Category Archives: Sustainability Committee

Sustainability Committee Year-End Wrap-Up

It has been nearly a year since the Cash4Books Sustainability Committee was formed, and our first year has been a great success. The committee is composed of five employees coming from several different departments throughout the company. While we have a wide range of perspectives and areas of focus on the committee, our main mission is to is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable practices at work.

There were several highlights for us in 2010. As a company, we logged over 110 hours of volunteer community outreach! We volunteered with the Children’s Book Bank, Tualatin Riverkeepers and the Oregon Food Bank. We were also happy to provide year-end donations to these organizations as a way of saying thanks for their hard work and dedication to their causes.

In July, we participated as a company in the Carefree Commuter Challenge. The CCC is a friendly competition between companies and organizations in the Portland, Oregon, metro region to see who has the most sustainable commuting habits. Over the course of the month we logged over 1,600 miles using sustainable transportation (defined as public transportation, carpooling, walking and biking). This saved over 65 gallons of gasoline, and prevented the release of 1,300 lbs of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Enhancing our recycling program and reducing waste was another area of emphasis for us. We improved the recycling area in our employee break room, and installed a peg board to eliminate the use of disposable cups. We expanded our recycling list to include items like CDs and batteries.  Additionally, we continued to reuse and recycle the boxes and packing materials that we receive from our customers who send us their books. Over the course of the year, we recycled 40 tons of material that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.

To finish off the year, we installed lighting occupancy sensors in the employee break room and shipping area of our warehouse. These sensors are anticipated to result in a 5% reduction of our annual electricity consumption. Plus, its really cool to have the lights turn on automatically when you walk by the sensors.

Cash4Books Gives Back to Oregon Food Bank

Sort.  Box.  Pass. Toss. Weigh. Store.

On Saturday, December 11th, ten Cash4Books employees worked with the Oregon Food Bank sorting boxed, canned, and other food items into categories for distribution. Team members served as sorters, tapers, and washers. Some even worked on the conveyor, back line, scale and putting cases away. Together, with other volunteers, our team helped to pack 10,481 pounds of salvaged goods. This amounted to 8,062 meals for people in need, or an individual contribution of 268 meals on the table this week.

Although a ton of fun, the experience was much more physical than our team bargained for.  Everyone was very tired after working with cans and boxes for two hours. Good thing there were bagels and juice after!  🙂

The Oregon Food Bank distributes food to agencies that feed people who are hungry throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. According to the OFB “In Oregon and Clark County Washington, an estimated 240,000 people eat from an emergency food box in an average month.“ They also work to address the root causes of hunger through public policy advocacy and education programs. For more information about the Oregon Food Bank, please see their website.

Cash4Books Cleans-Up Local River by Canoe

Aluminum Canoe – $1000.00. Life Vest – $100.00.  

Getting wet and dirty with your co-workers to make our rivers clean – priceless! 



Guided by the Tualatin Riverkeepers, Cash4Books employees donned life vests, grabbed their paddles, and donated their Saturday morning to retrieve garbage littering the local Tualatin River. The event was one of 150 restoration projects taking place throughout Oregon – part of SOLV’s annual Beach and Riverside Cleanup. 

Working from canoes, Cash4Books collected everything from lawn mowers to picnic tables from the waterway. Volunteers paddled approximately two miles along forested riverbank scouring the shallows for garbage and debris. Although most were expecting to find Coke cans and plastic bags, the trash found along the river was on a grander scale. A rogue dock, too large to fit within the canoe, was towed to shore for removal. Volunteers even recovered a mattress and bed frame. Unfortunately, the box spring was never found. 


   Although once a vacation destination, the Tualatin River is now one of the most polluted rivers in Oregon. Tualatin Riverkeepers (TRK) is a nonprofit organization working to protect and restore Oregon’s Tualatin River System. Last year alone, TRK volunteers donated over 10,000 volunteer hours to projects including nature education, habitat restoration, paddle trips, and advocacy. They plan “to restore nearly 250 acres of flood plain habitat on the Tualatin River, protecting water quality, reducing flooding and creating homes for wildlife” this year! 

For more information about their mission, and how to get involved, please visit Tualatin Riverkeepers. 

Cash4Books employees after removing trash from the Tualatin River


Cash4Books Volunteers to Improve Literacy

Goodnight Moon. The Bernstein Bears. Love You Forever. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Many of these titles evoke a sense of nostalgia and warm memories of our childhood. Today, however, countless children do not have access to books outside of the classroom.

Last weekend, several Cash4Books employees donated their time and book-cleaning skills to support the mission of The Children’s Book Bank – a local non-profit which strives to improve the literacy skills of low-income children by giving them books of their own before they reach kindergarten. Their goal? To help break the cycle of poor literacy which often plagues low-income families, generation after generation.

Over the course of several hours, Cash4Books employees worked to prepare books for preschoolers. Scribbles were erased, inscriptions were covered, spines were reinforced, torn pages were taped, and covers were wiped with organic cleaners. There was also a bit of reminiscing over our childhood favorites, too!

According to The Children’s Book Bank website:

  • In homes in middle income neighborhoods, the ratio of books to children is 13 books for every child.
  • In low income neighborhoods the ratio is 1 book for every 300 children.

The Children’s Book Bank also notes that “research shows that children with books at home who are read to at an early age become better readers and do better in school.”

For more information on the Children’s Book Bank or how to get involved, please visit their website at:

McKenzie Books 2010 Charity Book Sale Raises Money for

Take thousands of discounted books, a great staff of volunteers, hundreds of bargain-minded shoppers; add in three days of beautiful weather and one great charity and what do you get?  That’s the recipe for a very successful McKenzie Books Charity Sidewalk Sale!

Last week, McKenzie Books sold nearly 2,700 books priced at 50¢ and $1.00 to raise a total of $1,652.57 for our favorite charity, We’ve already sent the money we collected to help fund eleven new classroom projects for teachers who requested books and supplies.  You can see more about the projects we helped by clicking here.

Putting together an event like this took a lot of effort.  In addition to their regular work, McKenzie Books employees volunteered an additional 23 hours of their time before and after hours to the sale.  They did everything from making sure our signs were ready, to cleaning up after the sale, and boxing nearly 1,000 unsold books to go to their new home at the Beaverton Friends of the Library Book Corner.

Our staff had the privilege of meeting so many of our regular and new customers face-to-face.   We hope all of you had as much fun as we did!

As we head back to work after a weekend where we celebrated our country’s independence, it’s great a time to remember the freedom and opportunity that reading gives us.  Thanks for helping share that freedom with a new generation of students by becoming “citizen philanthropists” at our Charity Sidewalk Sale.