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Life in the Rain Shadow

If you dream of a mild Pacific Northwest with warm winters and cool summers, modest rainfall, spectacular scenery with eagles and whales, this could be the place you’ve been trying to get to! Only 65-minutes from Metropolitan Seattle but light years away via a 15-minute ferry trip, you’ll find this “secret place”; a relaxed countryside of friendly neighbors, fir forests, and pastures, snow-capped mountains, east and west, wind-swept bluffs and driftwood-covered beaches. Add pristine air quality, unpolluted water, low crime, good schools, and no state income tax, but great health care delivery, and you would be on Whidbey Island!

There are places in the world so exceptional they don’t require superlatives. Whidbey Island is such a place. Try “life in the rain shadow”.

The interesting ways many people come to live on Whidbey Island! A few decades ago, a successful antique dealer in Los Angeles, was trapped in 12-24 hour work days. In a conversation with a friend, she reflected on returning to a life in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, because of the sea and the trees.

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Sustainable Businesses On Whidbey Island

Name Industry & City Description on Whidbey Island, Washington

Anchorage Inn – Lodging – Coupeville
The Anchorage Inn Bed and Breakfast is a new Victorian Inn, offering seven lavishly appointed rooms with splendid views of the cove, waterfront buildings, rolling hills on Whidbey Island, nearby Camano Island, and 10,700 foot Mt. Baker.

Angelo’s Caffe – Restaurant – Oak Harbor
Italian foods, bakery, and coffees.

BBQ Joint Restaurant – Oak Harbor
They’re your place for home cooking by mom and pop and as a family-owned and -operated restaurant. They offer superior catering services and delivery for your next special event, whether wedding, anniversary, birthday or retirement party.

Best Friend’s Veterinary Center – Veterinary Clinic – Oak Harbor
Best Friend’s Veterinary Center is dedicated to providing warm, loving, knowledgeable care for companion pets.

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Help for Whidbey’s Shorelines

The members of Whidbey ECONet are doing social research for a good cause. Whidbey Island’s shores are prized continuously for its spectacular views, the opportunity to watch the island’s great marine wildlife and take a walk, the chance to dig clams, and the special habitat it offers for wild salmon. To keep Whidbey Island’s shores clean, productive, and beautiful, the members of ECONet have joined forces in order to set up various projects.

One of these projects was a survey by Whidbey Watershed Stewards targeted to discover what the Whidbey population thinks important, what they care about, and in what way the organization’s service for the people of Whidbey can be improved. ECONet’s partner organizations additionally learned much about social research during the project and great help was offered by researchers of Applied Research Northwest and the people from Puget Sound Partnership.

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Whidbey ECO Network

Whidbey ECO Network is a cooperative network of several local individuals and organizations committed to protecting the environment of Puget Sound and recovering its vital functions. ‘ECO’ is standing for Education, Communication, & Outreach. The ECO Net members are striving to affect change in Whidbey Island’s local communities through various outreach programs and activities such as manure management, shoreline restoration, water quality monitoring, forest planning, outdoor education, salmon recovery, and special events. ECO Net is promoting good stewardship of nature, waters, and land.

Over the past years, ECO Net has reached some remarkable accomplishments including a Social Marketing Project in cooperation with several livestock owners in Maxwelton Valley, the South Whidbey High School ‘Earth Day Green Career Fair’, organizing the Whidbey ‘Earth and Ocean Month’, K-12 alignment with NextGen Science Standards, setting up the ‘Science While Sipping-Pub Talk Meetings’, and several professional development training courses for ECO Net’s members on subject fields like volunteer management, social marketing, project design, project management, and social media application for promoting your organization.

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Get Inspired by Local businesses

The South Whidbey Center of Senior Services of Island County:

They completed upgrading our lighting system. Using the PSE incentives, lighting was retrofitted throughout the building including nine offices, four meeting rooms, the dining room and kitchen area, with low voltage, energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. We are looking forward to lower electricity bills in our future, and based on last months’ savings its already happening.

SSIC is projected to save well over $2300 a year.

Taproot Architects: They were transitioning their office to all-LED lighting, and continuing to reduce our footprint on all fronts.

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church: Organized and hosted Diocese of Olympia environmental retreat in Summer 2012.

  • Presented 4-week environmental forum series on Clean Water in November 2014.
  • Participated in interfaith gathering at Bayview Earth Day celebration in April 2014.
  • Provided clean up of Honeymoon Bay Rd., including noxious weeds, in Fall 2015.

Crafters Co-op: We ask our vendors not to use Styrofoam and to minimize plastic. (more…)

The Whidbey Green Seal – a certificate program

The Whidbey Green Seal is a certificate program that publicly recognizes organizations (business, non-profit and tax-supported entities) that actively implement resource conservation measures, demonstrate a culture of environmental awareness in their operational activities, and practice social responsibility in their community.

Did You Know?

85% of people in Whatcom County expressed a preference for doing business with companies that are working to save energy and 51% expressed a strong preference. – Data based on a scientific survey completed through Sustainable Connections in Bellingham

There is an average 10-15% savings potential in utility costs (electricity, natural gas, propane, water, sewer, and waste) over several years, through a focus on improvements in operation and maintenance practices.
Data from PSE Resource Conservation Management program:

80% of CEOs say the financial downturn has raised the importance of sustainability and is being recognized as a source of cost efficiencies and revenue growth and a way of driving growth in new markets. – UN Global Compact and Accenture study, “A New Era of Sustainability”

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