By Ashley Lodato
You can bank on Earth Day being celebrated in style at Farmers State Bank. For the sixth year in a row, the bank will start its Earth Day party at about 10 a.m., serving an “earth cake” made by Arrowleaf Bistro and organic coffee from Lariat Coffee Roasters. The bank staff spends most of the day visiting with customers, reviewing recycling programs in the Methow, and giving earth-friendly tips, all coordinated by the bank’s Green Officer Roxana Adams.
But Farmers doesn’t just celebrate Earth Day once a year — the bank incorporates many environmentally friendly practices into its everyday habits. For example, it uses only 100-percent recycled post-consumer office paper, recycles 100 percent of its office paper after shredding it, sponsors a recycling barrel in downtown Winthrop, uses only environmentally-friendly cleaners and energy-reducing LED office lighting, and uses Apple computers that are made out of highly recyclable aluminum and glass, with low energy consumption and other green features. Now those are investments we can all get behind!
In an extended version of “take your kid to work” day, author/illustrator Erik Brooks took his sixth-grade daughter, Keeley, with him on a series of school presentations in Norway. Erik and Keeley flew to Scandinavia via Iceland, where they spent a 24-hour layover in Reykjavik, much of it at the famed Blue Lagoon, which is a giant geothermal pool in a lava field.
They then pressed on to Norway, where Erik was scheduled to do a week of school assemblies and workshops with students at the Fagerhaug International School and the Fagerhaug Christian School in Stjordal. They arrived in Trondheim, Norway, on Good Friday, which meant that virtually everything was closed, except for the Ringve music museum that violinist Keeley enjoyed very much.
Erik and Keeley spent Easter weekend skiing with new Norwegian friends, which in addition to alpine and Nordic skiing meant seeing what seemed like entire villages of people having picnics on the snow. According to Keeley, families bring out furs and blankets and spread out portable feasts right on the snow, as if they were at a city park or at the beach.
While Erik did illustration classes with the various Fagerhaug students, Keeley attended school. She says she was able to keep up in most classes except for the Norwegian language class, in which she found herself lacking some of the basics. She did, however, learn the two phrases that enable you to travel comfortably in almost any country: please (vær så snill) and thank you very much (tusen takk).
With that, I will put in a shameless plug for you to vær så snill put your levy ballots in the mailbox this week with the “yes” boxes checked. Tusen takk.