As the most populous city in Oregon, Portland is nicknamed the “Rose City” because of its ideal climate and lush, green beauty. Portland is also known as one of the most environmentally friendly, green cities in the world because of its extensive public transportation networks, efficient use of land and businesses committed to sustainable practices. If you’re planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest or if you already live in this gem in a city, read on to the best green establishments in Portland.
Accommodation: Heathman Hotel
Built in the late 1920s, the Heathman Hotel is a beautiful, historic hotel that also happens to be one of the greenest businesses in Portland. In 2007, the hotel was recognized by PacifiCorp for its sustainability practices, including installing updated windows, ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems and replacing all light bulbs with energy saving compact fluorescents. Additionally, hotel guests can choose to purchase a Go Green package, which includes luxury deluxe accommodations in a green room and transportation in a green-friendly or hybrid vehicle. For every package sold, the hotel plants a tree with the help of Portland nonprofit Friends of Trees.
Where: 1001 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
Organization: Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is a nonprofit organization based in Portland that works to maximize energy efficiency in the Pacific Northwest by creating energy-efficient products, services and practices. Since 1997, the organization and its partners, which includes over 100 Northwest utilities and other organizations, have saved enough energy to power over 500,000 homes throughout this area of the country each year.
Where: 421 SW Sixth Ave., Suite 600 Portland, OR 97204
Restaurant: Bamboo Sushi
Portland is essentially a haven for green and eco-friendly bars and restaurants, but what makes Bamboo Sushi unique is that it is the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. Every fish that the restaurant serves comes from populations that are plentiful and in good health, and the fishermen who catch the sustainable fish do so in an environmentally ethical manner. Meats must come from local ranches in Oregon or Idaho and be grass fed, hormone free and free range. With this commitment to the ingredients, you’d think that Bamboo Sushi would be wildly overpriced, but prices are extremely reasonable for the quality and attention to detail you’ll receive at a meal here.
Where: 310 SE 28th Ave., Portland, OR 97214
Brewery: Hopworks Urban Brewery
Hopworks Urban Brewery is one of Oregon’s greenest and most sustainable brewpubs. The brew kettle and the brewery truck run on biodiesel made from the restaurant’s used oil from the deep fryers, wasted heat from the pizza ovens is redirected and warms brewing water, the landscaping is irrigated and the runoff is caught from the roof and saved in a 5,000 gallon rain barrel and the reflected roof increases the air conditioner’s efficiency by providing a cooler environment. Even the building is sustainable, made from recycled materials and using energy efficient equipment. Beer is made by using organic barley malt, and all the food available in the brewpub is organic.
Where: 2944 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202
It may surprise you that Wal-Mart is on our list of the top green businesses in Portland, but this big box store is making waves on the green scene in the Pacific Northwest with the construction of a new 90,000-square-foot store in North Portland that will be home to the largest green roof in the entire state of Oregon. The massive roof, which will measure 40,600 square feet, will be vegetated with wildlife-attracting habitats that will also serve to reduce stormwater runoff. Other green features of the store include recycled construction materials, LED lighting in the parking areas, recycled flooring and an HVAC system that recycles heat. The store is slated to open in the fall of 2013.
Where: North Hayden Meadows Drive, Portland, OR 97217
Photo credit: iStockphoto/thinair28