BE GREEN IN ‘17
It’s easy! Make the pledge to take small steps to help our city be more sustainable. Incorporating simple practices in your everyday routines can make a big difference on our environment and can save you money, too.
Buy Wise. Consider what you already have before making purchases. Can you borrow or rent what you need? Buy used when possible!
Use Less. Try biking, walking or taking transit on your next errand. Replace a burned out light bulb with an LED one. Make a meal plan and stick to it to help reduce wasted food.
Act Now. Don’t wait to begin living a greener lifestyle. Make the pledge and join other community members dedicated to a healthier and cleaner future.
The links below provide details on specific actions and tips to get started!
Beaverton has a number of existing programs and incentives available to community members to encourage conservation and efficiency.
Solar Beaverton – don’t miss out on your chance to receive the biggest incentives and tax credits for program participation to date. The Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) is set to expire this calendar year!
Better Buildings Challenge
Compost at Work
Eat Smart, Waste Less
Recycle at Home
Recycle at School
Recycle at Work
Climate Change Series
Part One: Causes and Science
Is it climate change or global warming? Climate change and global warming both refer to the increase in overall, long-term global temperatures that have been occurring since the industrial revolution. “Global warming” is a term specifically referring to the overall long-term warming trends and predicted continued global warming into the future. “Climate change” is the all-encompassing term that describes changes in wind, precipitation, extreme weather events, and length of seasons as well as temperatures.
What is Anthropogenic (human) Global Warming (AGW)? To start off, the Earth has a natural greenhouse effect with four major gases in its atmosphere: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and ozone. When solar radiation from the sun reaches Earth’s surface it becomes infrared thermal radiation (heat). Some of this thermal radiation escapes into outer space, while the rest is reflected back to Earth by greenhouse gases, keeping the planet warm enough for life. Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, agriculture and deforestation all add greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This rapid increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases reflects more thermal radiation back to Earth’s surface causing temperatures to rise.
But it snowed a lot in Beaverton this winter! Doesn’t that prove global warming is wrong? No, because Beaverton’s short-term weather does not represent global climate averages. Even if all of North America is abnormally cold for a month, the rest of the Earth could still be experiencing warmer than average temperatures. It is important to look at AGW at a global-scale, as well as to look at long-term climate trends compared to averages and not just specific regions or weather events.
Part Two: Climate Change Impacts
What global and national impacts will climate change have on Oregon? Climate change will likely play a role in driving future national and global migrations with many looking at the Pacific Northwest as a place of refuge. Oregon and Washington State are already two of the fastest growing states in the U.S.
Why is climate change bad? Climate change is expected to increase the severity, length and frequency of severe weather events such as heat waves, droughts, floods and storms. Sea level rise coupled with increased storm surges will flood many of the world’s most densely populated regions, fertile agricultural land and infiltrate salt water into freshwater aquifers and wetlands. All of these factors will have negative impacts on agriculture, food security, the economy, public health and safety.
Expect warmer and wetter conditions here in Beaverton. The Pacific Northwest will likely experience increased rainfall during the fall, winter and spring with decreased mountain snowfall and much hotter and drier summers resulting in the gradual shrinkage of Cascade Glaciers. This will increase the severity of winter floods and summer droughts with much lower stream flows during the late summer. Increased energy use during the summer coupled with low stream flows will reduce the ability of hydropower facilities to meet those demands. This will also increase forest fires, resulting in poor air quality, loss of timber resources, ecological degradation and increased winter flooding and landslides.
Part Three: Climate Change Policy, Agencies and Plans
Global: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty negotiated in 1992 to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system". Linked to the UNFCCC are the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015) both of which chart global efforts towards greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, climate change adaption and finance and aim to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6°F) through the end of the century.
National: In the U.S. various federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conduct scientific research on climate change impacts and administer policies addressing GHG emissions.
Regional (Oregon and Beaverton): The State of Oregon has the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute created by the Oregon state legislature to research climate change, serve as a clearinghouse for climate change information and provide climate change information to the public. The Oregon Global Warming Coalition recommends ways to coordinate state and local efforts to reduce GHG emissions. The City of Beaverton developed the Sustainable Beaverton Strategy (SBS) in 2014, a city operations, action plan with a GHG reduction target of 80% by 2050. City staff are currently working to update the SBS and to develop the city’s first climate action plan which will serve as a community plan for mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Solar in Beaverton
This year the City of Beaverton is one of nine new communities, along with Hillsboro, to achieve the highest designation of SolSmart Gold. The SolSmart designation program is a government backed national initiative launched in April of 2016 which recognizes cities and counties that have streamlined solar development processes through faster, simpler and more efficient practices for permitting, planning and zoning.
Along with receiving the SolSmart award, the City of Beaverton is about to launch a Solar Beaverton Campaign this summer for residential solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems. During this campaign, interested households will have the opportunity to install solar PV at discounted group rates. The State of Oregon also has the Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credits (RETC) program where households can apply for a tax credit on their personal Oregon income taxes for purchasing energy efficient products and energy systems, such as solar PV panels. With the Solar Beaverton campaign, Oregon RETC and federal solar tax credits, going solar has never been easier!
As of now, RETC is scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2017, so if you’re interested in installing solar PV panels or upgrading to energy efficient products, 2017 is the year to do so!
Keep an eye out for Solar Beaverton education materials and events in local community news outlets and on the city’s Sustainability Program webpage at www.BeavertonOregon.gov/Green.
May Bike Ride and Classes
May 2017Saturday, May 20, Reach the Beach ride/fundraiser for lung cancer and other lung diseases
Reach the Beach with its 3,000 riders, is one of Oregon’s premier cycling events and the 2nd largest one-day ride in Oregon. This top notch ride has amazing support that gives you four different start locations: Portland (104 mi), Newberg (80 mi), Amity (55 mi) or Grand Ronde (26 mi). They provide superb organization, beautiful routes, medical and mechanical support on course, eight lunch and snack stops and a magnificent beach party with a delicious, hearty feast at the finish line.
More Information: http://action.lung.org/site/TR?fr_id=14100&pg=entry
Sunday, May 21, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways
City of Portland Sunday Parkways presented by Kaiser Permanente promotes healthy active living through a series of free events opening the city’s largest public space - its streets - to walk, bike, roll, and discover active transportation while fostering civic pride, stimulating economic development, and represents the community, business, and government investments in Portland’s vitality, livability, and diversity. 7 mile route.
More Information: www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/58929
Throughout May - REI stores
Around the region offer both free and fee based bike classes and outings including Bike Maintenance Basics, Intro to Mountain Biking and more!
More Information: www.rei.com/learn.html
Other bike calendars/group with rides in May and throughout the year:
Introduction to Solar
Come learn why solar is a smart choice for Beaverton homeowners! Identify available solar technologies and financial incentives, learn why solar works well in Beaverton’s climate and how to choose a contractor.
There are two available workshops to choose from:
Date: February 21
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: 12375 SW 5th St.- Beaverton City Library, Meeting Room A
Click here for the workshop presentation.
Sustainability Articles 2013 - 2015
The City of Beaverton is affiliated with the following organizations: