Green Living at Gallery La Crosse
From the beginning, Gallery La Crosse has been very firmly commited to being environmentally responsible in every thing we do. Some of our "green living" policies & general practices are listed below.
Whenever possible, we prop open our door to allow fresh outdoor air to circulate inside. This also allows us to turn off the heat/air conditioning for much of the spring through fall seasons. We utilize fans to minimize use of air conditioning in the summer. When needed, air conditioning is set at 76 when open, and we set the air temp up to 84, or just turn it off, when closed. For the heating season, we turn down our heat during closed hours to 56 degrees, and only turn it up to 67 when open. Wearing sweaters keeps the staff warm, and customers coming in during Wisconsin winters are all dressed warmly, so they are very comfortable.
Our contracts require all vendors to utilize either CFL or LED for supplemental lighting. Our water heater has a shut-off switch, so we turn it off whenever we are closed. We have caulked around our front windows, minimizing loss of heated & cooled air where window gaskets had lost their elasticity and were allowing strong drafts. Rear single pane windows have been insulated with rigid foam inserts.
Most of our fixtures and furnishings were purchased used (or rescued) locally and re-furbished to suit our needs. When we have need of something for furnishing or display purposes,our first search is usually at the local Habitat Re-Store.
Paper products used in our gallery are from Green Forest (90% to 100% post-consumer recycled). For receptions, serving containers are durable items taken home for washing & re-use. We minimize the need for disposable plates, forks, etc. by electing to serve mainly "finger foods" using serving tongs & very small paper plates, and by providing toothpicks for the smaller items. We recycle everything that our community accommodates.
Several of our artists utilize rescued, re-purposed, or recyled materials in their creations. Rustic furnishings made by Ann, the owner & manager, utilize rescued yard trimmings and construction site waste (scraps of wood products discarded as too small to be used in building projects, but perfectly good new wood that should not be sent to the landfill). We promote purchasing of local goods whenever possible.
Our business model is one of providing a place where many local people can sell their wares while sharing one space. We have chosen to be located in the heart of downtown, close to hotels, parking ramps, and the local convention center, and are only a couple of blocks from the new transit center being built in La Crosse.
While not owning our building does present some challenges in being as "green" as we would desire, our building's owners are very strongly committed to green living. They follow LEEDs guidelines in refurbishing the buildings that they own in downtown La Crosse, and one even drives an electric vehicle.