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    Shopping Bag Revolution

    Powell's Bag
    In accordance with the City of Portland's plastic bag ban, Powell's has gone plastic free at checkout. We still offer paper bags to customers; however, shoppers are encouraged to bring reusable shopping bags to reduce waste.

    We have several reusable totes available for purchase in our stores. See our online offerings here. spacer

Powell's Green Committee
Welcome to Powell's Books green page, a place to share our efforts as an environmentally conscious business and exchange ideas with our community. Over the past few years, we have incorporated green practices into our business when possible. Our Green Committee studies the impact of Powell's Books, Inc., on the environment and identifies opportunities for implementing additional sustainable practices with the goal of minimizing that impact.

Current Activities

Green Power
In March 2007, Powell's signed an agreement with Portland General Electric to purchase Clean WindSM Power, offsetting 165,000 pounds of CO2 each year.

Biodiesel Fuel
In 2006, we began using biodiesel fuel in our delivery trucks that make daily rounds to Powell's stores and warehouses.

fueled with biodiesel

Alternative Transportation Subsidies
Powell's offers its employees a discount on bus passes, available as a pre-tax deduction, encouraging all employees to use public transportation for their work commute. Those who choose to bike to work may receive an annual bicycle maintenance subsidy.

Greening Our Facilities
Powell's continues to explore environmentally responsible choices in construction materials and operating supplies. For example, our newly remodeled Concourse D store at Portland International Airport incorporates Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood in cabinetry and shelving, energy-efficient lighting, and sustainable finishes.

Coffee Shop Composting
At the City of Books, we've made space available for our on-site cafe, World Cup Coffee and Tea, to compost materials from its daily operations.

Solar Energy Comes to Powell's
In October 2008, contractor Energy Design began work on a 100kW solar project at Powell's Books' NW Portland warehouse, 2720 NW 29th Avenue. The warehouse's structure provides abundant access to unshadowed roofspace making it a great candidate for solar panels. This installation will be one of the largest solar arrays in Oregon, with 540 photovoltaic panels supplying approximately 25% of the building's electric needs.

Solar Engineers from Energy Design

Future Plans
In the coming year we hope to become green certified by the City of Portland's Recycleworks program which involves a comprehensive audit of the company's operations, everything from waste prevention to purchasing recycled products.

Green Press Initiative is proud to partner with Green Press Initiative, a nonprofit program that is working with publishers, paper mills, and printers to make positive transformations within the book industry. Green Press and will feature titles from publishers that have committed to eliminating their use of endangered forest fiber and instead to use paper that is recycled and/or certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Browse a full range of titles in our Green Press Initiative section.

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Recommendations and Resources

Make your own biodiesel:
Make your own worm bin:
Say no to junk mail:
Have local, farm fresh, organic produce delivered to your door:
Buy recycled:
How to get a green light on your bicycle:
The Natural Step:
Bicycle Transportation Alliance:
SeQuential Biofuels:
Portland Office of Sustainable Development:
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Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at