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The princess in the plain brown wrapper

Dawn Loomis has a special mission. She recycles, composts and reuses. by: POST PHOTO: NEIL ZAWICKI - Dawn Loomis spends her free time helping people recycle and live more simply.

In fact, for her role as princess on the 2013 Sandy Mountain Festival 5-Generation Court, she purchased a recycled dress at the Sandy Community Action Center for less than $15.

“Definitely not a new price,” she said. “It was a bridesmaid’s dress and I got it second hand.”

Here’s the good part: the color.

“My friend and I laughed that it’s dirt colored,” she said. “It’s brown.”

The dress fits well with Loomis’ enthusiasm for not just recycling, but for living simply.

“I consider myself a minimalist,” she said. “It’s really a matter of seeing the whole life cycle of the product, rather than the consumerism of the product, with the whole get it now, get it quick idea.”

After taking the master recycler course through the city of Portland and other groups, Loomis found herself an advocate for the cause.

“After taking it, I’m more interested in the waste reduction side of it. The amount of stuff hasn’t gone away; it’s just a matter of where it is. I do it mainly for waste reduction.”

Loomis is on the board of the Mt. Hood Green Scene, a group that encourages and facilitates recycling on the mountain.

“We try to make it easier for people on the mountain to recycle things that aren’t as easy,” she said. “We did that basically so not everybody in Welches had to drive to Oregon City.”

Asked what surprised her about her role as a Mountain Festival princess, Loomis echoed the refrain from other court members.

“I didn’t realize that they were being represented at so many events,” she said. “I think my son’s looking forward to being in the parade. He’s my escort.”

Her son, Timm Loomis, 7, is actually a writer, having created a book series called Mr. Mustache Man. In fact, his festival escort name is Mr. Mustache Man Bear.

With a young writer and an earth-conscious princess on the court, it looks like some themes in the parade won’t be recycled.