The National Park Service in partnership with Discover Your Northwest and Historic Seattle received the 2015 Education and Outreach Federal Green Challenge Regional Award for their efforts to highlight how small changes can have big environmental benefits at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, located in Pioneer Square’s historic Cadillac Hotel.
A joint Cadillac Building Green Team replaced the building’s faucet aerators to low-flow ones, conducted waste audits, added recycling containers to all four floors, and began a compost program in the building’s non-public spaces. As a result, overall landfill waste was reduced by more than 27% and water usage was down by 12% from the previous year. But the team did more than place a few blue bins and switch aerators; at every step in the greening process, the group sent out e-mail communications and posted fliers in public spaces about its initiatives, and provided resources on how individuals can easily implement similar practices to yield cost savings while supporting environmental programs at home.
The Cadillac Hotel dates back to the city’s Klondike Gold Rush area and today serves not only as the Visitor Center for Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, but also as headquarters for the non-profit Discover Your Northwest, and office space for other National Park Service employees. The building is owned and managed by Historic Seattle. Representatives from the partner organizations received the Federal Green Challenge recognition, part of the EPA Sustainable Materials Management Program, during an Earth Day celebration at the Jackson Federal Building in Seattle.