Stumptown is among Portland’s many nicknames because of the arboreal remains left behind as forests were cleared during the city’s early growth. These days, Portland’s citizens are stereotyped as extremely environmentally friendly, and the stereotype is certainly true of the diligent werkers over at Plywerk. Plywerk uses sustainable bamboo, which only requires three to seven years to grow mature enough to harvest, compared to one hundred and twenty years for oak. Thus our wood works will never leave behind a stump-strewn landscape that would make the Lorax cry. We would lobby to change Portland’s moniker to Sustainably-Harvested-Forests-Town, except we’re too hooked on caffeine and graphic novels to step on the toes of Stumptown Coffee Roasters or Stumptown Comics.
Here at Plywerk we take green design seriously. We are profoundly aware of what wastefulness and pollution do to the Earth and the life on it, and hence put in real thought and effort towards keeping the planet as pleasantly pristine as possible. We even hired a sustainability adviser to ensure we maximize our ability to minimize our environmental impact. Beyond using materials that keep forests forested, Plywerk uses locally sourced materials and makes sure what little scrap we produce is reused or recycled. When shipping bamboo mounted art to you, Plywerk uses recovered corrugated cardboard boxes, encourages you to keep the cycle of box reuse going with A Box Life, and utilizes UPS’s carbon offset program.
Plywerk’s green design doesn’t end with the product. Come to think of it, we’re borderline compulsive in our environmentalism. At the office we recycle our re-re-reused paper, obtain used furniture and equipment instead of new whenever possible, and compost any food waste from lunch. Alternative energies power the building and we dress warmly rather than cranking the heat. Plywerk encourages us to ride our bikes or public transit to werk, and most days most of us do. I’ve yet to arrive any other way than on my bike, whether the Portland weather grants us torrential downpour or merely a light drizzle. You can depend the same level of dedication to eco-friendly practices in every aspect of what we do as Plywerkers.
Written By Landon Goldberg. Before joining Plywerk, Landon studied philosophy at Reed College, taught English in Korea for two years, and wrote a few half-completed books. He enjoys travel, hiking, inventing stories, and building elaborate nonsense.