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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

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Sustainability heroes among us

Co-workers who have some real green cred.

The Citywide Green Team has found a few sustainability heroes among us — our co-workers and friends who keep the City running smart and have made some big changes in their own lives, too. Each and every one of them is an inspiration and deserves our thanks! Together we’re a powerful team. 

City staff

We’d like to add your story to our growing list of Sustainability Heroes. Email the Citywide Green Team, greenteam@portlandoregon.gov, to learn how.

The Charger

Katie Salazar

When it came time to modernize the Bureau of Development Services’ (BDS) vehicle fleet Katie Salazar faced a challenge: “The Prius was seen as the ultimate green wimpy car. I wanted to be sustainable, but also to keep my people happy.” So, Katie got to work. She explained to BDS staff how the Bureau needed to reduce its carbon emissions in order to do their part to meet the City’s Climate Action Plan goals. She sold hybrids on convenience: “You won’t have to stop as frequently for gas.” And she gave staff voice and choice.

After test driving different models, BDS inspectors chose the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid. Today, all of BDS’s 108 vehicles are hybrids and 60% are plug-in hybrids that can be chargedelectrically. The City recently opened 43 charging stations in the garage that houses BDS’s fleet.

Katie’s advice to others: “I think I have been successful because I can see a lot of different points of view.” 

The Giver

Kathryn Linzey

For Kathryn Linzey, Fiscal Process Coordinator at the Police Bureau, working on sustainability projects in the workplace and at home gives her the feeling that, “I’m not just taking. I’m maintaining this beautiful city and making sure that the next generation can enjoy the forests, the mountains, and the waterfalls.”

Kathryn was a top point earner in the City’s 2017 EcoChallenge. She switched to a reusable coffee cup, set up an energy audit for her house, and she’s even gone car free. But perhaps most important, Kathryn was vocal and active in supporting her colleagues in their EcoChallenge efforts, recognizing that, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

Her advice to others: “Start small and try to pair a change with a habit you already have. I try to touch at least one other person positively and create a ripple effect.”

The Sharer 

Ethan Cirmo

For Ethan Cirmo, who works on the communications team for the Office of Management and Finance (OMF), sustainability projects push us to think about the long term. “We live on a planet with finite resources, but we seem to believe we can keep growing and growing. There is not enough big picture thinking.” Working towards sustainability forces us to think creatively about systems over time and, “This is what got me interested in it in the first place.”

One of Ethan’s ongoing projects is to grow OMF’s presence on Twitter, using it to share with Portlanders the vital, but usually invisible work of the Bureau, especially its sustainability efforts. Ethan sees social media as a way to share stories that humanize the City’s work and give it a face and a voice. Ethan is also an active member of the Citywide Green Team, where he can discuss broader sustainability trends and learn about larger, collaborative projects.

 Ethan’s advice to others: “Don’t go it alone. For any kinds of behavior change you need a team. Support from management goes a long way. Lastly, have a thick skin and trust in yourself that you’ve got a good idea.” 

The Number-cruncher 

mountain town

For Vinh Mason, Green Building Policy Coordinator for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, calculating his family’s carbon footprint was eye-opening. During the City’s 2017 EcoChallenge, he discovered that flights to Hawaii for his family of four (they’re fond of seeking out winter sun) produced more carbon emissions than powering and heating their house for an entire year. Vinh then turned to his fourteen-year old daughter and said, “We’ve got to stop taking these flights!” Within a couple of months, the family got behind a new plan. They purchased a plug-in hybrid electric Mitsubishi Outlander with a backup gas tank. “Now, for vacation we’ll get in the car and drive to the sun, whether that’s Oregon, Nevada, Utah or southern California.” And Vinh and his family will be producing a whole lot less carbon dioxide while saving money otherwise spent on air travel.

The Mode Shifter 

Clay Veka

It’s easy to forget just how important basic safety is to sustainability. If our streets are unsafe for biking or walking, then it’s going to be difficult and irresponsible to nudge Portlanders towards more active modes of transportation.

Thankfully, we’ve got Clay Veka working hard to make our streets safe for all Portlanders, regardless of where they live or how they get around. She’s the Program Coordinator for Vision Zero Portland’s adopted goal to eliminate deaths and serious traffic injuries on our streets by 2025. Safer streetscapes and a sense of security are essential to enable transportation mode shift -  from cars to more active and less impactful ways of getting around.

On most days and for most trips you can find Clay and her family biking around Portland. But she is quick to point out her shortcomings. With relatives in Norway and Peru, her family racks up airline miles. Her advice to others: “Don’t discount the small stuff. Small steps can have ripple effects that are impossible to predict and can be bigger than the acts themselves.”  

The Connector

Brandon Rigers

“Plants bring people together in really interesting ways. People connect on a personal level and come alive,” explains Brandon Rogers, a city planner with the Bureau of Development Services. Brandon has been giving plants to his colleagues at the City in what is both a social experiment and an effort to improve indoor air quality.

In the spring of 2017, Brandon was walking around the offices when he noticed some particularly healthy spider plants with hundreds of little babies ready to be rooted. So, Brandon did just that and started giving them away. Soon he purchased pots and soil and even found a free surplus AV cart at PSU which he set up as a mobile plant station.

Brandon’s project has really taken root, helped along by Kate Green, Green Team member and colleague. They’ve given away 100 plants and counting! For Brandon, it is satisfying to see how caring for plants is social and relaxing. And he's happy knowing that indoor plants, especially spider plants, clean the air, removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzine. His advice to others: “Follow your heart. Start small. Share your ideas with others and collaborate.”

In his personal life, Brandon has also made some big changes. In 2012, after reading a book on food production, he became a vegan. Brandon wanted to minimize animal suffering and reduce his carbon footprint. He recalls that at first it was very hard. “About two weeks in I dreamed of a six-foot high pile of sliced tri-tip covered in cheddar cheese.” By now, though, Brandon sleeps easy and feels great about his food choices.

The Saver

Shawn Robeti

Shawn Roberti is the kind of guy you would want taking care of your house. He'd fix the things that need fixing right away, plan some major improvements, and create a plan for replacing appliances and systems when they fail. He'd save you money, and time, and you’d have peace of mind, knowing that your most valuable asset was being carefully managed.

As the Senior Facilities Maintenance Supervisor for Portland Fire and Rescue, Shawn is responsible for maintenance and repairs at the City’s 35 fire stations and facilities. Each fire station is much like a house, only with more tenants and some pretty big vehicles. In 2017 Shawn’s team completed electrical retrofits at three stations, installing LED fixtures throughout, for an annual savings of around $5,000. Similar retrofits are planned for the remaining stations. These projects save money, and they also reduce future maintenance needs so that Shawn’s small team can have more time to take care of pressing work orders. Everyone wins!

Portland Fire and Rescue has many other sustainability projects, large and small, in the works. 

The Organizer

David Oslav

“It’s amazing what people can gravitate around,” observes David Olsav. He’s a Stores Supervisor with the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and he’s talking about paper towels. Specifically, those old trifold paper towel dispensers, the kind where even a gentle pull can get you a stack of 20 or more towels. Everyone in BES saw the waste happening and was frustrated. 

David worked with the Citywide Green Team and vendors to install over 70 new paper towel dispensers that use rolls of recycled paper towels, for an annual savings of $5,000 or more. The rollout (pardon the pun) has been a big success, in large part due to David’s careful planning. To build support, he even installed a demonstration dispenser in a breakroom along with a clipboard for comments.

David suggests contacting the Green Team, greenteam@portlandoregon.gov if you’ve got an idea for a sustainability project.

The Uphill Battler

Bill Crawford

For Bill Crawford, an Administrative Specialist for Parks and Recreation, sustainability in quite simply "one of the most important things" we can work toward. And while it's an uphill battle, Bill knows that if we all pitch in we can make “a better city and a better world.” Bill is doing just that by working in his community as an educator and an organizer and by continuing to learn.

For his neighborhood association in Hosford Abernathy he has organized an annual cleanup that collects bulky objects for reuse, recycling, and as a last resort, landfill. As a Green Street Steward, Bill cares for his neighborhood bioswale. And he has completed the Sustainability Leadership Program at the University of Oregon and become a Master Recycler.

Bill’s advice to others: “Start small. But, if you’ve got a good, big idea, bring it to your supervisor, your Bureau chief, or the Citywide Green Team. Great ideas come from us all. And remember, that the first step is the hardest one.” 

The Steward

John Dutt

John Dutt has always felt “that we have a responsibility as human beings to be stewards. It’s common sense. We need to take care of each other and our shared resources.”

As a member of the Citywide Green Team, John is making important changes in his Bureau, the Office of Community and Civic Life. He gave each staff member an insulated metal cup to take with them to Starbucks or the water cooler. The Bureau has also purchased reusable cups, plates, and silverware for public meetings where food is served and for offsite meetings they work increasingly with caterers who offer reusable plates and cups. Such change is not easy. It does take longer to wash your cup than to throw it out. But the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-terms costs.

John’s advice to others working on sustainability projects: “Remove your ego. You have to do it because you think it's the right thing to do. People are busy. Sustainability and wellness are not always high priorities. It's easy to get frustrated but stay focused on the big picture and the long term.”

The Goal Setter

Icie Ta

Icie Ta, an HR Systems Specialist, is a new member of the Citywide Green Team and she is enjoying working with city employees who are passionate about sustainability.  “I love knowing that there are other sustainability champions out there. We are not alone in this.”

Icie is working on sustainability projects in her Bureau, including the 2018 Earth Day plant giveaway, which was a wild success, and Bike Month, which encourages employees to bike more and share their biking stories. Icie is also setting goals of her own. She wants to grow more vegetables in her garden this summer because she likes growing what she needs, and fresh veggies taste great.  She’d also like to start riding her bike to work, perhaps one day a week, even though there’s a hill in the middle and she worries about running out of energy on the way home. Icie recently completed her first bike commute. Way to go, Icie!

Her advice to others: if the big picture of sustainability is scary or overwhelming, “Think small. Start with yourself and the small changes you can make.”

The Optimizer

Danny Grady

For Danny Grady, Energy Specialist at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, optimizing energy use to meet the City’s needs is the name of the game. That’s why he’s the right person to assist City bureaus in saving energy and creating energy from renewable energy sources. Danny, along with his predecessors, have helped the City save $75 million in utility bills since 1991. He offers technical assistance, identifies funding opportunities for energy projects, and advises city operations staff on issues relating to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Danny has recently taken a more active role leading OMF’s Facilities group in Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program. SEM focuses on optimizing energy management by adopting operation and maintenance best practices throughout the organization. The goal is to empower City staff to play an integral role in saving energy and helping the City to meet the aggressive energy goals laid out in the Climate Action Plan. There’s more to energy efficiency than installing energy saving gadgets; ultimately, people play a key role in realizing energy savings. “We’re early in the process of revamping the program, but I can already see a culture shift that will pay dividends into the future,” says Danny. Other bureaus that have participated in the SEM program include BES, Water and Parks. 

 At home Danny is a father to a four-year-old son so he values comfort and simplicity almost as much as efficiency. This means if he leaves an LED nightlight on all night he doesn’t sweat it. According to Danny, “Martyrs don’t have any fun”, and Danny likes to have fun!

The Astronaut

Michelle Crim

From space travel to clear skies, Michele Crim's focus has always been upward. She began college aiming to become an astronaut, but climate change led her in a different direction. Armed with a masters in environmental science and regional planning, Michele settled in Vancouver, Washington after grad school to run Panasonic's environmental programs at its Clark County manufacturing plant. Three years later, she moved to Portland and became the first sustainability coordinator for Portland State University. Her move to the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability 14 years ago produced the country’s first Climate Action Plan to integrate equity, adaptation and tackling the emissions from the food and goods Portlanders consume, among many other firsts.  

In December 2018, Crim took the sustainability reins at BPS, replacing Michael Armstrong who acted as Deputy Director under Susan Anderson. Looking to the future Michele sees clearing the skies of carbon emissions as directly linked to opportunities to address the city's growing gentrification, housing affordability and related challenges. “The key to closing equity gaps and resolving climate vulnerabilities is the direct participation by impacted communities in the development and implementation of solutions and policy decisions that impact them,” Michele said. "Ultimately, it's about improving peoples' lives.”  

 These are just a few of the Sustainability Heroes among us. Visit this story again as we update it with more featured staff profiles. 

Take Energy Savings One Step Further

Home energy saving resources.

The Citywide Green Team has put together a list of free resources to help you save energy and money at home. Find the one that’s best for you, set yourself a deadline and get going. We’d like to hear from you. 

Top five ways to take your energy savings home

Now that you are turning off your computer when not in use, it’s time to think about energy saving actions to take at home. The Citywide Green Team has put together a list of free resources to help you save energy and money at home:

  1. Take five minutes to complete an online Home Energy Review. Take Energy Trust of Oregon’s online survey and get a free home energy review in just a few minutes.
  2. Find a friend and spend an hour or two finding phantom energy loads at home. Turn energy savings into a ghost buster challenge at home by checking out a Kill-A-Watt tester from a Multnomah County library. It’s a DIY project that gives you the power to find and destroy phantom energy loads at home. 
  3. Take a Saturday to attend a Fix-It-Fair to learn simple ways to save money on home energy projects and much more.
  4. Make the call and get a free consult with a home advisor from Community Energy Project. As a non-profit, CEP Home Advisors offer an objective, unbiased approach to making your home upgrade the best that it can.
  5. For the ultimate DIYer, use this tool to create a very detailed energy audit of your home. Seattle has put together this comprehensive home energy audit kit.

For the ultimate DIYer, use this tool to create a very detailed energy audit of your home. Seattle has put together this comprehensive home energy audit kit.

Modernizing the City’s fleet vehicles

Transforming the City’s fleet from gas to electric is underway

The City of Portland’s sedan fleet has transformed dramatically since 2013, from almost entirely conventional gas vehicles to over 20 percent electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid EVs.

The City is a leader in EV purchasing, EV charging infrastructure, education and outreach efforts, and fostering new markets for EV technology beyond sedans and light trucks. There is great support for EVs at the City, from Mayor Ted Wheeler who can be seen getting around town in his Ford CMax Energi to Bureau directors and staff. It’s truly a team effort and our collective hard work is paying off.

But this transformation is still underway, as there is more work to be done to meet key goals of the City’s 2030 Environmental Performance Objectives, Climate Action Plan (CAP), and the community-wide renewable energy goals established in 2017 by Resolution 37289.

  • The City’s Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2015, sets ambitious goals: a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050, using 1990 levels as a benchmark.
  • The 2030 Environmental Performance Objectives, also adopted in 2015, hold the City to even higher standards, aiming for a 53% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, using FY 06-07 as a benchmark.

With transport currently creating 40% of CO2 emissions in Multnomah County, “EVs are a vital tool to help the City and the region meet long-term environmental goals,” explains Ingrid Fish, EV Policy Lead with Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. While EVs are part of the solution, they are by no means the entire solution.

The City is also working hard to create and foster walkable communities, encourage active transport, and create policies for autonomous and shared transport. But in areas where cars are still a necessity, EVs are the way to go and they are also the future of the City’s vehicle fleet.

Modernizing an aging fleet

The opportunity to transform the City’s fleet fell heavier on the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) than on some other Bureaus, because their inspectors only use sedans. Other Bureaus require heavy duty trucks and for these there are currently few, if any, EV options. Katie Salazar, Facilities Coordinator for BDS, recalls that in 2013 their fleet was aging and not at all green. They had no EVs and more than half of their vehicles were due for replacement. In order to follow the then new Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) policies and to help meet City EV goals, BDS began buying exclusively hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

But Katie faced a challenge. “The Prius was seen as the ultimate green wimp car. I wanted to be sustainable, but also to keep my people happy.” So, Katie got to work. She explained to BDS staff how the Bureau needed to reduce its carbon emissions in order to do their part to meet the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals. She sold hybrids on convenience: “You won’t have to stop as frequently for gas.” And she gave staff voice and choice.

After test driving a number of vehicles, BDS staff chose the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid. Many staff objected to the Prius, which was under consideration, not only because of its image, but also because it was uncomfortable for taller inspectors and had difficult sight lines. Staff were happy to have voice and choice and, in general, there have been few complaints about the new vehicles. Today all of BDS' 108 vehicles are hybrids or plug-in hybrids.

Plug-in hybrids are projected to deliver meaningful cost savings over the lifetime of the vehicle. Hybrid vehicles last longer and need to be replaced only every 10-11 years, while conventional vehicles need to be replaced every 6-7 years. Hybrids also have lower operation and maintenance costs. And the cost difference of buying a hybrid or plug-in hybrid as opposed to a gas vehicle is getting less and less. For example, five years ago a standard gas-powered sedan cost about $20,000 and a plug-in hybrid cost $35,000, a 75% difference. Today that gap has narrowed to 20% with gas powered sedans at $24,000 and plug-in hybrid’s at $29,000. With the reduced purchase price and reduced maintenance, the overall lifecycle costs of these vehicles are less than that of a comparable gas-powered sedan.

Building EV infrastructure

With the City of Portland purchasing hybrid EVs in ever-increasing numbers and with an “EV first” policy, requiring that new vehicles be EVs unless there is a compelling reason not to buy one, the City is working hard to build sufficient charging infrastructure. At times, the City is playing catch-up: creating infrastructure that will let Bureaus charge existing vehicles.

In 2017, 43 EV charging stations opened in the garage that the City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services uses to park its fleet. This was a significant milestone in a broad and ongoing process of fleet transformation designed to decrease carbon emissions.  

The 43 EV charging stations were built in partnership with Portland State University (PSU), from whom the City rents garage space. The City Council approved project cost was $280,000. 

Growing the EV market

The City has committed to a goal of meeting 100 percent of its community-wide energy needs with renewable energy by 2050. This goal includes transportation energy which results in the City aiming to have a zero-emission vehicle fleet fueled by renewable electricity sources by 2050. To meet these goals markets must continue to shift. For example, the EV market for sedans and light SUVs is relatively well established. But, if you’re looking to buy a heavy-duty truck or specialized vehicle like a paver or garbage truck, there are very few EV options and the options that exist are currently cost prohibitive.

Portland, in partnership with other west coast cities, is working to change this. In 2017, the Cities of Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, all members of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, submitted a Request for Information (RFI), inviting “automakers to describe their plans for meeting a potentially record-breaking order of EVs. The four cities could buy or lease up to 24,000 electric vehicles for their fleets, if automobile and truck manufacturers are able to meet the demand and provide appropriate pricing.”

This RFI is the first effort of its kind to include municipalities from different states, demonstrating the purchasing power of local governments to transform the electric vehicle market. By moving to electric vehicles, cities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease reliance on fossil fuels, and improve air quality while reducing fuel and maintenance costs by an estimated average of 37 percent. In particular, this RFI aims to demonstrate demand and create a market for the development of EV trucks and medium or heavy-duty equipment including delivery vans, trash trucks and transit buses.

Education and Outreach

The process of fleet transformation and EV adoption is not simply a technical one. It is also a question of the behavior of thousands of users – City staff who depend on fleet vehicles. BDS has opted to make the process of behavior change more natural and not to make it mandatory for staff to use the charging stations. Currently there are more EVs than charging stations, so hopefully the charging stations will be used by engaged and motivated staff and this will, in turn, create additional interest. To streamline this process BDS has conducted outreach and created a video explaining how to use the charging stations. Similar outreach and education processes are playing out across the City’s Bureaus.

Initial reports are very positive. Ingrid Fish shares, “I have heard from Fleet that EVs are the first to be reserved. People like how they handle and that they are very quiet.” It is also a plus that you don’t need to refuel frequently. Donny Leader, the Vehicle Administrative Supervisor for City Fleet agrees. “As an EV owner, I try to lead by example and encourage others to purchase electric vehicles. I also advocate for workplace charging as an incentive to City employees who commute to work from outside the city limits to purchase electric vehicles.”  City Administrative Rules do not currently provide for this.

Looking ahead

As the City of Portland continues to buy more EVs and to use EVs to fulfill more needs, there will be continued need for new EV charging infrastructure. Some of these charging stations will be eligible to earn credits under the Oregon Clean Fuels Program.  Hopefully car and truck manufacturers will respond favorably to the RFI and move swiftly so that we’ll see EV garbage trucks and construction vehicles in not too long. When it comes to personal vehicles, the City will look to encourage and plan for a future in which individual vehicle use, even if it’s an EV, declines.

Growing Green Air

2018 Earth Day Plant Giveaway

 plants  planting  planting  holding plant

Inspired by the work of BDS employee Brandon Rogers, the Citywide Green Team would like to give you your own baby plant during April 2018. It’s a small way for us to thank you for your sustainability efforts each and every day. The only catch: you need to promise to water it.

Where to find your plant

Planting stations can be found in locations around the City. Get one while supplies last or get on the waiting list. Spider plants grow quickly so you won’t have to wait long.

City Hall – Contact: Susan Barr, Janine Gates, or Heather Saby

Congress Center – Contact: Bill Crawford, Ethan Cirmo

Columbia Square – Contact: Icie Ta

400 SW 6th Avenue and Pioneer Tower – Contact: Elena Estrada or Pam Mavis

1900 SW 4th Avenue – Contact: Brandon Rogers (BDS) or Kyenne Williams (BPS)

North Kerby Yard – Contact: Tawnya Harris (CityFleet) or Rich Grant (PBOT)

WasteWater Treatment Plant – Contact: David Olsav

Why keep indoor plants?

Your baby plant will be doing its small part to improve our indoor air quality by absorbing commonly found air pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde. Eliminating harmful pollutants in our air is a key City environmental performance objective. See how we're doing at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/scg-dashboard.

This Sustainability Hero inspired us to find a way to bring everyone a plant

Headshot“Plants bring people together in really interesting ways. People connect on a personal level and come alive,” explains Brandon Rogers, a city planner with the Bureau of Development Services. Brandon has been giving plants to his colleagues at the City in what is both a social experiment and an effort to improve indoor air quality.

In the spring of 2017, Brandon was walking around the offices when he noticed some particularly healthy spider plants with hundreds of little babies ready to be rooted. So, Brandon did just that and started giving them away. Soon he purchased pots and soil and even found a free surplus AV cart at PSU which he set up as a mobile plant station.

Brandon’s project has really taken root, helped along by Kate Green, Green Team member and colleague. They’ve given away 100 plants and counting! For Brandon, it is satisfying to see how caring for plants is social and relaxing. And he's happy knowing that indoor plants, especially spider plants, clean the air, removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzine. His advice to others: “Follow your heart. Start small. Share your ideas with others and collaborate.”

In his personal life, Brandon has also made some big changes. In 2012, after reading a book on food production, he became a vegan. Brandon wanted to minimize animal suffering and reduce his carbon footprint. He recalls that at first it was very hard. “About two weeks in I dreamed of a six-foot high pile of sliced tri tip covered in cheddar cheese.” By now, though, Brandon sleeps easy and feels great about his food choices.

We admit it: Mom was right.

Citywide Green Team asks staff how they help keep trash and recycling out of the landfill. Congratulations are in order for over 15 raffle prize winners.

Mom’s advice has some real green cred.

Mother's Day was Sunday, May 14, so honor mom by listening to what she's been saying for years.

        

» Wipe your face! (It prevents waste)

In a recent waste study at one of our buildings, paper towels made up a third of the landfill waste. Switch to cloth! You can prevent waste by bringing a cloth napkin to work with your lunch. There are lots of actions you already do, show us and win a prize!

Over 150 of you came out to meet your Citywide Green Team: On Thursday, May 18, 2017 the Citywide Green Team held events in eight locations around the City. They asked staff what they do to keep waste out of the landfill. In exchange, staff were entered to win one of fifteen gift certificates.

A sample of what staff are doing (remember little things add up!):

  • A number of you use cloth napkins at home and many committed to bringing one to work.
  • Many bring lunch to work in a reusable container and committed to stop using plastic sandwich bags.
  • Some of you use reusable mesh produce bags and reusable shopping bags at home.
  • Some staff take extra plastics to Far West Fibers for recycling.
  • Oh so many of you bring a reusable coffee mug to work. Keep up the good work!

And the winners are…

Congratulations to the following staff who won a raffle prize. Lindsey Maser, BPS; Zach Odil, P&D; Tish Leos and Bernadette Landgdon, PBOT; Marianna Lomanto, ONI Crime Prevention; Mary Jaron Kelley and Tom Griffin-Valade, ONI North Portland Neighborhood Services; Sophia Terry and Clayton Amber, BES; Rose Imani, CityFleet; Sue Parsons, Auditor's office; Mary Schneider, ONI; and Ross Jonak, BDS.

And a free lunch goes to:

The Green Team wanted to know if dishtowels were already being used in workplace kitchens instead of paper towels. They asked staff to snap a photo and send a list of coworkers’ names who make it happen. That list was entered into a drawing for a free lunch. Congratulations to Portland Water Bureau Interstate Office staff Karen Scott and Anna DiBenedetto who manage the program for their office. 

Another free lunch just because:

Green Team staff received so many nice comments about this person and how she manages the BES dishtowels and women’s restroom at the Portland Building, that they made some money available for a second prize. Congratulations to BES staff, Jennifer Antak, for her commitment to this program.

» On your way out? Don't forget your coat!

An extra layer protects you from the cold — and the same rings true for your home and workplace. It’s called insulation and it makes a big difference: About 20 percent of all carbon emissions comes from our homes — on average, more than our cars. Making your home more energy efficient is good for you, too: It makes your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer (and lowers your energy bill). Whether your rent or own your home, there are many low-cost and no-cost options to make your home more energy efficient.

» Share your stuff!

Making, shipping and packaging the “stuff” we buy accounts for about a quarter of our city’s household carbon emissions. Borrowing seldom-used items saves money, cuts clutter and is great for the environment. Portland is filled with opportunities to borrow tools for home and garden projects, kitchen gadgets and kids’ toys from lending libraries.

» Keep it going, Portland!

There are lots of ways to cut waste in City operations. Over the last year, nearly 80 percent of City employees participated in the paperless paystub option. Making this choice has saved nearly 150,000 sheet of paper. That’s nearly 20 trees a year! Thank you OMF Bureau of Human Resources staff for giving us this option.

» Questions?

Your friends in the Citywide Green Team are ready to answer questions and provide resources. Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/cityworksgreen or email greenteam@portlandoregon.gov.