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Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037

Email: sustainabilityatwork@portlandoregon.gov

3 ways to green your summer event

From dishware to directions, there are countless ways to make your event more sustainable.

The season has arrived for outdoor gatherings of all sorts: company picnics, family reunions and parties in the park.

reusable dishware, recycling and directions by bike

Here are some tips and resources for greening your events:

Use ‘real’ dishware

Ever tried cutting something with a plastic knife? Probably not the best experience.

Real (reusable) cutlery, dishware and cloth napkins provide a nicer — dare we say, classier — experience, while also being considerably better for the environment

Recycle

Most event waste (such as disposable cups, plates and napkins) can't be recycled or composted.

But if you’ll be serving drinks in bottles or cans, you can make recycling signs that show just those items, or even rent recycling containers and signs for free — just be sure to book in advance.

Event waste signs

Go by bike (or foot, or bus…)

In the event invite, provide tips for arriving by bike or transit: nearest bike parking, close-by transit stops and a link to TriMet’s trip planner.

3 tips for a bike-friendly workplace

Three ways to support and encourage your workplace bike commuters

Here the most common ways our certified businesses encourage and support bike commuters:

1. Bike Parking

Bike parking

Outdoor parking

Find out how to get free bike racks or sign up for a bike corral through the City.

Or get creative, and have a custom rack created.

Whichever route you go, learn from what BikePortland described as "the best business bike parking in the entire city of Portland."

Indoor parking 

Indoor bike parking provides people with a safe place to put their bike, helmet and other gear during the workday.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. We’ve seen businesses convert an underused supply closet, room, break room wall or unused outdoor area into bike parking.

2. Bike lock and repair kit

An extra lock can be a great help if a rider arrives to work and realizes they've forgotten theirs. Providing a bike repair kit at work allows bike commuters to take care of maintenance problems like flat tires, small adjustments or tires needing air. 

Leave your repair kit indoors near bike parking and make sure employees/coworkers know about it. Make the kit available to customers, visitors and clients to encourage more biking.

3. Bike buddies and route planning

Bike buddies map

A bike buddy – a coworker to commute with for the first few days – is a great way to encourage first time bike commuters. The bike buddy breaks down those initial barriers – “What time should I leave the house? What route do I take? How do I avoid busy roads?”

To get your workplace started with bike buddies, put up a map where employees can mark their bike commutes. New bikers can find a bike commute buddy from the map and connect with their buddy to arrange when and where they’ll meet and ride.

Bike buddies can also help new cyclists with route planning. Experienced bike commuters or members of your office green team can help determine the best route between home and work, and suggest how long to allow for the trip.
 
Tip: Order free citywide and neighborhood bike maps for your workplace.

Travel Oregon's Bike Friendly Business Program

Bonus: Promote your bike friendly nature

If your business serves tourists, you can become a Bike Friendly Business through Travel Oregon. The certification is open to businesses that provide food, drinks, lodging, recreation and more.

Give two-wheeled transport a try

May is the month to get on your bike!

Be a new rider.

This is the month to do it!

Be a joiner (of the Bike More Challenge party)

Sign up for this month’s Bike More Challenge. Don’t have a workplace team set up? Read step-by-step instructions on how to start a team.

And it’s not just biking to work—all bike trips count, including errands and cycling for fun. Plus, you can win prizes like great food, coffee, beer and gear! 

Don’t be that guy (or gal)

Be courteous of other bikers. If you’re going slow, stay to the right. If you’re going fast, give people an “on your left” verbal warning before passing.

Also: 7 Annoying Things Other Cyclists Do. Both new and experienced cyclists can be guilty of these. Don’t do them. 

Be in the know

Here are tips to get you up to speed on everything you need to know to get your ride on:

Proper helmet placement.  Bike hand signals  Bike box.
Click on images for information on proper helmet fit, hand-signals and green bike boxes.

Rules of the Road

Wondering what the laws are for bicyclists and drivers? Find the most common ones in this helpful poster.

Or find all current bicycle laws in the searchable PDF (use Ctrl+F to search for "bike") of the OR DMV Driving Manual

Tips for seasoned cyclists

How to make the most of May’s Bike More Challenge.

Be a pro rider.

Are you a seasoned cyclist? Here are some tips to help make this month a good one.

Be nice to the newbies. It’s in your best interest.

More bikes, and new bikers, on the road can be frustrating for seasoned bikers, but there are many reasons to be courteous and forgiving—if new bikers have a good experience on the road, they’ll be:

  1. More bike-friendly drivers and pedestrians.
  2. More likely to support better bike infrastructure.

Don’t be that guy (or gal)

7 Annoying Things Other Cyclists Do. Both new and experienced cyclists can be guilty of these. Don’t do them.

Stretch yourself

Literally stretch yourself: Flexibility helps avoid tight muscles, minimizing the risk of injury.

Figuratively stretch yourself: If you want to get even fitter and go faster and further, try incorporating intervals into your rides. Push yourself to ride hard for a minute, followed by a few minutes of normal riding. 

Commute with your cat. (We kid! Don't try this!)

Biking with cat.

Share the love

Offer to go for a ride with friends on the weekend or to buddy up with a colleague to help them ride into work. New riders are often incredibly grateful that someone encouraged them to ride a bike and it can have a lasting impact on their health, wealth and happiness.

Encourage others to be a new rider and a bike-friendly driver.

It’s the law

Wondering what the rules of the road are for bicyclists and cars? Find the most common ones in this helpful poster.

Or find all current bicycle laws in the searchable PDF (use Ctrl+F to search for "bike") of the OR DMV Driving Manual

More tips

Be a bike-friendly driver

The number one thing to help drivers and bicyclists be road buddies. And the Green Box, explained.

Be a bike friendly driver

The #1 thing you can do

Be forgiving of bicyclists, as well as pedestrians and other drivers: everyone can get confused or frustrated or do things that are just plain stupid.

Most bicyclists want a stress-free ride, just like you. Use common sense and courtesy, and help everyone stay safe. 

The Green Bike Box, explained

Green bike boxes have been painted around Portland to keep bicyclists and drivers safe at busy intersections. Here’s what you need to know as a driver:

Bike Box, Get Behind It. (from Seattle)

Stop behind the box.

  • You must stop and wait behind the green box, even if a bicyclist isn’t in the box.

Do not turn on red.

  • You may not turn right on a red light at these boxes, even if a bicyclist isn’t in the box.
  • To be clear, this means you can’t inch forward into the bike box or bike lane to wait for an opportunity to turn right.

Bikes go first on green.

  • Once the light turns green, if you want to make a right turn, you must wait for all bikes to pass you before turning.

(Watch Lego People demonstrate how it works, in under two minutes.)

Beyond the Box

Look before opening your door (image from Australia)

Opening your door: Look before opening your car door, to make sure a bicyclist isn’t coming.

  • Tip: Get in the habit of opening your car door with your right hand. This makes you look behind and to the side, assuring that you don’t “door” a passing bicyclist (one of the biggest anxieties for people on bikes!)

Passing: Keep a reasonable speed and give 3-5 feet of space when passing bicycles.

Lanes: A bike lane is just that—a lane for bikes to move through, not temporary parking or a turn lane.

Turns: Check your side view mirror and blind spot for bikes before making a turn across a bike lane.

Right of Way: Treat a bike as you would another car when making decisions to do things like proceed through a four-way stop, pull out of a parking spot, or make a U-turn.

It’s the law

Wondering what the rules of the road are? Find the most common ones in this helpful poster.

Or find all current bicycle laws in the searchable PDF (use Ctrl+F to search for "bike") of the OR DMV Driving Manual