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Jiyeon, Leanna and Rick.
‘No Plastics – No Gimmicks’ ... but the same great coffee posted on 10/01/2018

When customers drop in to Mt. Hood Roasters in Rhododendron, they’re likely to have their steaming java delight served up by Leanna Little. After all, she’s been there for five years.

But don’t be deceived. There’s more to Leanna than a great cup of coffee. To wit:

Her ideas and efforts have helped Mt. Hood Roasters recycle 225 cubic feet of plastics, metal and paper; recycle more than one thousand glass bottles; recycle roughly half a ton of cardboard; switched the company from 5-pound plastic to 5-pound paper with corn-based PLA liners resulting in the removal of an additional 300 pounds of plastic from the supply chain.

And this year, Leanna is pushing the company to stop using non-compostable cups, lids and straws. This will remove more than a ton of non-compostable refuse from the earth.

World Cleanup Day was celebrated last month, and it was fitting that Leanna’s efforts were recognized at Roasters where she was rewarded with a 3-day, 2-night stay in the Herman Melville Room at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, a bonus check of $100, and a copy of Moby Dick that was signed by the friends, families and guests in attendance.

“I am honored, humbled and overwhelmed,” Leanna said. “I hope that one day everyone cares as much as I do for the home that we all share.”

Among the guests was Susan Mead, secretary of Recycling Advocates of Oregon.

“As a loyal customer of Mt. Hood Roasters … I was thrilled to attend the ceremony to recognize Leanna Little’s recycling efforts on behalf of your company,” Mead said. “Thank you Mt. Hood Roasters for your contributions towards a greener planet earth.”

Roasters owner Jiyeon Applegate added that her home country of South Korea is one of the top four world leaders in recycling.

“Less than half of the waste output is sent to the landfill,” she said. “I want my company … to achieve the same success. Leanna is one of the main people helping us get to that goal.”

Jiyeon’s husband and owner of Roasters, Rick Applegate, reflected on the company’s commitment to being an industry leader in sustainable business practices.

“Leanna is helping us lead that charge,” he said. “We want to put pressure on other coffee shops and food service businesses to follow our example. Our sustainability motto this year is ‘No plastics – No gimmicks.’ It’s not about cute marketing ideas, it’s about changing decades of old habits and just committing to removing and reducing plastics from our inventory. Permanently.”

Drop in and pay homage to the paper straw, and notice the celebratory passing of plastic.

By Larry Berteau/MT

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