As a business, we do everything within our power to see that our work is printed on recycled paper, using non-toxic inks, sustainable printing methods, and renewable energy. Around the office, we maintain a standard of conservation that exceeds the requirements of the City of Portland's RecycleWorks award.
Like many graphic designers and design studios, we realize a true sustainable practice also asks us how we can give back something to our world, to help sustain the people, city, and region around us.
For many years we sought to bring our work to this realm by, well, working. We provided design services to a variety of urban planning and transportation organizations, such as SPUR, City CarShare, Urban Ecology, and Transportation for a Livable City.
In 2005 we decided to shift the focus of this work. We began to volunteer out of the office, to support urban agriculture and to strengthen the connection between urban eaters and rural producers.
Part of this involves a series of personal decisions that usually fall outside the boundaries of a business web site, such as joining a local CSA and a food co-op, and making other efforts to buy more of our food seasonally, from regional producers.
Another part involves the physical and financial support of local non-profits who are working to build community around regional food networks.
In 2007, we founded the Eastside Egg Co-op, a volunteer-operated egg farm integrated into the existing production of Zenger Farm, a small, historic farm property just inside the city of Portland. This co-op got off the ground thanks to a grant from Heifer International, a big boost from Laura Masterson of the 47th Avenue Farm, and a lot of volunteer effort from us and our members. In 2009 we stepped down as active managers. The co-op is now overseen by the staff of Zenger Farm and continues to thrive as a volunteer-run organization.
From 2008 to 2009, Patrick served on the board of directors of the Portland Fruit Tree Project. The PFTP is a non-profit that enhances food security and strength of community through volunteer harvests of neighborhood fruit trees. The harvested fruit is shared among the volunteers and donated to local food banks. Patrick was a founding member of the board of directors, when the Project evolved from a volunteer group to a non-profit organization. He helped with the PFTP’s strategic planning, and developed collaborative projects with local businesses.
We're fortunate to live in Portland, Oregon, among so many innovators in food systems, transportation, and livability. Our hope is that we can give something back to that community, through our volunteer work and personal choices.