Sustainability Articles 2016

Sustainability Tips for Summer

May 2016

Lower your impact this summer by taking advantage of these green tips and tricks:

Grilling – use propane instead of wood or charcoal – it can burn up to 50% cleaner!

Air conditioning – turn up your thermostat a few degrees so that you are still cool, but you can save some cash and lower your carbon footprint (see below for definition)!

Farmer’s markets – Buy local and take advantage of the farmer’s markets in your area! Beaverton has a farmer’s market every Saturday from May-September from 8a.m. – 1:30p.m. at SW Hall Blvd. between 3rd and 5th streets.

Gardening tips to keep the mosquitos away – use garlic, rosemary, rose geranium, citronella grass, catmint, basil, lemon balm, marigolds or lavender to ward off mosquitos and other critters from your garden!

Timed showers – there are many devices out there to help you monitor your showering time. Five minutes in the shower uses the same amount of water needed to grow one pound of tomatoes! Try cutting your shower down to save resources and money.

Assess your carbon footprint – what is a carbon footprint? A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted due to the consumption of fossils fuels by a particular person or group. In other words, it measures your environmental impact based on the purchasing choices you make, such as whether you travel by bike or by car, how much electricity you use or if you properly sort your garbage and recycling.
Sustainable gardening

Calculate your carbon footprint by using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s free carbon footprint calculator: www3.

What is renewable energy?

March 2016

Renewable energy is energy generated from sources that naturally replenish themselves. Such sources include solar, wind, rain, tides, geothermal heat and some forms of biomass. Nonrenewable energy or fossil fuel energy, is energy created from sources that cannot be renewed or created again. Once they are gone, scientists say that fossil fuels can take millions of years to create.

Due to the time it takes for fossil fuels to regenerate, renewable energy is an increasingly popular clean form of energy that Beaverton residents and businesses have readily available to them. For example, in just one day, the sunlight that shines on the surface of the Earth contains more than twice the energy the entire nation consumes in one year. Not only is the sun a renewable energy that is clean-burning, meaning it does not emit pollutants in the atmosphere such as greenhouse gases, it is also a reliable source of energy.

Since research on renewable energy has increased tremendously in the past few decades, prices for renewable energy have declined significantly. Did you know that the City of Beaverton has sourced one hundred percent renewable energy for its city operations since 2014?

If you're interested in switching to renewables at your home or office, reach out to your local utility to ask about the costs and benefits of switching to renewable energy!


COP21: A Recap of the Climate Conference in Paris

Updated February 2016

Over the past few months there has been a great deal of media coverage on the COP21 conference which concluded with the creation of a new international climate agreement. COP21 is a United Nations conference on climate change that stands for Conference of the Parties (COP). The number signifies the 21st year of the annual conferences. The purpose of the conference was to come up with a response to the warming of the planet, which will increase the incidence of extreme climate events and impact living conditions around the globe. Scientists have now unanimously agreed that the earth’s atmosphere is warming due to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions generated from human activity – emissions primarily from agriculture and industry post industrial revolution.

The outcome of the COP21 conference is an agreement with 186 countries to limit the world’s temperature rise to “well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” according to the final agreement

Why 2 degrees Celsius? SustChart.png
Climate scientists have agreed that a rise in temperature greater than 2 degrees is very dangerous to human and environmental health. If countries take no action and continue “business as usual,” the average warming is projected to rise to 4.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2100.

Average warming (C°) projected by 2100
If no climate action is taken: 4.5°
Following current policies: 3.6°
Based on Paris pledges: 2.7°
Although the agreement is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction towards taking responsibility for our actions and our emissions and coming to a global agreement to act. Want to take action in your own community? Contact the city’s Sustainability Program at 503-526-2430 or via email at

Join the new Sustainability Advisory Board

Updated January 2016

Do you care about the health and welfare of your city? Do you want to lend your voice to ensure our choices reflect our values? Do you want to have a direct line to sharing your ideas with the Mayor and other city leaders? Then, you may want to consider applying for the city’s new Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB).

The Beaverton Community Vision encouraged broader city-wide efforts for sustainability, including the creation of a Sustainability Advisory Board and a sustainability plan. The city seeks to create a community that balances a healthy en¬vironment, social equity and economic growth to create a more resilient and sustainable place for all residents. To do so, we need the direct involvement of people who are willing to volunteer their time and expertise to help craft a community-wide sustainability plan.

The new sustainability plan will use baseline data to inform new goals and actions for the community to ensure our city is livable now and for generations to come. Help us shape the future of sustainability in Beaverton!

The SAB is seeking sustainability enthusiasts from a variety of backgrounds. Members are appointed by the city to serve one, two or three-year terms. Terms will begin in 2016 (exact date to be determined). Don’t miss out on this opportunity to help make Beaverton a more livable community!

Apply today at
Questions? Call Rachel Bigby at 503-526-2430.
Meeting date and time to be determined. City residents preferred.

Solar Incentives Can Cover the Majority of Solar Electric Installation Costs for Your Home or Business!

July 2015 (Updated January 2016)

Have you considered solar for your Beaverton-area home or business? The City of Beaverton has learned that there are many incentives available at the local, state and federal level that can help you install solar for a fraction of the cost. Solar Oregon, a local solar advocacy organization, estimates that with all of the incentives, homeowners can get roughly 80-90 percent of the costs covered! If you’re a Portland General Electric customer, the following incentives apply to you:
  • Energy Trust Incentives: $.70/watt (up to $7,000)
  • State Tax Credit: $1.70/watt (up to $6,000) Starting January 1st, 2016 the State Tax Credit will reduce to $1.50/watt (up to $6,000)
  • Federal Tax Credit: 30% of amount owed to contractor (only available until December of 2016!)
There are two options for solar installation—leasing or buying. Leasing is a great option if you don’t want to pay any upfront costs. In order to pay off the lease, the property owner of the solar electric array sells the electricity back to the solar energy provider to pay off the system.

If you’re interested in more information about how to install solar on your home or business, visit Solar Oregon’s website at or attend one of the upcoming “Basics of Going Solar” workshops in the Southwest Portland/Beaverton area. See full information below.

Basics of Residential Solar Workshop (January)

Date: Saturday, January 23, 2016
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Where: Portland's January Fix-It-Fair; Ron Russel Middle School, 3955 SE 112th Ave, Portland, OR 97266

Basics of Residential Solar Workshop (February)

Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Time: 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Where: Tigard Public Library, 13500 SW Hall Blvd, Tigard, OR 97223

Basics of Residential Solar Workshop (February)

Date: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Where: George Middle School, 10000 N Burr Ave, Portland, OR 97203

Sustainability Articles 2013 - 2015

Affiliated Organizations

The City of Beaverton is affiliated with the following organizations: