Go safely back to school

It’s back-to-school time! Wouldn’t it be great if more kids in Oregon could easily take the bus or put on their bike helmets and backpacks to bike or walk to school? Getting to school should be safe, healthy and reflect our environmental values. Transit is critically important for kids who live more than two miles from school or have no safe routes. In Portland, Bus Riders United is working to ensure affordable transit. OEC is also working to clean up old diesel engines, including school buses, so that kids can breathe easy. And active transportation allies ...

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Where Water Quality and Quantity Intersect

Guest Post by Steve Siegel It is a hot summer day and you are off to your favorite swimming hole, joyfully anticipating your first leap into its crystal clear, refreshing water, followed by the magnificent shake of your body as you surface, spraying water in every direction. You can hardly wait, recklessly racing your dog to the water. You arrive to find a pool of brownish, greenish, stagnant water, barely knee deep. Skidding to a halt, you no longer want to even dip your toes into what you have found. When imaging a swimming hole, we don’t just think of a pool ...

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Why do we love public transportation? Let us count the ways.

Why do we love public transportation such as buses and light rail? Less road congestion. Less air pollution. Fewer health risks. Reduced household costs. Better economic development. Reliable access to school, work and community—the list goes on. But a truly effective public transportation system must anticipate both the current and future needs of a community. The last Oregon Public Transportation Plan is 20 years old, and it is time for the Oregon Department of Transportation to write a new one. The new plan will inform decision-making and guide investments ...

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A Green Financial Future – for OEC and everyone

What do you do when your money and your values are working against each other? That was the question that faced the employees of OEC when we took a closer look at our existing retirement plan. As a responsible employer, OEC offered a diversity of retirement investment options for our staff. Despite the variety, however, few of the available investment options were screened to ensure they match our values – values like protecting clean air, clean water and a healthy future for everyone. OEC started the process of taking a deeper look at our financial holdings when ...

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Greywater: The Secret to Gardening During Drought

Guest Article by Molly Danielsson It’s gardening season, time to water home-grown cucumbers and melons. Despite a cool July, much of Oregon is experiencing drought. Several streams are approaching record lows for this time of year. What’s a conscientious gardener to do? Rain barrels can collect rainwater from roofs for the garden (and EMSWCD can help hook you up), but here in Oregon rain is often lacking when we need it the most. Luckily there’s already a consistent source of water available in your house: greywater. Greywater is the used water from sinks, ...

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August Climate Good News: 7 Reasons to Have Hope

...it takes 7 POSITIVE THOUGHTS to overcome the power of one negative thought, so here are 7 reasons to take heart and feel hopeful. Read and repeat as necessary to keep impending gloom at bay:

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To Compete, Oregon Needs Modern Transportation Options

Oregon competes on a global scale to attract a talented workforce and the companies that rely on it. Millennials and others now show greater preference for vibrant neighborhoods with options like walking, biking and transit, and companies are moving to these locations to access that talent. Meanwhile, Oregon transit districts can’t keep up with demand, jeopardizing our competitiveness and the ability of those who can’t afford or aren’t able to drive to get to work and meet other daily needs. In many communities, it is unsafe to bicycle or walk. Gas and diesel are ...

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Green Camping Checklist

Hooray! Warm weather and starry nights make for great camping all across Oregon! Guarantee more smiles with these camping tips–including a green camping checklist–that will help you avoid environmental hazards and avoid becoming a hazard yourself Planning: You might not know to check these before you go! Summer has always had its hazards. But as climate change brings more intense weather, it’s good to get in the habit of planning ahead. Check for toxic algal blooms: Made worse by warm weather and polluted runoff, toxic algae can be harmful to swimmers ...

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Mind-boggling numbers of toxics

Can you name a thousand cleaning and beauty products? Can you name a hundred? It’s hard to even imagine 90,000 products made by 700 manufacturers. Yet that’s the number of products that will have to change if manufacturers want to sell on Walmart shelves. See details in a Bloomberg News story. Three years ago, Walmart told manufacturers that they would have until 2018 to either eliminate ten toxic chemicals from beauty and cleaning products, or else be prepared to list ingredients on a product label. The world’s largest retailer clearly has clout: the threat ...

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Giselle speaks up for transportation options

By Giselle Ixta Public transportation is an essential part of my day; it allows me to get to work, volunteer, attend meetings, and to move around my hometown of Woodburn. Since I don’t own a car, finding transportation can sometimes be difficult. Getting around may mean borrowing my dad’s car, biking, walking, carpooling or taking the bus. When I joined Oregon Environmental Council as their Environmental Leadership and Justice intern, I began to use public transportation even more. A few days a week, I take an exciting journey from Woodburn to Portland that either ...

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