The Office of Sustainability Moves to Sustainable Resources Division

Uncategorized
The Office of Sustainability is moving for the fifth time in eight-and-a-half years! While I have enjoyed each and every stop along the way I am hoping to find my home at Planning & Public Works in the Sustainable Resources division. Aligning the Office of Sustainability with programs focused on waste reduction, recycling and environmental education makes a lot of sense. We share interests in managing our resources and educating our coworkers and residents about sustainable living. The Office of Sustainability has been around for almost nine years now but as I join efforts with Sustainable Resources I am realizing it is just a child in the eyes of their 30-year-old environmental education program. A recent EnviroEd newsletter featured an overview of the program and its lasting educational efforts that…
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Why Electric Vehicles are Ideal in Pierce and Snohomish Counties

Electric Vehicles, Pierce County, Uncategorized
I recently tried to buy a Chevy Bolt in Pierce County. When I called around to local dealers no one had one in stock. One dealership offered to get a Bolt from their Olympia dealership.  The state sales tax incentive was running out (will be gone by May 31st) and I was finally ready to buy a Chevy Bolt with its improved battery (that goes over 230 miles on a charge) but they were almost all in King County. For many dealerships these electric cars are money losers and are only around as compliance cars that allow them to sell their less fuel-efficient trucks and SUV’s. These cars also don’t need much maintenance so they cannot expect to make money on oil changes and other maintenance that internal combustion engines…
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Do Something Good This Earth Month

Orca Whales, Pierce County, Uncategorized
April is earth month and that is a chance to reflect on how we value the air, water and land that we live on. Take a look through the below ideas of things you can do (or do something else) and send me an email (rdicks@co.pierce.wa.us) with the tag line #DoSomethingGood and a short description of your effort and you will be entered to win free lunch with the Sustainability Manager or other prizes. Go to the Sustainability Expo Tacoma offers a great resource to South Sound residents in the annual South Sound Sustainability Expo Saturday April 14th. I will be there talking sustainability and I always learn new things about areas that interest me in the sustainability field. Create a Rain Garden  Two months ago I made an impassioned plea that we…
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Do We Care Enough to Save the Last 76 Southern Resident Orca Whales?

Orca Whales, Salmon, Water Quality
I have spent a lot of time on Puget Sound but have never seen an orca whale, and yet I feel a close connection to these animals. My kids and I have enjoyed watching high definition BBC/PBS nature videos of transient orca whales hunting seals and even narwhals as the Arctic has melted. Orcas ability to communicate and hunt in packs like wolves make them "the most terrifying predator since the Tyrannosauruses Rex" according to one scientist. There are a lot of competing priorities for local governments including homelessness, the opioid epidemic, mental and behavioral health the list is long and solutions are expensive and very hard to achieve. Somewhere in the distant background of local news coverage is the fact that 8 Southern Resident Orca whales have died in…
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Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions

Pierce County, Sustainable New Year's Resolution
So what will your Sustainable New Year's Resolution be in 2018? A few ideas to consider... Whatever you choose to do, commit to it actively for the first month. Studies show people who make changes intensively for a month are more likely to hold onto the habit long-term. Save Money Buy less stuff (video for inspiration). Recent studies suggest that the stuff you buy has a major impact on your greenhouse gas footprint. By buying less stuff you can save money for things like retirement. Limit Waste Get rid of old stuff that brings you no joy. But don't throw it away. You should take it to Goodwill or other local organizations that can find a good home for your items. Almost everything can be reused even those old shoes or that…
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