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The City of Portland, Oregon

Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037

Email: sustainabilityatwork@portlandoregon.gov

Test your environmental IQ

Learn how Portlanders are creating energy in surprising ways, and how to use just one paper towel.

Fun facts for Earth Day

Think you know how to use a paper towel? You might reconsider after watching this 5-minute TED Talk from Portlander Joe Smith.

Do you know how your food choices affect climate change? Test your know-how in this 10-question quiz.

What do leftover office doughnuts have to do with climate change? Learn the answer plus many more fascinating food facts and creative climate solutions.

Did you know that Portland is creating energy from some surprising sources, including food scraps from businesses and (ahem) the stuff we flush.

Ready for more? Find more interesting information, and ideas for taking action in your own life, at Portland’s Climate Action Now website and in this month’s Drawdown EcoChallenge.

Reduce Reuse Recaffeinate 2018

The Earth Month BYO coffee cup campaign is back and better than ever.

From April 1-30, 2018, a group of Portland green teams sweetens your switch to reusable coffee mugs—and encourages you to use reusable shopping bags, water bottles and waste-free lunches.

Reduce Reuse Recaffeinate 2018

In celebration of Earth Month 2018, Portlanders who choose to reuse—use a reusable mug, water bottle, shopping bag or lunch container—between April 1 – 30 can get entered into a raffle to win prizes!

How does it work?

1. Download a Reduce Reuse Recaffeinate plus card.

2. Initial or punch your card every time you bring your own coffee cup, shopping bag, water bottle or waste-free lunch.

3. Email a picture of your card (with at least one punch in each column) by April 30, 2018 to be entered to win prizes (email to oregoncscollaborative@gmail.com).

Valid for workplaces located within Portland.

Get your workplace involved

Post the Reduce, Reuse, Recaffeinate poster and distribute punch cards.

Reduce Reuse Recaffeinate poster  Reduce Reuse Recaffeinate punch card

Make it easy

  • Put punch cards in an envelope attached to the poster to make it easy for coworkers to get started.
  • Hang the poster and punch-cards near the door where coworkers head out to get coffee.
  • If you have reusable mugs in your break-room or kitchen, pull them out of the cupboard and put them in a more noticeable place with a reminder about the Reduce Reuse Recaffeinate Plus campaign.
  • Give your workplace’s closest coffee shop a head’s up. You can even ask if they’d be willing to hang a poster.

Organized by Corporate Sustainability Collaborative

Corporate Sustainability Collaborative

The Corporate Sustainability Collaborative is a group of green teams from different Portland organizations who work together to engage employees around sustainability. This is the fourth year they’ve organized the Reduce Reuse Recaffeinate campaign for Earth Month.

Getting buy-in: Speak to their interests

Frame your sustainability initiatives in terms decision makers care about.

How do you get the green light to go green?

If your efforts to implement new sustainability measures aren’t getting the go-ahead from decision makers, try something that has worked well for others:

Speak to their interests.

Sustainability efforts can have numerous benefits beyond environmental good. Think about what motivates the decision makers in your organization, and find where their interests align with yours.

going green = saving green = green light

For example:

Reduced operating costs through reducing paper, energy and waste.

Marketing benefits to reach and retain customers who value sustainability.

Responding to client demand for sustainable business practices.

Improved employee retention through engaged staff, who feel their workplace is doing the right thing.

Deposit bottle recycling expands: More to redeem in 2018!

January 1 marked the start of an expanded Oregon Bottle Bill, with new beverage containers now having a 10-cent refund.

Oregon was the first state to create a Bottle Bill back in 1971. Oregonians now get 10 cents for every deposit bottle they return. 

On January 1, Oregon’s Bottle Bill expanded to include more redeemable bottles; now most beverages in plastic or glass bottles, or metal cans, from 4 ounces up to 1.5 liters are included in Oregon’s bottle redemption program. 

While all beverage containers can still be recycled in your home or work recycling, recycling them through redemption centers allows you to earn back the 10-cent refunds or donate the refunds to a local nonprofit.

Newly included deposit bottles

New! Coffee, tea, kombucha, energy and sports drinks, hard cider (under 8.5 percent ABV), and juice beverages in plastic or glass bottles or metal cans now have a 10-cent redemption. See the full list of newly added beverage containers.

Beverage bottles that continue to have a 10 cent redemption.

Soda, beer, and water beverages in plastic or glass bottles or metal cans continue to have a 10-cent redemption.

Bottles that do not have a redemption

The beverages not included in the Bottle Bill are milk (dairy and plant-based), infant formula, meal-replacement drinks, wine and distilled spirits, and hard cider over 8.5 percent ABV. See the full list of beverages not included in the Oregon Bottle Bill.

While these bottles don’t have a 10-cent deposit, you can still recycle them in your home or work recycling.

Where to drop off your bottles

While some grocery stores still have bottle redemption areas, there are also BottleDrop centers around Portland that make redemption fast and easy. Look up the closest locations to you

Never used BottleDrop before? This step-by-step photo tutorial walks you through it.

Raise money for a local nonprofit

It’s now easier than ever to collect and donate bottles: Pick up bags coded for your favorite local nonprofit, fill them up with deposit bottles at home or work, and then drop the whole bag off at a bottle drop center. No need to feed the bottles into a machine one at a time, they’ll take the whole bag.

Find out how to collect deposit bottles to support your favorite nonprofit.

Learn more: FAQs about Oregon’s Bottle Bill

Updating your gadgets? Don’t miss a golden opportunity.

Recycling old computers and TVs is required by law in Oregon – it’s also easy and free.

Gold in electronics

Did you know that one ton of old computers contains more gold than seventeen tons of raw gold ore?

That makes recycling old computers and other electronics a golden opportunity to capture and reuse valuable materials.

Recycling your old electronics is:

Good for the environment: Electronics are made with valuable materials that can be recycled into new products. The U.S. EPA estimates that recycling one million computers prevents the release of greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual emissions of over 17,000 cars.

Good for our health: Electronics contain toxic materials such as lead, cadmium and mercury: Keeping these toxics out of the environment protects our health. According to the U.S. EPA, 40 percent of lead and 70 percent of other toxics found in landfills — including mercury, cadmium and polybrominated flame retardants — are from electronics.

Required: Since 2010, Oregonians are prohibited by law from throwing away computers, monitors or TVs in the trash.

How to recycle computers, TVs and more for free

Oregon E-Cycles provides free recycling of computers (desktops, laptops and tablets), monitors, TVs, printers and peripherals (keyboards and mice). 

Oregon E-Cycles

Workplaces with more than 10 employees may dispose of up to seven computers, monitors or TVs at one time, but collection sites may charge for additional items. Small businesses and nonprofits with 10 or fewer employees may take more than seven (this is also true for individuals and households).

Find your nearest E-Cycles drop-off location. Questions? Check out the E-Cycles FAQs.

old cell phonesRecycling other electronics

Oregon E-Cycles does not currently provide free recycling of cell phones, speakers, scanners, game consoles or other types of electronics or appliances — however, there are local recycling drop-off facilities that do accept these items.

Call Metro’s Find a Recycler hotline (503-234-3000) or use their online search tool. They can tell you the most convenient drop-off locations to your home or work.

Before you recycle, can you donate and reuse?

If you have still usable computers, laptops or tablets, bring them to Free Geek, where they’ll be refurbished and donated to folks who don’t have access to new computers.

Free Geek also accepts electronics for recycling, so if you bring things they don’t want, they can still take them off your hands.

Learn more