July 1- 31, 2020
Join the Washington County Sustainability Team for the Plastic Free July Eco Challenge. The Plastic Free July Eco Challenge is a global online challenge that helps take action to create plastic-free habits. Visit plasticfree.ecochallenge.org to learn more and join any time. EcoChallenge activities can be completed safely at home or physically distanced from others. After you sign up, select your own personal daily or one-time challenges and mark any activities you already do to earn points; then check in to report your progress.
July 22, 2020
Green Bag: Build Your Own Terrarium in the Facilities Building large conference room from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm. Carolina will lead this hands-on class to help you build your own terrarium. Supplies provided, though you are welcome to bring your own upcycled glass container. Class size limited to 6 to ensure physical distancing; participants must wear masks. PLEASE NOTE: THIS CLASS IS FULL, however we can send you a step-by-step flier with a video tutorial for creating your own terrarium. Email Sustainability to request one.
Quick Navigation for Past Events:
- Green Bags
- Giving in Kindness
- Get There
- EcoChallenge Team: Plastic "Free" July Success
- Bike Month Successes
- Community Warehouse Drive Success
- Kick the Can
- World Social Justice Day
- Earth Day 2020
Oregon Food Bank Food Drive through November 30, 2019
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is November 16-24 (more info at hhweek.org/). Washington County in partnership with the Oregon Food Bank will be collecting food and cash donations for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness. Bins will be located throughout the County November 1st through 30th. In addition to food donations, anyone can make a monetary donation at give.oregonfoodbank.org/WCounty.
Tree of Giving and Severe Weather Shelter Collection through December 13, 2019
For more than 30 years, Washington County employees have given generously to both the foster community and the homeless community via the Tree of Giving collection event. The collection day for both the gifts and the emergency shelter donations is scheduled for Friday, December 13th from 8 am to 10 am. The Tree of Giving event will, once again, be held in the lobby of the Public Services Building. Employees may contact Sustainability for further information.
United Way MLK Day of Service
United Way’s local HandsOn organization hosts several days of community service opportunities throughout the Metro region in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. January 17-20, 2020. But you have to sign up early because this popular service opportunity fills fast! In previous years, opportunities were announced just after the Thanksgiving holiday on the website – starting December 2, check the main HandsOn webpage for a link directly to 2020 UW MLK Weekend of Service information, or search their calendar for specific opportunities. Events in Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tualatin and Tigard have included beautifying & improving neighborhood schools, building homes & organizing the stores with Habitat for Humanity, packing food at Oregon Food Bank, sprucing up the libraries, tree plantings, sewing blankets for foster children, and much more.
Washington County Project Homeless Connect, Friday January 24, 2020 Sonrise Church
Each year, Washington County also supports the January date of Project Homeless Connect. On a daily basis, shelters and organizations throughout the Portland region provide temporary shelter and meals to Oregonians facing homelessness. However, many homeless individuals and families go without other vital services – like medical and dental care, counseling, housing guidance, or veteran’s services. The annual Project Homeless Connect brings together professional and community volunteers to provide services and support to hundreds of our most vulnerable neighbors. Volunteers will help in a variety of ways – with client support, assistance, and intake; food preparation and serving; leading and assisting activities; and more. Sign up will be coordinated 4 weeks before the event date through HandsOn Portland. You can contact Project Homeless Connect now by email and ask to be notified when volunteer signups are permitted.
The Get There Challenge lets you win prizes and recognition for making any of your trips—whether it’s your daily commute or a simple errand—without driving alone. We had an excellent challenge in October 2019, but did you know that Get There can simplify your daily trips year round? Spend less on gas. Get more time to relax. All on your terms. Get There is available for all members of the public to join at any time. GetThereOregon.org
EcoChallenge Team: Plastic "Free" July Success
Each year, employees work together to build sustainability muscle and make a collective impact in the EcoChallenge. The 2019 team participated in Plastic Free July, winning great prizes and cutting back on single use plastics. Here’s a snapshot of our success… if we keep these new habits year-round, we’ve reduced consumption of single use plastics by 6,960 pieces a year!
Bike Month Successes
In 2020, we hosted a Bike Month BINGO challenge! Download this checkable BINGO card that includes virtual bike-related actions, education and solo activities. County employees were eligible to complete 5 in a row and enter to win a prize by sending their card to Sustainability.
In 2019, Washington County had 70 employees on the Bike More Challenge team, including 25 new members this year. They logged 6,935 miles riding bikes in May. The team finished in 7th place in our category, ahead of Hillsboro in 8th place, and behind Metro in 6th place. This year we joined with Hillsboro to hold 3 educational events drawing 70 people and 4 rides which drew 40 people! Together, Hillsboro and Washington County riders logged 13,819 miles, which is equivalent almost 5 trips across the US!
Nearly every department was represented on the team this year, including growing numbers in Support Services and the Sheriff’s Office. With the “every ride counts” format, 42% were for fun, fitness, or transportation elsewhere and 58% were commutes. Thank you to all who came to our events, logged your rides and cheered on our team!
During the March 4-15, 2019 drive, Washington County filled the truck! Bringing in approximately 800 items, employees volunteering their time and donating their items hosted a wildly successful drive. In fact...
“Your collection drive was by far the LARGEST and MOST SUCCESSFUL that we have ever seen. WAY TO GO!!” – Veronica Booth, Community Warehouse
Bring your lunch and join us for these Green Bag Lunch Series workshops!
Co-hosted by Washington County & City of Hillsboro. Open to employees and the public unless otherwise noted. Please be sure to rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 7 days before the event if you’d like to join us. Doors open at noon, presentation begins at 12:10 and will end by 12:50 pm. Have a burning sustainability question or idea for a future class? Please e-mail email@example.com !
Past Green Bag Events
Holiday Green Bag: Upcycled Holiday Crafts
Thursday December 19 from noon-1pm. You can see demonstrations and try your hand at a few different upcycling projects: Make durable napkins as gifts; Craft your own wrapping paper from grocery bags or make small gift boxes from toilet paper rolls; Paint pinecones as holiday décor and ornaments.
Energy Efficient Affordable Housing
Adam Alfonso, Willamette West Habitat for Humanity
August 20, 12:10-12:50
Co-sponsored by Washington County Department of Housing and Department of Community Development
Bring Your Own Mug!
Brion Hurley, Recycling Advocates
September 25, 12:10-12:50 pm
Build it and they will come: Tips to creating a wildlife friendly yard
Briita Pajunas, Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District
GROW Steady: Planting Sustainable
Eli Bonilla & Arbor Fessler from Clean Water Services
Download the presentation and check out these additional resources:
Clean Water Services
Stream Care Guide (PDF, 2.7MB)
Nature-Friendly Home & Yard Care Brochure (PDF, 2.6MB)
East Multnomah SWCD
Supporting Community Social Justice and Economic Equity... Together –A Panel Discussion
Presenters included Katherine Galian, Community Action; Nancy Milligan-Mock, Washington County HHS Developmental Disabilities; Maggie Riley, Craft3.
Drive It and Drop It!; Presented by Alan Bates, ReachNow
Electric Vehicles –Great at Work, Great at Home; presented by Catherine Teebay, Forth
Urban Cycling Clinic; presented by The Street Trust
Make Your Own Green Cleaners; presented by Nancy Nordman, Master Recycler
Good and Cheap free cookbook online
Naturescaping 101; presented by April Olbrich, Tualatin River Watershed Council
Reuse in Home Décor; presented by Rena Satre-Meloy, Community Warehouse
Tips for buying used furniture
Green and Healthy Lunches; presented by Amanda Nelson, New Seasons
Healthy Kitchen, Healthy Home; presented by Jen Coleman, Oregon Environmental Council
Getting to One Can; presented by Betty Shelley
(This Green Bag was postponed and in its place, a presentation on recycling was given by Tony Hair, Solid Waste and Recycling)
Kick the Can Employee Challenge
Sustainability hosted successful challenges for employees with deskside garbage cans to give them up for at least two weeks during the winter in 2018 and 2020. Based on an Employee Suggestion, the goal is to raise awareness of garbage generation and encourage employees to leave their desks to toss out trash.
Did you miss the event? It's never to late to take this challenge! You can still earn a commemorative magnet at any time.
This challenge will:
- Improve your awareness of waste generation.
- Help you reduce how much garbage you produce.
- Help promote employee wellness by encouraging staff to leave their desk to throw out waste.
- Reduce of the purchase and use of trash can liners.
- Increase recycling rates.
- Help us meet the County goal of reducing garbage by 25%.
If you've already given up your can, you are doing your part. Thanks!
This project was tested with a small group of employees in fall 2017. We learned that keeping a small washable cup or container on the desktop for waste helped with daily accumulations. Many found they enjoyed the extra movement during the day to go to the trash can. All participants reported that their garbage amount dropped or stayed the same –none increased.
HOW TO JOIN
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up to start the challenge any time. (You can take the challenge any two weeks you choose.)
Just include your name, department/division, and your mailstop number.
You'll be asked to give up your deskside can for two weeks after taking a short survey. At the end of the two weeks, you'll take a similar survey to share anything that has changed for you, and you will have the opportunity to take your can back. You will receive a commemorative magnet as our thanks for participating!
World Social Justice Day: Advancing Diversity in Environmental Careers panel
Thursday, February 20, 2020
The Sustainability Program is pleased to facilitate this event for County employees and members of the public. County employees may live stream this event from their desks.
Join the Sustainability Program and guest speakers for this professional development opportunity as we continue to explore the connections between social and economic factors and the environment. We will learn how local non-profits are taking creative and innovative steps to help people of color and those of lower income barriers enter the environmental sector, where they are underrepresented.
Eva Aguilar, Washington County - Master Recyclers of Color
Dana Schot, Tualatin Riverkeepers - Green Jobs Training Program
Teresa Gaddy, EcoTrust - Green Workforce Academy
Laura Kutner, Trash for Peace - GroundScore
On April 21, 2020, the Board of County COmmissioners proclaimed April 22, 2020 to be the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. See the Proclamation and presentation archived online.
YouTube live stream link (skip to 2:01:00 to see presentation)