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[1THING] Blog: Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

[ State of Oregon fined due to coastal pollution ]

(from The Oregonian)

Federal environmental regulators have fined the state $1.2 million for failure to come up with what they feel is an adequate plan for controlling runoff from logging, agriculture and other sources.

The standards were parts of Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Program, established in 1990. At that time, coastal states were given six years to draft plans for reaching compliance. Oregon is one of 10 states that have yet to gain approval from the federal government, but the first to be fined.

Richard Whitman, Gov. Kate Brown’s natural resources adviser, says that the state plans to address remaining concerns through voluntary measures. Federal administrators told Whitman those measures are “not sufficiently definite or advanced” to avoid sanctions.

Federal officials had delayed final inspection of Oregon’s plan for nearly two decades. Then the environmental group Northwest Environmental Advocates sued to force them to either approve or reject the plan.


[ Portland aims to recycle 90% of all waste ]

(from KATU-2 News)

The City of Portland says it’s aiming for a 90% recycle rate by the year 2030.

But first, we need to figure out what goes where.

Bags of garbage that don’t belong there end up in recycling bins, and too many residents are still not separating out glass bottles. And cheese-baked pizza boxes? They go in the compost bin.

Regardless, officials think we can achieve the 90% goal with more thoughtful consumption and education about available programs.

Click here for more information about what goes where and how to recycle more of your household waste. 


[ Electric cars: the cheaper option in just 6 years ]

By 2022, electric vehicles (EVs) will be the less-expensive option for people buying new cars—so say the analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

While the low price of gas and the lack of style options currently hold EV sales at just about 1% of new cars sold, that’s predicted to change rapidly in the next decade. Rising environmental consciousness and more variety will likely drive demand, but experts say the tipping point will be when fuel prices start rising again in the next decade.  

Click here to read more about the future of electric vehicles.


[ McDonald’s Moves To Eco-Friendly Packaging ]

Photo: McDonalds

Photo: McDonalds

(Courtesy of Mashable)

If you love McDonald’s and you love the earth, you’re in luck: Starting this month, MacDonald’s U.S. locations will be rolling out new environmentally-friendly carry-out bags, drink cups, and sandwich boxes.

The company has committed to sourcing all of its fiber-based packaging from recycled or certified sources by 2020.

Click here if you’d like to read more about the new packaging.


[ Easy Ways To Cut Kitchen Food Waste ]

fruits and vegetables

(From Rodale’s Organic Life)

OK, so you know the best thing to do with your household waste is compost it. But that’s not always possible, so the next best thing? Cut down on waste as much as you can, which can be accomplished with simple changes such as:

  1. Use banana peels to make a great polish for silver and leather – simply blend them with enough water to make a paste.
  2. Use old, dried-out citrus to clean and sanitize cutting boards and sinks. Cut in quarter, dip in salt andstart scrubbing!
  3. Ditch paper towels for washable microfiber squares.
  4. Leftover milk that’s about to go? Freeze it in ice trays for individual use in coffee and smoothies.
  5. Put down the peeler. Many fruits and veggies don’t need peeling, just a good washing. You’ll preserve nutrients, too.

Click here for more “waste not” kitchen tips.


[ 5 Ways To Stop Using So Much Plastic ]

plastic-bottles-115082_1920(from Rodale’s Organic Life)

You want to use less plastic because you know what it does to the planet, not to mention effects it can have on your long term health. But cutting back can be harder than you think. Here’s some tips to help you get started backing off on the plastic stuff:

1) Expect some failure – You’re not going to be able to go entirely plastic-free in our society. Accept it and keep going.

2) Prioritize – ID the biggest plastic uses you have and start there, then move to the next. No straws. Then no plastic forks. Then no plastic bags for small purchases. See how easy?

3) Make It Yourself – Next time you pick up something that comes in plastic, think: “Could I make this?” It’s easier than you think to whip up body lotions, hair care products, and cleaning solutions.

4) Slow Down – Plastic supports a convenience lifestyle, and a wasteful one. Get up earlier and eat breakfast at home. Bring your lunch to work with (gasp!) real silverware.

5) Don’t Be A Jerk About It – Be non-judgemental about your choices and just enjoy it internally when you tell the clerk at the store you don’t need a bag for that greeting card.

Click here to find out more.


[ Portland and Seattle Among Greenest U.S. Cities ]

portland-841428_1920(from Rodale’s Organic Life)

When it comes to eco-friendly cities, Portland and Seattle have made yet another list, this time from the magazine Rodale’s Organic Life.

From energy conservation initiatives to community gardens to carbon offsets, municipalities big and small were honored for focusing their attention on the environment and quality of life for their residents. Some other cities making the list were Burlington, Vermont and–surprisingly–Fargo, North Dakota.

To see the full list and ranking criteria, click here.


[ Did You Get Your TREEbate? ]

maple-leaf-888807_1280Every tree planted in Portland contributes to clean rivers and healthy watersheds. That’s why if you plant an eligible tree on a residential property between September 1 and April 30, Environmental Services will credit your city water/sewer utility bill for half the purchase price per tree up to $15 (small), $25 (medium) or $50 (large) depending on mature tree size and stormwater management potential.

Click here to find out more.