Not only is the three-county region around and including the Portland metropolitan area, called Metro, the U.S.'s only directly elected regional government, but their charter mandates a governing body "that undertakes, as its most important service, planning and policy making to preserve and enhance the quality of life and the environment for ourselves and future generations." With a huge part of what they do falling under garbage, recycling and waste prevention, their website offers a buyer's guide for locally-made products with recycled content, many of which come from artisans and Portland Saturday Market vendors. We think that's cool.
An especially interesting find in the guide is Gina Nash's Experienced Materials. She makes beautifully crafted cut-out lanterns from tin cans. -danielle