Sustainability Projects


Earth Week 2018: Waste Not, Want Not

Join us for three signature events this Earth Week on April 23, 25 and 26!
Read below or download this flier.


Getting to One Can Green Bag

E-mail Sustainability to RSVP or request webinar link! The Shelleys found a way to gradually drop garbage collection service to one can a month, then to on-call service, followed by two cans annually and, finally, one can per year since 2006.

Learn how to do it April 23 at noon in the Washington Street Conference Center.


Reduce It, Reuse It, Recycle It! (3R Fair)

Garbage is a big problem, but recycling is only part of the solution. Join Sustainability for this drop-in fair to find new ideas for reducing and reusing waste. Planning is underway now – we hope participants can take home a free reusable water bottle (filling station on-site!), a locally produced fertilizer for yard and garden, reusable lunch containers and more.  Other topics include home composting, water conservation strategies, how to get help repairing items or where to borrow something you only need once, and how to share a car or pick a car-less commute. Learn about the things we share at work too: durable dishware for break rooms, the employee bookshare and the Bike Fleet. One corner of the event will focus on food and fairness – learn more about buying ugly produce, how farmer’s markets connect local farmers with consumers, how to plan and shop to prevent food waste, and how to grow and preserve your own food! 

The fair runs from 10:00 am – 1:30 PM on April 25 at the Washington Street Conference Center.

wellness-logoThe fair is eligible to earn 35 Vitality Points towards the employee Wellness activity incentive.


Sustainable Coffee and Tea Breakfast

Join the Sustainability program to learn more about how coffee and tea are farmed, shipped and served. Borrow a travel mug from us to sample a few brews from Starbucks or try a sustainable brand of tea. Want to keep the mug? It’s our gift to you if you pledge to use it for two weeks instead of using a disposable cup! Breakfast snacks provided by locally owned business Decadent Creations – come learn more about their sustainable practices in the bakery.

This is a drop-in event from 7:30 am – 9:30 am on April 26 at the Washington Street Conference Center.

Please send any questions or comments to us at!



Kick the Can Employee Challenge

Sustainability hosted a very successful challenge of employees Kick the Can challenge logo 2018with deskside garbage cans to give them up for at least two weeks in January. 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.


Contact us at 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!


Green Bag Series Info

2018 Green Bag Series

 The 2018 employee education Green Bag series is currently in development. 

Topics may include among others:

  • Green &Healthy Lunches (back by popular demand!)
  • Information on bicycling
  • Composting at Home
  • Preparing Your Pesticide-Free Yard
  • How to Love Your River
  • How You Can Help Fix Rivers
  • Wilderness 101
  • Tips for Exploring the Gorge

Have a burning sustainability question or idea for a future class? Please e-mail !


2018 Green Bag Presentation Series - Resources (previous sessions)

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.

Katherine's presentation

Nancy's presentation

Maggie's presentation

Drive It and Drop It!; Presented by Alan Bates, ReachNow



2017 Green Bag Presentation Series - Resources

Electric Vehicles –Great at Work, Great at Home;  presented by Catherine Teebay, Forth

Information about the electric vehicles in the Fleet

Information about the Forth EV showroom and test drives


Urban Cycling Clinic; presented by The Street Trust

Information for bicycle riders at Washington County

Information about the Bike Fleet (under Active and Sustainable Transportation)

Make Your Own Green Cleaners; presented by Nancy Nordman, Master Recycler

Video recording


Information from Metro on making Green Cleaners

Eat Smart, Waste Less; presented by Isabella Barcelona, Solid Waste and Recycling

Good and Cheap free cookbook online

Naturescaping 101; presented by April Olbrich, Tualatin River Watershed Council


Naturescaping information from Tualatin SWCD

Clean Water Heroes information from Clean Water Services

Naturescaping information from ODFW

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

Tips for packing a more sustainable lunch

Waste Tips

Tips for Reducing Lunch Waste

Pack a Power Lunch

Lunch Box Love

Food Waste Toolkit for the Office

Food Waste Infographic

Healthy Kitchen, Healthy Home; presented by Jen Coleman, Oregon Environmental Council

Toxic free environments information

Healthy Homes Kit

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)

Future Less is More Classes

Washington County What to Recycle and Where (searchable database)

Metro Find a Recycler (searchable database)

 Food Waste Breakdown Info Graphic


Do you have an idea for a fun Green Bag presentation that would help you adopt sustainable daily habits or try a new skill? Please share it with Jennifer by email!


For More Information:  

Sustainability Education Coordinator

Phone: (503) 846-8825 


RSVP optional but appreciated by email or call.