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Tribal Conference Highlights Best Practices In Sustainable Design

Mike Kane
AP Images & Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A construction worker walks in front of the newly-constructed Snoqualmie Casino, in Snoqualmie, Wash., on Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Snoqualmie Casino is the site this week for a two-day Tribal Green Summit. The conference is highlighting best practices in sustainable design.

The event is designed for tribal officials throughout the Northwest who specialize in resource management and environmental programs, but it’s open to the general public. An overall theme of the meeting is reducing waste at the source.

Organizer Kami Snowden, with the Tribal Solid Waste Advisory Network says the lineup includes presentations on everything from the latest innovations in alternative energy to replacing lighting systems with more efficient fixtures.

‘A lot of people are hesitant to do it because of the initial cost," Snowden said.

"So we show them, by replacing your lighting what you're doing, not just environmentally, but what the return on your investment will be and in how short of a time.”

There are also sessions on lessons learned from tribal elders, such as replacing petroleum-based products in construction with things like cedar and stone.

And because the tribes want to include youth in their thinking about the future, there’s even a 10-year-old presenter here from Alaska. She’ll be giving a talk about the importance of radon detection in sustainable design. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that’s known to cause cancer.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat for KNKX, where she has worked since 1999. From 2000-2012, she covered the business and labor beat. Bellamy has a deep interest in Indigenous affairs and the Salish Sea. She has a masters in journalism from Columbia University.
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