How We Are Green

The following is a summary of the presentation Carola Stepper, LAc gave at the Gorge Owned sponsored Green Drinks event in January 2013.

Cascade Acupuncture Center is committed to running its business in a way that minimally impacts the environment, while positively impacting the community and its employees.

Efforts we employ to be environmentally sustainable as a business:

Products used:

  • Paper products (TP, hand towels and tissues) as well as office products with as much recycled content as possible, when available.
  • Printing on the back side of any one-sided printed paper: Donated paper, copies produced in our office and any paper which comes in the mail that has only one printed side.
  • Ceramic mugs for complementary tea and water, as opposed to one time use cups.
  • Cloth linens and towels for our Acupuncture and Massage rooms, as opposed to medical table paper.
  • Energy saving light bulbs whenever possible.
  • Scrap paper from mail, whenever possible, for notes.

Services used:

  • Janitorial: Robert Bauld of Hood River, Home & Office Detail, who uses non-toxic cleaning solutions, HEPA vacuum filtration, and micro-fibre technologies.
  • Laundry: Mike Kern of Hood River, Washboard Eco Laundry, who uses the most energy efficient commercial washers and dryers available and environmentally friendly detergent.
  • 100% renewable energy through the Pacific Power Blue Sky program in our Hood River clinic.
  • 100% renewable energy through the Northern Wasco County PUD’s Pure Power program in The Dalles Clinic. We were the first Wasco County commercial account to ask for it!

Other:

  • We investigated, and invested in, the most energy efficient electric HVAC system for our remodeled clinic in The Dalles, which was installed by Oregon Equipment Company.
  • We insulated our 1,500 square foot clinic in The Dalles so well that the monthly electric bill is an average of $75/month!
  • We converted the trash and blackberry filled commercial waste land behind our clinic in The Dalles (a 45 year old Laundromat) into a community garden. The garden includes 11 raised beds, a timed sprinkler system and compost from Dirthugger Compost.
  • We have recycling containers, along with trash containers, available in each office space and waiting room so employees and customers can recycle. In addition, used battery collection containers are in each office to keep them out of the trash.

Efforts to positively impact the community:

  • We are committed to giving 1% of our net profits to local non-profits working for environmental issues or improving the lives of local people.
  • We make an annual donation, at Christmas, in the name of our clients to United Way of the Columbia Gorge.
  • Monthly we feature at least one local non-profit organization in our email newsletter with a write up. Additionally, all employees and volunteers of the featured non-profit(s) can receive one free stress reduction Happy Hour Acupuncture treatment during their month. This is our way of saying thank you for all they do in our communities.
  • Twice per year, in February and August, we offer free Happy Hour Acupuncture treatments in exchange for the donation of 10 items of food for the local food banks. During the last two years we provided 100 free treatments each year, yielding more than 1,000 items of food. The value of the free treatments given was $3,500 each year.
  • Any organization requesting a donation for a silent auction item or a raffle prize will receive a contribution of treatment vouchers for Acupuncture and/or Massage.

Efforts to positively affect the employees:

  • Team building is achieved through weekly team phone meetings. These meetings include reading the statement of purpose together, sharing pertinent business information, client success stories, and staff appreciations from any team member to another team member.
  • Team dinners, company raft trips, embroidered company logo clothing and annual Secret Santa gift exchange gifts are all paid by Cascade Acupuncture Center.
  • Paid vacations and holidays, medical insurance, Simple IRA participation with company matching contributions, bonuses and yearly raises are all available for employees.

And finally:

At Cascade Acupuncture Center we are honored to offer a service which allows our clients to feel better, naturally. Through the use of Acupuncture treatments, Massage, Custom Chinese Herbs, health, nutrition and lifestyle suggestions, our clients are finding the need for less or no medication at all. This, in turn, reduces the toxic waste in our sewage systems from the production of pharmaceuticals as well as human waste containing pharmaceuticals.

Our clients cope better with stress and are generally happier due to regular Acupuncture and Massage treatments, contributing in many ways to a better world!