Citizen science for air quality

With binders, pens and a large backpack strewn across a bright blue bus stop bench, two “citizen scientists” prepare their materials near the Beyer Court Apartments in Portland’s Lents neighborhood. Izzy unzips the backpack and carefully turns on a “micro-aetholometer” that measures tiny particles in the air similar to what he is breathing. Izzy and his colleague Adriana each open a binder and begin taking notes on passing people, on traffic, and on the sights and sounds and lifestyles in the neighborhood. Izzy and Adriana are Americorps Fellows with Green ...

Read More


What’re we going to do about water?

by Karen Lewotsky We’ve all been dismayed, watching our southern neighbor deal with the consequences of disappearing groundwater. It’s hard to believe the horrific impacts as the water tables drop in California—lower, lower, and lower. As the Central Valley sinks, we’ve heard rumors about homes, business and even small towns being abandoned for lack of water. We’ve heard that some are rushing to use as much as possible before it’s gone, seeking short-term profit in the face of the inevitable loss of income. “Fortunately,” we think to ourselves, “it ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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, ...

Read More


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:

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More