architects & Construction (winners of an architectural design award in January for the design of the Travel Café), and has green all over its blueprint:

• recycled materials saved from demolition were used
• when purchasing new materials, earth-friendly options were chosen
• electrical and various heating, ventilating and air conditioning zoning changes were made  to conserve energy and maximize resources
• creative use of natural light were incorporated in the design to minimize energy consumption.

In addition to the sustainable features of the Travel Café, Travel Salem’s staff and volunteers take great strides in reducing our carbon footprint. As a Marion County EarthWISE Certified business, we do our part by recycling, reducing waste, purchasing environmentally-friendly products, and the little things such as flipping the light switch off when not in the office for an extending period of time and turning off computer monitors at night.

You know how Kermit the Frog says “It’s not easy being green?” To be green, in other words, to be sustainable, is actually quite easy. It just takes a little bit of effort, which will eventually go a long way in protecting the environment and the planet we live on. If you’re a business located in Marion County, the free EarthWISE certification program is a great way for your business and employees to be environmentally friendly. Visit Marion County’s website for more information on how your business can be EarthWISE certified.

Photo caption: Kathie Reeves, marketing and online manager, represented Travel Salem at the Green Awards on March 13, 2010.