Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Green Everett Lives Sustainably

Green Everett members strive to live sustainably

Leaving less of a footprint on the planet isn't just an ideal for Marilyn Rosenberg, it's her lifestyle.

At home she composts, gardens with native plants and buys everything she can secondhand.

"I don't go to department stores or the mall," she said. "I find great, one-of-a-kind things at thrift shops and yard sales."

She bicycles to her Everett business, Zippy's Java Lounge and practices the same types of waste-reducing, energy saving measures she does at home, including using a worm bin to compost waste. She also supports local business, such as selling a Snohomish woman's woven bags made from recycled straw.

It is no surprise, then, that her coffee shop has become the meeting place for a grassroots group of like-minded people. The loose-knit group is called Green Everett, and its aim is promoting sustainable living.

Sustainable living means different things to different people, Rosenberg said. To her, it means making as small of an impact on the planet as possible.

The group has a Web site and, so far, dozens of people have attended several meetings at the coffee shop. At the last meeting, discussions covered topics such as including educating people about invasive plants and promoting Earth-friendly commuting options.

Its members want to learn more about changes they can make in their own lives, and they also want to inspire change in the community, Rosenberg said. At the last meeting, people talked about establishing a regular presence at City Council meetings, getting involved in neighborhood associations and signing up for work parties at Forest Park to remove invasive plants.

Zippy's also hosts Conversation Cafes at 3 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. A documentary showing is followed by a discussion. There are plans to start a sustainable book club too.

Other local groups with similar aims are active around the county, including the Sustainable Living Institute in Mukilteo and another group that meets in Snohomish.

"If more people start getting involved and sharing ideas, we might need a bigger meeting space," Rosenberg said.

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or

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