Tuesday August 07, 2012 | 11:01 AM

A Portland favorite since it opened in 1994, Coffee by Design not only produces high quality java but makes an effort to be a sustainable business. The company's latest - and very visible - sustainability initiative can be seen on the roof of its Washington Avenue coffee shop and roastery in Portland.

This is where Coffee by Design had Revision Solar install 44 solar panels. These panels generate roughly half of the roastery's electricity needs and offset 18,000 pounds of carbon dioxide that would have been produced if the electricity came over the grid from plants that burn fossil fuels.

These solar panels caught the attention of the national organization Green America, and have given Coffee by Design a chance to win $5,000 in prize money in this year's People & Planet Award contest. The Portland company is one of 10 finalists in the competition. You can read more about the coffee company and vote for them in the contest.

Should Coffee by Design win, it intends to use the prize money to replace its existing particleboard countertops with sustainable countertops produced by Maine-based Beachstone. The company's stylish countertops are made from recycled glass and seashells.

Voting ends at 5 p.m. Sept. 5, but the green-powered coffee is available every day at its coffee shops.


About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or mgoad@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

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