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It Takes a Village to Save the World  
Sustainability practices may feel like a quickly growing fad with the increased popularity of hybrid cars and ecofriendly, biodegradable products becoming the norm. It’s wonderful to see all generations quickly adopting practices to better our planet for their future. Sustainability as a norm, however, is a practice many of us once only dreamed of.

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Prior to 1970, everyone fueled their vehicles with leaded gas. It was a time when factories were spewing smoke and sledge, and the smell of air pollution was commonly accepted (and expected) in our largest cities.  When astronauts shared photos of our little, vulnerable blue planet for the first time in history, it prompted a movement and call to action: citizens took it upon themselves to bring national awareness to issues around environmentalism, sustainability, recycling practices, toxic waste, and fume emissions, and our overuse of natural resources. We could see our planet from a new perspective, and it was precious! Nearly 20 million people from coast-to-coast gathered to demonstrate for a healthy and sustainable environment and the very first Earth Day was born! April 22, 1970 marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement.

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This same awareness exists at Rose Villa today, where our sustainability practices started with our garden back in the 1960s. Since then, we’ve made it our mission to promote sustainability from the ground up. We’ve incorporated renewable materials into our environmentally-conscious Main Street buildings and Cottages, we provide fresh produce to our food and beverage departments from our two-acre, primarily resident-run community garden, and we have a campus-wide composting and recycling program for which we were awarded Clackamas County Sustainability Gold certification. Our Residents’ Association Council also has a “Bring Nature Home” club that is committed to practicing “naturescaping” by utilizing native plants and low-impact foliage on our campus landscape. Additionally, we are becoming a certified Backyard Habitat by Audubon Society and are building the first Net Zero energy neighborhood in an Oregon senior living community.

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Our community may be small, but it is home to many residents who have strived toward these sustainable practices for much of their lives. Our community was founded by people with a love for gardening, plants, wildlife, and cooperative living, so it’s no surprise that we continue to attract people who strive to live their best lives while being mindful of resources, recycling, and the environment. We understand that we are a small part of a larger global ecosystem. Let’s keep this planet green and beautiful for generations to come!