Sustainability Projects

Kick the Can Employee Challenge - Sign up now!


Starting January 3, Sustainability is launching a campaign to challenge employees Kick the Can challenge logo 2018with deskside garbage cans to give them up for at least two weeks. 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.

Employees who complete the challenge will be eligible for a prize to help them stick with the new habit. Refer a coworker to receive a commemorative magnet*!

(*Both prizes available in limited quantities.)


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 in January
. (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. Sign up early and refer a friend to receive one of a limited number of desktop totes and/or commemorative magnets!


Green Bag Series Info

Coming Soon: 2018 Green Bag Series


The 2018 employee education Green Bag series is currently in development. Check back here in the second half of January for a schedule. 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 email !


2017 Green Bag Presentation Series - Resources

Thank you for sharing the 2017 Green Bag series with us. Below, please find an archive of available 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 Program Educator

Phone: (503) 846-8825 


RSVP optional but appreciated by email or call.