Living Green

Monthly news and tips focused on helping you create a greener, healthier life for the world around you.


Dying Green: Have You Considered A Natural Burial?

Planning ahead for your own funeral can be daunting. It is not exactly a subject many people want to talk about.A traditional American funeral consists of an embalming process, a coffin, flowers, etc. Even more resources go into the planning and execution of a funeral. Then there is the less costly conventional route of cremation. Both are socially accepted, neither is environmentally friendly. In the United States, 30 million board feet of wood, 1.6 million tons of concrete, 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid, and 90,000 tons of steel are used every year for ...

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A Modern Take on Trick or Treating

Guest post by blogger Tillia GriffinHalloween has come again, bringing with it ghosts, goblins, superheroes, and of course, candy! Unfortunately, that also means buckets and pillowcases full of plastic. There’s nothing sweeter than grabbing a handful of Snickers, Reeses Cups, and my favorite, Twix. But after all the chocolate, caramel and nougat are gone, you’re left with piles of plastic wrappers that will inevitably end up in a landfill. To protect the environment many of us are changing the ways we buy, eat and live, extending to the ways we celebrate ...

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Transportation Transformation: The Writing Is On The Wall

Greenhouse gas emissions aren’t something you can easily feel or smell or see in your daily life. It’s hard for us to get a sense of what the volume is, and whether it’s going up or down. That’s why it’s so important to track the measurements to see what’s working and what isn’t workingOn September 18, the City of Portland released a report on greenhouse gas emissions in Multnomah County from 1990 to 2017. This report tells us that some things are working, though not quickly enough, and some things are working much worse than others.Here’s the good ...

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OEC Supports Nature For All

Oregon Environmental Council is proud to endorse the Nature For All ballot measure, put forward by Oregon Metro. OEC strongly supports maintaining this bond funding to support the critical local investments in our clean water, improved habitat,  access to greenspace, and key involvement of communities across the region.In 1992 the region first approved the Metropolitan Greenspaces Master Plan to create a blueprint for how we use our parks, trails, and natural areas. Since then, voters have approved bond measures in 1995 and 2006 to invest in the protection and ...

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What does clean air mean to you?

Oregon Environmental Council is celebrating Park(ing) Day on September 20, 2019. Park(ing) Day is a global event that allows us to reclaim our public space and imagine what we could do with them if we weren’t using them to store cars. Roadways used to be spaces for pedestrians, but with the advent of the automobile, our relationship to the “public right-of-way” has changed. On Park(ing) Day, groups and individuals adopt parking spaces around Portland for a day to celebrate, learn, relax, and enjoy our public right-of-way with art, activities, living room spaces ...

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Let’s talk about microplastics

Your closet and dresser drawers are full of plastic - and not the kind from packaging, straws and shopping bags. Some of our favorite fabrics, whether it’s techy workout gear or your fleece winter pullover, can release upwards of 730,000 synthetic particles per wash. When these synthetic fibers end up in our waterways they become a form of microplastic pollution.Microplastics are exactly what they sound like: tiny pieces of plastic that result from the inevitable breakdown of the plastic products around us. As they get smaller and smaller, microplastics become ...

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Tips for minimizing indoor air pollution in your home!

When you think of air pollution, you probably envision car exhaust, industrial smoke pipes, wildfire smoke, and city smog. These are all major contributors to outdoor air pollution, but what most people don’t realize is that air quality is often worse indoors than it is outdoors!Toxic pollution from outdoor air can build up inside the home, and there are several common sources of indoor air pollution that exist within the average household as well. Mold, mildew, dust, dirt, toxic cleaning supplies, paints, toaster ovens, air fresheners, and wood-burning stoves can ...

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OEC Battles Chemical Industry Over Safer Kids’ Products

In 2015, Oregon Environmental Council championed the Toxic Free Kids Act. The law is designed to make children’s products safer by eliminating toxic chemicals scientifically linked to health impacts. Now, this landmark protection for kids and consumers is nearing a critical crossroads.In a recent meeting with state agencies, industry trade groups launched another attack on the law. They want to be able to continue using toxic chemicals without proving their products are safe.On top of that, some manufacturers want Oregon taxpayers to foot the bill when they ...

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Transportation Options Abound During National Bike Month!

May is here and warmer weather is on the way. Spring is calling us to get out and enjoy all the beauty Oregon has to offer.May is also National Bike Month and that means many of us have an extra impetus to commute to work via bike and log more miles on our city streets over the weekend. It is no secret that the Portland metro region has one of the highest rate of commuters biking to work in the nation, and National Bike Month is a great reason to join the the ranks.All these bikes on the road have a positive impact on the environment and the individual. Commuting ...

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April showers bring…floods?

flooding
April is bringing more than a few showers this year! Record-setting rains in Eugene are adding to floods along the Willamette River far later in the spring than is typical. We can expect more flooding in the years to come, as climate change delivers sea level rise, more intense storms and higher winter stream flows.For OEC, this means encouraging communities across the state to invest in ways to manage stormwater. This means keeping toxic stuff off our streets, out of rivers and—ultimately—protecting our the drinking water.Rain behaves differently when it runs ...

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