Sustainability Projects

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Looking for information regarding a past event? Check the Past Events page, currently under development or contact Sustainability by email.


Get There Challenge

Join the Get There Challenge Oct. 7-21 (Join any time during the challenge!)

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.

  1. Find carpool buddies and and compete with friends on Get There when you carpool, vanpool, take transit, bike, walk or telework.
  2. Then log your trips at for your chance to win weekly and grand prizes, including a $1,000 Bike Friday gift card!

Let Get There simplify your daily trips. 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. All Get There participants who work for member organizations of Westside Transportation Alliance are eligible for even more prizes and invited to participate in their Commute Story Contest.

County employees, sign up at with your work email to join both our network and our Challenge team. We are offering several prizes just for employees this year...

Sign Up and Referral Bonuses! Let us know you joined by email to Sustainability and receive either a pedestrian or bicycle safety light. Double your reward by referring a coworker and emailing to let us know. Be sure to let us know you are emailing about the Get There Challenge.

Category Prizes! More than 80 prizes are up for grabs this year, and you don't even have to log the most miles to win! Find the full prize schedule on Horizons or email Sustainability for a copy. No prizes are available for non-employees.County Employee team is employee-only.

All participants are also welcome to join us at two after-work, transit-adjacent, fun events:

Find us October 9 from 4:30-7pm at Four Seasons Bowling in downtown Hillsboro and enjoy discounted games and shoe rentals.

Meet up with Westside Transportation Alliance October 17 from 5-7pm at the BG Food Cartel for snacks and socializing!

Email Sustainability for details and to rsvp for either event.

Green Bag Series

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 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.

 2019 Green Bag Presentation Series 


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


Adam will be talking about affordable housing, sharing the details and the culture associated with the issue. He will share what Willamette West Habitat for Humanity (WWHfH) is and does to help with this fight, and how they have managed incremental improvements to increase the quality of their homes. Adam says, “Affordable housing in the past has been a bandaid on an ever growing issue - permanent affordability doesn’t happen if families can’t live in their homes because utilities are too expensive, not to mention the waste in resources that happens with poorly designed systems. WWHfH works with a multitude of community partners to succeed in these efforts, and that’s where our main focus is, building community.”


Adam Alfonso has been working for Willamette West Habitat for Humanity for 2 years now. He has been involved with HfH for four years total, completing two AmeriCorps terms with two separate Habitats in the PNW prior to my current position. This past year, he completed the Sustainable Homes Professional course offered by Earth Advantage, giving him a good foundation in building science. He grew up in Spokane, WA and joined the Marine Corps right out of high school, which definitely honed some skills and traits in a very specific direction. He worked for six years at an auto licensing agency in Spokane, which taught him more than his fair share about customer service. He left that job and Spokane to start his first AmeriCorps term with Clallam County Habitat for Humanity. Being a passionate person, he felt at home finding a mission worth fighting for, which is why he is here today, still fighting for Affordable housing, built to last more than one lifetime.


  • RSVP to Sustainability for any Green Bag event. A minimum RSVP of 10 people is required. Employees and the public welcome!


Bring Your Own Mug!

Brion Hurley, Recycling Advocates

September 25, 12:10-12:50 pm 

This Green Bag event has been rescheduled to coincide with the launch of our fall Mug Challenge. Join Brion Hurley, Recycling Advocates, to learn about their Bring Your Own Cup campaign. While there, join our 30 day mug challenge and receive a new travel coffee cup in exchange for your simple pledge to use it 16 times to offset the energy and resources needed to manufacture it.


  • RSVP to Sustainability for any Green Bag event. A minimum RSVP of 10 people is required. Employees and the public welcome!

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


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!

 Image of the results which were 210 plastic containers, 175 pieces of plastic cutlery, 105 plastic straws,  and 90 plastic bottles avoided in one month.



Bike Month Successes


Bike More Challenge 2019 header image

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!


Awards & Prizes

& New Riders: Tinsia Hardman rode 144 miles; Aaron Armstrong rode 22 days; Chaz Holmes rode 153 miles; Maycell Villanueva rode 11 days; Kym Buzdygon encouraged the most riders

& Returning Riders: Roger Wong rode 837 miles; Jared Reed rode 26 days; Andrew Oldham rode 86 trips and 24 commute days; Robin Straughan rode 350 miles; Jennifer Nelson encouraged the most riders

& Most popular selfie: Kathleen Johnson, posted a picture with her dog riding in her backpack, “We ride in packs, figuratively and literally (for the dog)”

& The department with the most riders: Land Use and Transportation (19 riders) who took home the trophy for the second year in a row



Community Warehouse Drive Success

2019 Results

Community Warehouse DriveNinth CWD photoCommunity Warehouse DriveCommunity Warehouse DriveCommunity Warehouse Drive

During the March 4-15 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


Stay tuned here for a fun video and more details on our shared success soon!

Community Warehouse DriveFirst CWD photoCommunity Warehouse Drive



Past Green Bag Events


Build it and they will come: Tips to creating a wildlife friendly yard

Briita Pajunas, Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District



There are many things to get done in the day. Gardening and yard work are enjoyable for a lot of folks, but it can really take up a lot of time and energy! Join us as we explore a few easy tips you can try at home to create a beautiful, low-maintenance yard that conserves water, builds healthy soil, and attracts songbirds and other wildlife.


GROW Steady: Planting Sustainable

Eli Bonilla & Arbor Fessler from Clean Water Services  

Download the presentation and check out these additional resources:

Clean Water Services

Community Resources: In Your Yard

Drainage 411

Stream Care Guide (PDF, 2.7MB)

Nature-Friendly Home & Yard Care Brochure (PDF, 2.6MB)

Native Plant Sales



Native Plants for Willamette Valley Yards

Tualatin SWCD

Weed Watchers

East Multnomah SWCD

Local Sources for Native Plants


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 presentationNancy's presentationMaggie's presentation

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


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; Presentation

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; PresentationInformation 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

PresentationNaturescaping 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 lunchWaste TipsTips for Reducing Lunch WastePack a Power LunchLunch Box LoveFood Waste Toolkit for the OfficeFood Waste Infographic

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

Toxic free environments informationHealthy 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)


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!


For More Information:  

Sustainability Education Coordinator

Phone: (503) 846-8825 


RSVP optional but appreciated by email or call.