April 22nd is Earth Day; a time to celebrate the beauty of our environment, and an opportunity to consider the actions we can take to protect it for future generations.
While Earth Day comes around only once a year, we can take daily actions to promote sustainability, celebrate and protect our planet.
At the City of Port Angeles, we are constantly working towards a more sustainable future. From investing in electric vehicle infrastructure to implementation of the Climate Resiliency Plan, we are taking steps to confront climate change, protect our natural resources, and ensure the environmental health of our community for generations to come. But we can’t do it alone. Each of us has a role to play, and we all must do our part to make a lasting impact.
Please join us in celebrating Earth Day every day; below are ten simple actions you can take to protect our environment.
1. Reduce Your Energy and Water Consumption
As our community grows, it’s important now more than ever that we use our power and water wisely. A few simple, low-cost ways to conserve energy and water at home include:
- Lowering your thermostat at night and when you are not at home. For every degree you reduce your thermostat setting, you can reduce the heating portion of your electrical usage by 2%.
- Switching to compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs, which use 60-75% less energy than regular bulbs. Replace bulbs in outdoor fixtures and high-use areas, such as the kitchen, first.
- Changing your energy habits by shutting off computers, tv’s, and other appliances when not in use. Once shut off, unplug equipment, or plug into a power strip that you can turn off. These devices use electricity even when they are not actively in use.
- Ensure water leaks are repaired. If your faucet is leaking at a rate of one drop per second, you can waste 75 gallons or more a week.
- Water your lawn during the evening or early morning hours to limit evaporation before the water has had a chance to soak into the roots of the grass.
- Avoid over-fertilizing, which will increase your lawn’s need for water.
View more ways to conserve on our website.
2. Take Advantage of Our Conservation Programs and Incentives
In cooperation with the Bonneville Power Administration, the City provides a number of opportunities to save both energy and money in your home or business.
- Rebates on energy-saving upgrades are available to Residential, Commercial and Industrial customers. This includes residential heating systems, window and insulation upgrades, as well as commercial lighting and other industrial projects. Learn more here.
- The City also offers an income-based Free Weatherization Program for qualifying homes. This program is open to both homeowners and renters who meet qualifying income guidelines and are interested in upgrading their home’s heat source, water heaters, windows or insulation. Learn more here.
The City also provides “Green Infrastructure” rebates for new development or redevelopment projects that implement Low Impact Development (LID) techniques, including:
- Permeable Pavement
- Composted Amended Soils
- Rain Gardens
- Rain Garden Retrofits
Learn more about these rebates and eligibility here.
Finally, the City provides the following water-conserving items at no-charge:
- Low Flow Water Showerheads
- Faucet Aerators
- Water-Saving Toilet Dams
Visit City Hall during business hours to receive your free, water-saving devices.
3. Work with Us to Find and Resolve Potential Pollution Issues
The City’s Pollution Prevention Assistance (PPA) Specialist offers free, hands-on assistance to help businesses find and resolve potential pollution issues. By working with our PPA Specialist, you can stay on top of regulatory changes, protect employee health, and reduce polluted stormwater runoff at its source.
This approach not only protects our water quality and standard of living, but also saves businesses money through conservation of resources, improved worker safety and satisfaction, reduced regulatory overhead, avoidance of spills and costly cleanups, reduced cost of waste treatment and disposal, and decreased liability. To learn more and request a technical assistance visit, please visit our website or contact the City PPA at (360) 417-4693.
4. Attend Free Webinars to Learn About Natural Yard Care
The City has partnered with the West Sound Stormwater Outreach Group (WSSOG) to improve water quality by reducing pollutants in stormwater runoff. As lawn and garden season approaches, the WSSOG would like to remind you to choose yard care products that are labeled natural or organic to reduce harmful chemical exposure to your family, our streams and seas.
This week, stop by City Hall to pick up a 25% coupon (up to $15 off) your first bag of natural lawn fertilizer from Airport Garden. In the weeks ahead, attend a webinar to learn how you can grow a healthy, beautiful lawn using natural yard care techniques. Upcoming webinar dates:
- Saturday, April 29 from 10-11 a.m.
- Wednesday, May 3 from 6-7 p.m.
- Saturday, May 20 from 10-11 a.m.
Learn more and register here.
5. Pick Up After Your Pet
When it rains, pet waste and the harmful bacteria it carries can flow directly into our precious waterways. To protect our rivers, streams and seas, we must always pick up after our pets and dispose of it properly (bag it and trash it). Stop by City Hall this week for a free pet waste bag dispenser, and remember, “Doo” good to feel good.
6. Report Spills
You can help to protect our water quality by reporting suspicious drainage and spills. Please contact the City of Port Angeles’ Pollution Hotline if you see oil, paint, suds and sewage in our ditches, drains and waterways: (360) 417-4745.
7. Join the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce for a Community Cleanup
Participate in the Big Spring Spruce Up on May 6th. Hosted by the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, this event is a community cleanup and celebration of our beautiful downtown. The cleanup will occur from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by lunch and live music! Advanced registration is encouraged, but not required. For more information, please visit the Chamber of Commerce website.
8. Bike, Walk or Take Public Transit
Reduce your carbon footprint by utilizing public transportation, carpooling, biking or walking.
The City of Port Angeles encourages multimodal transportation and is currently working to install a new multimodal connection from the Port Angeles’ waterfront to the Olympic National Park Visitors Center. Learn more about this project.
9. Enjoy the Outdoors
The City of Port Angeles offers 10.5 miles of trail and 300 acres of land, including numerous neighborhood parks, viewpoints, athletic fields and courts for you to explore. We encourage you to recreate responsibly and to enjoy all the beauty our City and our region has to offer. Learn more about City parks and trails.
10. Educate Others to Take Action
On Earth Day and every day, it’s critical that we work together to protect our environment. It’s important to engage with our neighbors and loved ones on how they can make impactful changes. For those who are already making environmentally conscious decisions, we encourage you to lead the way.
It takes a collective effort to protect our planet, and if we each take action, we can make a significant impact. Let’s work together to build a more sustainable future and protect our precious environment for the generations to come.
For more information on any of the City programs listed above, please stop by City Hall or contact us by phone or email.