Sustainable practices around Oregon: From food to building

As our planet gets warmer and warmer, we tend to experience the consequences of climate change more profoundly. Today, more than ever before, we must do everything in our power to take care of our planet, and our communities. The state of Oregon has been a pioneer in green practices, and this tradition lives on to the present day. Examples can be found in a diverse range of forms, from the state legislature to individual acts of preservation of nature. As brokers in Lebanon OR would definitely agree, Oregon is not only a beautiful place to live, but it is also environmentally responsible.


Dedication to Sustainability

The Oregon Sustainability Act defines “sustainability” as using, developing, and protecting resources in a manner that enables people to meet current needs and provides that future generations can also meet future needs from the joint perspective of environmental, economic, and community objectives.

In June 2021 Oregon Legislature passed the Landmark Water Package, which entails a $538.1 million investment in drinking water, wastewater, and groundwater infrastructure projects across the state.

Another big leap toward a more sustainable future was made recently by the state of Oregon. House Bill 2021 set a date – 2040 – for Oregon’s electric utilities to move to 100% renewable energy. Retail electricity providers are required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity sold to Oregon consumers.

Water and energy usage impact not only the planet, but our individual way of life. A big part of that is, as well, where we live, work, socialize, enjoy our free time, and, of course, what we eat.


Green building

Generally speaking, a green building is any type of edifice (a home, an office, a hospital, etc.) that includes features such as the use of renewable energy, pollution and waste reduction measures, use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical, and sustainable, indoor environmental quality, just to name a few. The green building market is anticipated to be one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide. In the US we have seen a significant increase from 1.4% of non-residential construction classified as green in 2005, to about 45% in recent years. The definition and implementation of regulations regarding what constitutes green building vary from one country to another. The state of Oregon has several policies in place.

In 2001 Portland adopted the Green building policy, making it one of the first cities in the US to implement green building standards. Under this policy, all new buildings, as well as major renovations, must all attain at least LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. LEED is an internationally recognized, and widely used, green building rating system. It provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. These projects are responsible for diverting more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. Some go beyond this golden norm, as is the case with The Casey, USA’s first LEED-certified Platinum high-rise condominium building, built in 2007 in Portland. In fact, Portland is the American city with the highest concentration of LEED-certified buildings.

Beyond these standards, there are many different possibilities to make each and every home a little more environmentally conscious. Best real estate agencies in Lebanon are knowledgeable about making any home more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. They can help you with any questions or concerns you may have in your search for homes for sale in Lebanon.

“Sustainability in building” also refers to choices when it comes to construction materials themselves. Oregon’s natural resource, for example, is wood. It is a much more sustainable alternative to concrete and steel, so the region is starting to develop mass timber products. The use of locally sourced materials has its ecological benefits but has another positive impact as well. Natural materials, paired with responsiveness to climate and place – make for a more enjoyable experience for those who inhabit or work in these structures. This is one of the examples of how sustainability affects not only our planet but the quality of our everyday lives.

Transportation is another vital element to going green when it comes to urban and suburban living. Developing an eco-friendly infrastructure means investing in alternative transportation, such as light rails and streetcars. And, of course, cycling is another fantastic way to get around. Increasing your energy and overall fitness levels is also good for the environment.


On the table

Food production and distribution is another important element of a sustainable, as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating organic and locally produced food is not only beneficial for your wellbeing, but also helps boost the local economy, and is reducing negative impacts on the environment. If you happen to be passionate about farming and growing your own food, then looking for land for sale in Lebanon Oregon might be the right move for you. The scenic area of the Willamette Valley has a favorable climate for growing all sorts of fresh produce. With different types of fertile, alluvial-type soil, warm summers, and mild winters that are important characteristics of this area, it is possible to grow berries, nuts, legumes, tree fruits, and field crops.

If you prefer not to get your hands dirty, there are other ways you can enjoy the benefits of seasonal, local produce. Farm-to-table is an expression that is becoming increasingly popular and refers to a myriad of dining options. It can literally mean visiting a farm and enjoying a meal the ingredients for which have been grown only steps away from the dining table. It can also refer to a special relationship some restaurants develop with farms or other small, independent food producers, thus skipping buying the ingredients from a big distributor or a food service. These types of dining experiences make the best out of what’s in season and celebrate the authenticity of all the fresh local flavors.

The Willamette Valley is also known as the wine country of Oregon. The wine-making industry here takes sustainability very seriously and applies strict regulations when it comes to growing, making, packaging, and distributing their products. Many of the Willamette Valley’s wines are LIVE certified (Low-Impact Viticulture and Enology). They are often Salmon-Safe and biodynamic, and, of course, very delicious.

As we have seen previously, Oregon continues to uphold its reputation as one of the most sustainable states in many different ways. This is reflected in a wide range of expanding industries, including the Lebanon Oregon real estate market, which is no wonder, considering this is a truly special place to live.