Earth Week: It’s too easy being green

by Laura Ray

Earth Week 1Recycle. Compost. BYOB (bring your own bag). Print double sided. Use energy efficient light bulbs. Walk don’t drive.

There are countless ways to be green in our daily lives. And most are so easy we take it for granted that they can actually have an effect. But a little goes a long way (70 percent of Seattle’s residential waste is recycled with 125+ tons composted) and our combined efforts can have an outstanding impact to making the environment a safer and healthier place for our kids and grandkids, while protecting those natural resources that are tantamount to many of us who call the Puget Sound, home.

There is no denying that living sustainably-minded is today’s new mandate, and we live in the city that is leading by example to the rest of the country: where the city enforces recycling paper, cans, cardboard and bottles; where single-use plastic bags are banned; and where successful city programs like Community Power Works help homes and businesses become more green.

And it’s not just residents. Sixty percent of businesses recycle their waste. And local transformative place-makers such as Vulcan Real Estate, Sellen and  Studio Meng Strazzara are creating spaces that are not only beautiful and high-performing but sustainable in design, construction and development. The city is also home to the greenest office space in the world, the Bullitt Center.

But behavioral change doesn’t happen overnight. Remembering to unplug chargers when not in use. To turn off lights when you leave the office. To separate food waste from your recyclable (or compostable) take-out containers. To bring your own mug to your favorite coffee shop. These are all small steps that may initially seem out of place in your day-to-day life, until one day you realize that the behavior has become an entirely new — and sustainable — way of life.

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