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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


EcoChallenge 2016: Get your co-workers excited about sustainability


2016 EcoChallenge Details

When: October 14-28
What: Choose a new sustainable action to take, at home or at work, for two weeks.
How: Create a team – even if it’s just two people – and register. Bonus: it’s free!
Why: Build team spirit and get into new (good) habits.

Why join the Challenge?

The Northwest Earth Institute’s annual EcoChallenge is a great way to engage your workplace around sustainability – it’s no wonder over 15,000 people and businesses have taken the challenge!

This friendly peer-to-peer competition builds enthusiasm for workplace sustainability and is a good way to kickstart or strengthen sustainability initiatives.

What does the Challenge involve?

You choose one action to reduce your impact and stick with it for two weeks. The challenge action(s) people choose can take place outside of work and still contribute to your workplace team.

You pick your challenge and set a goal that stretches your comfort zone and makes a difference for you, your community and the planet. Common wisdom says it takes two weeks to change a habit: if you can stick with a new behavior for 14 days in a row, you’re a lot more likely to keep it up forever.

EcoChallengers share their progress and earn points for taking action. The combination of collective inspiration, camaraderie and friendly competition makes change a little easier and a lot more fun. 

See what other businesses have taken on the challenge!

EcoChallenge actions

What are the challenge actions?

There are many different actions to choose from across six categories: waste, transportation, energy, water, food, community, nature and simplicity – or create your own action.

A few example actions include: use a reusable coffee mug, take a short (5-minute) shower, volunteer in the community, eat meatless meals, or turn down your thermostat. More challenging actions include: Reduce clutter in your home and donate unwanted goods, research or take steps to insulate your home or upgrade to an electric car, or install a rain garden in your yard.

“It’s amazing how all of us changing a minor habit can have such a huge impact on our environment in so many different ways.”
– EcoChallenge Participant

How to participate

1. Register for the EcoChallenge

2. Connect with your team. To start your workplace team, select “start a team” and NWEI will help you invite coworkers to join (find tips for being a Team Captain). Or, select “join a team” to join an existing team. *If your workplace doesn’t have a team, you can join the Sustainability at Work Team.

3. Choose your EcoChallenge action(s).

4. Make a plan to achieve your EcoChallenge. Think through what you’ll need to take your new action. If you need to prepare anything, get it ready now so it’s easy from day one!

5. Share your participation far and wide. Let family, friends, and coworkers know what you’re doing and invite them to join!

6. On October 14, start working on your challenge goals and log in daily to chart your progress.

Did you know you can compete against another team? Team captains can challenge another team, and the team with the greatest number of EcoChallenge points wins. Do you share a building with other businesses? Get to know your neighbors through some friendly competition.

How to engage your co-workers

Take the lead in creating a workplace team, and then follow these helpful tips to get your co-workers involved. Download printable posters and other promotional materials to help get the word out.