Here at NoPo Paws, we like to call ourselves "Dog & Planet's Best Friend". With our Earth Day Opening just a few days away, I thought it might be high time to share a bit about how we've committed to the Planet's Best Friend portion of our motto.
Being environmentally-friendly in all that we can was a no-brainer decision as I began formulating plans for NoPo Paws. Bottom line: it's simply the right thing to do. What I discovered? It was remarkably easy to do and produced a storefront that truly feels like my home away from home.
The project started with a search for reclaimed wood. I quickly found Viridian Wood Products - their selection of reclaimed rustic wood was perfect for the store. I used their Jakarta tropical blend in the slat walls, window seat and "pyramid" fixture; their fishtail oak in the counter and window seat; and finally their spruce in the food shelving.
The Jakarta mix is a tropical blend of hardwoods originating from Southeast Asia. It arrived in Portland via cargo ocean transport where it was utilized in crating for steel railroad tracks. I fell in love with its rustic, varied characteristics immediately - I knew that this was the wood that I needed to be surrounded by on a daily basis.
The fish tail oak is also a by-product of shipping crates from the Port of Portland - I simply cannot say it better than the gentlemen of Viridian do on their website: "This is not the run-of-the-mill oak you grew up with!. It was the perfect compliment to both the Jakarta and the Doug Fir used in the Treat Bar and in the counter.
The Doug Fir tabletop and counter top were courtesy of Rich Mathis of Wood is Wonderful. Rich is located down in Sheridan and has an incredible passion for reclaiming materials. The beams that the tabletop and counter top were made from came from an old mill here in Oregon.
It was a pleasure working with both Viridan and Wood is Wonderful - their love of reclaimed materials is contagious.
Our light fixtures are also made from reclaimed materials - Jann of Lamp Goods utilizes vintage mason jars in these wonderful chandeliers and pendants. They are the perfect compliment to our reclaimed wood.
In addition to using reclaimed materials, we also used no and low VOC paints from ceiling to floor. Our paper materials (from print paper to shopping bags to shipping materials) are all made from recycled paper products. We, of course, recycle, reuse and re-purpose as much as we possibly can.
NoPo Paws is lucky to have found a location with some eco-credibility of its own. The building we are now part of has many eco-features, including solar panels that will generate approximately 30% of our electrical usage, a green roof, and greenhouse.
That is the beginning of the story behind "Planet's Best Friend" - I look forward to continuing to tell our eco-story.