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Results from Spokane Teachers Credit Union e-statement challenge

You may recall that Spokane Teachers Credit Union invited members
, from Earth Day (April 22) to June 30, to change their paper statements to fast e-statements. The hitch was that for every paper statement members converted to e-statements, STCU promised to buy a tree for a local reforestation project.

The results came back and they are pretty impressive. In less than 10 weeks, members switched more 1,708 month-end statements.

- 1,708 new trees ready to be planted along local waterways.

- Reduction of 41,000 sheets of paper, enough to form a ribbon seven miles long.

- Nearly $1,000 saved on stamps, envelopes, and printing of paper statements.

Spokane Teachers Credit Union helps tree planting effort with the Lands Council

I'm a little late in reporting this Earth Day news but last Monday the Spokane Teachers Credit Union launched a cool campaign for members who want to switch to paper-saving electronic account statements. Why is it so cool other than simply saving paper?  It will actually help plant trees. 

From STCU: For every member who makes the switch from paper statements to e-statements between April 22 and June 30, STCU will donate the money to plant one tree along Deep Creek, Coulee Creek and Hangman Creek (also called Latah Creek). Work will be done in North Idaho, as well, although exact locations have not been selected.

The work is being organized by the Lands Council, which hopes to plant 5,000 trees through its Project SUSTAIN. STCU hopes enough members make the switch to e-statements by June 30 to provide at least 1,000 of those trees.

Up to 400 Inland Northwest high school students will help plant the trees, said Amanda Swan, Lands Council director of development and communications. Students from Mead Alternative School, The Community School, On Track Academy, Lewis and Clark High School, Coeur d’Alene High School and Post Falls High School and St. Maries High School will participate.

Women, climate change topic of Gonzaga environmental series talk

ENVIRONMENT – Sustainability expert Gloria Flora will be in Spokane this week to discuss how women worldwide are confronting the challenge of climate change.

The free public lecture titled, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat: Women and the Global Response to Climate Change” at 5:30 p.m., Friday (March 22) in the Wolff Auditorium of Gonzaga University's Jepson Center.

The lecture is part of the Gonzaga Environmental Studies Speaker Series — which recently sponsored Dr. Jane Goodall — and is sponsored by the Gonzaga environmental studies, and women’s and gender studies departments.

Read on for more details about Flora and her quest to keep flora and fauna functioning on earth.

West Central Marketplac​e is seeking vendors for 2012 Season

The West Central Marketplace provides neighborhood access to a wide variety of locally produced goods and services, including farm-fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs grown within the West Central neighborhood. Managed by Project HOPE’s Riverfront Farm and Vinegar Flats Community Garden, the West Central Marketplace is actively seeking vendors for the 2012 market season. If you are a local farmer, gardener, artist, craftsperson or food producer seeking an outlet for your products, please consider joining them.

South Perry neighborhood meeting tonight

The South Perry Business and Neighborhood Association meets tonight at the Perry Street Cafe at 6 p.m. Here's a great opportunity to get involved in your neighborhood's dealings - big and small.
On the agenda tonight is the election of a secretary and updates about all the summer events, from the street fair and parade to the community garden and the farmers market.
The farmers market is moving back outdoors in The Shop parking lot on May 19 - hours will be from 3-7 p.m. and the first two weeks will be gardening themed, so bring your questions for master gardeners and other advisors.
The photo is from last year's outdoor market.

Bike To Work Spokane is now “Spokane Bikes”

In terms of my attitude toward cycling to work, I keep coming back to something Bike To Work organizer Barb Chamberlain told the Spokesman a while back: “I think people would be scared off if they had to change their whole life all at once. But it’s so doable, once it’s part of your routine.”

We’re all creatures of habit, and it takes a simple event like Bike To Work week to make us realize change is easily within our reach. In addition to the excellent health benefits, especially cardiovascular, we hope readers realize the impact of this alternative commuting method: Biking to work at least four days a week (presumably eight miles, round trip), would save yourself 54 gallons of gas annually and 1,140 pounds of carbon emissions.

But for us, riding a bike is still so much fun. “It’s like being a kid again,” Chamberlain said, “if you remember when having a bike meant freedom."

I'm happy to report t's that ime again. Bike To Work Week is fast approaching but there are some new changes. First, the name: Spokane Bikes. Read on, from Spokane Bikes:

With our name change, Bike to Work Spokane becomes Spokane Bikes, and we’re promoting all of May as Spokane Bike Month.

What does this mean for Bike to Work Week? All our great traditions continue:

Monday, May 16: Kickoff Breakfast with pancakes by Mountain Gear and great Roasthouse Coffee “Ride the Edge” blend

Wednesday, May 18: Energizer Stations around Spokane County hosted by area businesses and organizations

Friday, May 20: The “Bike FROM Work” Wrap-Up Party Friday at the Steam Plant Grill
Two changes:

The old registration system is going away.

Please take about 2 minutes to create your new profile at www.SpokaneBikes.org so you can receive news and updates about Bike to Work Week and other great Spokane-area bike events in May and throughout the year.

Your registration is also important as a way of being counted so policy makers know we’re here and we need infrastructure!

Lots to look forward to on South Perry

This year’s street fair is taking place on July 16-18 and it’s Geoff White of The Perry Street Cafe who’s the chair. Volunteers and ideas are always needed to pull off this community event - stay tuned for more updates - or leave a comment with a good suggestion here.

And don’t forget that the South Perry Farmers’ Market opens on June 3, from 3-7 p.m., in The Shop’s parking lot. It’s the market’s fifth season already.

The South Perry Blog and yours truly will be at The Perry Street Cafe on Thursday morning, from 7-10 a.m. Come in and chat for a bit - I’ll have a small stack of South Voice sections to hand out to the first dozen visitors I get.


Relay for Life Touches Lives

The live band could be heard across town.  The fireworks erupted and ignited in the dark of night.  A huge crowd of people marched around the track.  Simply said, Greyhound Event Center was bustling with a cause Friday night: cancer.

The American Cancer Society’s annual event, Relay for Life, was held in Post Falls overnight Friday and well into Saturday.  This memorable event started at six o’clock Friday evening and ran until noon Saturday.  Volunteer groups, schools, clubs, families, and individuals gathered together to remember those who have passed on, commend those who have survived, and celebrate the cure the future promises.

Those participating were asked to raise funds by having others pledge money for the cause based on the number of laps the participants walked around the track.  In addition, groups collectively raised funds with activities, sales, and concessions.  The unbelievable monetary and social support for the American Cancer Society makes Relay for Life memorable and unique.


Greenwashing is defined as the practice where a business tries to make it seem like it’s greener than it really is. For consumers to post and rank environmental advertisements in the hope of differentiating the misleading ones from the honest, we suggest The Greenwashing Index which recently refreshed it’s website.

Site Goal #1: Help consumers become more savvy about evaluating environmental marketing claims of advertisers. Site Goal #2: Hold businesses accountable to their environmental marketing claims. Site Goal #3:Stimulate the market and demand for sustainable business practices that truly reduce the impact on the environment.

For a one-year anniversary, on February 6th, Portland will host a workshop called “The Greenwashing Forum: Crafting Honest Messages in a Green World,” consisting of journalists, marketing leaders, educators and consumer advocates. “Our objective here is to push on the greenwashing issue and, by doing that, set an example for the world to see,” said Deborah Morrison, University of Oregon professor, site developer and forum organizer. “Portland is certainly the thought-leader capital of best practices for a green economy. We want to use that energy and make a statement through what’s accomplished at the forum.”

Last year we actually threw a daily tip about Larry David and water conservation to the fate of their Greenwashing index scale. Scoring a 2.91, the comments ranged from “this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen” to “makes a good case for being bald I guess?”

See, they’re hard to fool. Consumers and the planet are better off for it.

(Side note: DTE loves Larry David, a peculiar sentiment for an environmentalist. David, the co-creator of “Seinfeld,” found relatable humor in selfishness and “nothingness,” obsessing over the trivial minutiae of everyday life. He is either funny or annoying. But there’s a little Larry in all of us, and we couldn’t help but laugh when he said “the bald have been pioneers in water conservation” in the ad.)

Columbia Highlands presentation at REI

Photobucket Tonight from 7-8pm, check out a presentation co-sponsored by Conservation Northwest at the Spokane REI Community Room, 1125. Author Craig Romano, an avid hiker, will discuss his book “Columbia Highlands: Exploring Washington’s Last Frontier,” highlighting the beautiful landscape, the flora and fauna, the people of the region, and most importantly, maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Contact crystal@conservationw.org or call 509-747-1663

Take a walk with Mayor Verner - TODAY

Show Support For Non-Motorized Transportation Improvements at Oct. 20 Rally Do you want more area walking trails, bike lanes, and better access to transit? If you answered ‘yes,’ join us at the SmartRoutes Community Rally TODAY to raise awareness and support the need for improved non-motorized transportation facilities in Spokane. Photobucket Several local agencies, including Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), the Spokane Regional Health District, Spokane City, and Spokane County are partnering with area civic, bike, and pedestrian groups to participate in the Rails To Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) ‘2010 Campaign for Active Transportation.’ RTC is seeking to double funding to $9 billion for non-motorized transportation in the next reauthorization of the federal transportation budget. The proposal will advocate that $2 billion of the funds support forty communities, which could include Spokane, with $50 million in funding over six years to increase biking and walking for transportation. More information can be found at . www.smartroutes.org