Today's Green Mantra: In a green city, I'll be sure to have a green time

Day 40 / 365

I first met Ashley at what we in Manitoba call 'a social', which is basically a fest built for the finest of alcohol intakers to gather to spend their hard earned cash for a cause. It was the perfect time and place to meet, partially because we were young and able to participate in the festivities with the freshness a youthful liver provides, and partially because it was a time in life where we both needed a soulful sisterhood to share. 


We became fast friends within minutes, she in her turquoise and sequins and I in my fake tan an equally fake pearls. Up until my final departure to Europe, we were inseparable. Many years passed with me abroad and our friendship didn't falter, we met our beaus around the same time and her and he came to spend their fall in Paris with us before making the move to Portland where she is now based, and I will soon be based (this spring!). 

Ashley is a force of many talents, from childcare and gardening, to crocheting and joke making, and I knew she'd be down for the mission to share an eco date idea with the world. Here's Ashely's lovely loved up list, be sure to check out her equally loved up creations on her Etsy shop Bolts & Arrows too!

- Eco Date Ideas For Portland -

By Ashley Messing of Bolts & Arrows

Of cities in America with over 100,000 people, Popular Science Magazine voted Portland, Oregon the greenest, with Eugene, OR in fifth place. The study noted our use of bicycles, carpools and public transportation, as well as having 35 buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. I know that sounds very exciting, but what I love about Portland is the small-town feeling you get and how each neighbourhood has its own personality, its own heartbeat. Asked to plan my perfect eco-friendly dream date, I was enthusiastic and overwhelmed. There are never-ending options and I find hidden gems all the time. 

[To Do] 


The Brew Barge is a 14-person, pedal powered boat that floats down the beautiful Willamette River. You will get to see many of the unique bridges Portland is famous for. Make sure to bring friends, music, beer and sunscreen. The trip is an hour and a half, and the summers are hot. 

[To Eat]

If your legs are up for it after the barge, a 30-minute bike-ride will get you to my favourite restaurant. Bamboo Sushi was the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. They have reusable chopsticks, biodegradable take-out containers and are trying to recycle or compost all of their waste. 100% of Bamboo Sushi’s power is bought from renewable energy sources, and all their produce, fish, and meat are fresh and ethically sourced. From their website: “We maintain transparency and accountability for our customers through our multiple, nationally recognized certifications and rigorous, independent, third-party audits.” Make sure to try the Green Machine roll and the Demon Killer saké. 

[To Drink] 


*I’m not enough of a coffee snob to comment on how great Portland’s is
A quick 8 minute ride will get you to the award-winning Hopworks Bike Bar, located in a NetZero energy building. Hopworks is first brewpub in Portland to serve handcrafted, all organic beer. They really put their hearts and minds into making their two locations green. All their packaging is recyclable, they use biodiesel to power their delivery truck and brew kettle, the heat from the pizza oven is used to warm the water necessary to brew beer, they irrigated their landscaping to take advantage of the rainwater from the roof which is reflective to alleviate the need for excessive air conditioning. You can even burn off any energy you might have left powering their building with their plug-out stationary bicycles.

- You'll find Ashley's latest creations on her Etsy shop Bolts & Arrows HERE  -
(she created the beautiful blanket pictured below!)

photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5