Green Your Life
People have long been attracted to the Ridgefield area because of its high-quality natural environment. With the rapid growth that Ridgefield is experience, it is more important than ever for everyone to take steps to protect and strengthen that environment.
We all have a role to play in helping to conserve water. Saving water can be done with a few simple changes:
- Fix Leaks – saves 110g each month.
- Fill the bathtub halfway or less – saves 12 gallons per bath.
- Recycle Indoor Water and Use for Plants – Saves gallons of water each month.
- Install a high-efficiency toilet – saves 19 gallons per person, per day.
- Turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving – saves 10 gallons per person per day.
- Wash full loads of clothes and dishes – washer saves 15-45 gallons per load, dishwasher saves 5-15 gallons per load.
- Install aerators – saves 1.2 gallons per person per day.
- Reduce water use outside by installing drip irrigation and adding a smart controller, set mower blades to 3 inches, and reimagine your yard with water-wise plants.
Energy Upgrade Your Home
Energy efficiency upgrades to your home are a cost effective way to achieve savings and comfort for your family.
The Energy Efficiency Pyramid serves as a general reference for you to explore which upgrades might be most cost effective to save energy in your building. The higher you go on the pyramid, the more expensive and complex the improvement. In other words, start at the bottom and work your way up. See the full article on the pyramid at Green Building Advisor.
For an on-line energy efficiency home assessment, visit https://clarkgreenneighbors.org/green-living.
Consider using alternative modes of transportation by biking, carpooling, taking public transit or walking. Ridgefield created a MultiModal Plan which provides a long-term vision and direction for alternative transportation.
Use Your Vehicle Wisely
Cars release approximately 333 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, which is 20 percent of the world’s total, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Motor vehicles also contribute 72 percent of the nitrogen oxides and 52 percent of reactive hydrocarbons.
The 2005 Washington State Legislature passed the Clean Car Law. It states that, starting with 2009 models, new vehicles must meet strict clean air standards to be registered, leased, rented, licensed or sold for use in Washington. This includes cars, light-duty trucks, and passenger vehicles. See https://ecology.wa.gov/Air-Climate/Air-quality/Vehicle-emissions/Clean-cars.
Clean Driving Tips
- Keep your car well maintained. A poorly-maintained engine both creates more air pollution and uses more fuel. Replace oil and air filters regularly. Keep your tires properly inflated.
- Don’t idle your vehicle. If you stop for more than 30 seconds, except in traffic, turn off your engine. Idling for a total of 10 minutes a day uses an average of about 22 gallons of gas per year, as well as pollutes the air.
- Don’t buy more car than you need. Four-wheel drive, engine size, vehicle weight, and tire size all affect the amount of fuel your vehicle uses.
Green Your Diet
Learn more about how you can reduce your environmental footprint by buying local, eating sustainably and maybe even growing some of your own food.
There are many benefits to purchasing locally grown and locally produced foods. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, there is less packaging and lower transportations costs, and your community and the local economy are supported.
- Check out the Ridgefield Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 9:00am-2:00pm from May through October at Overlook Park.
- Buy directly from a local farmer. The farm finder website, hosted by Washington State University, is a great way to find farm stands, u-pick locations, and other sources for locally grown foods.
Beautify Your Backyard Naturally
Create an inviting and beautiful yard that is safe for your family and pets and has an abundance of natural beauty. Using native plants, encouraging wildlife, composting and avoiding the use of chemicals in the form of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides for the garden is the perfect way to garden – naturally. Click here for more information on how to beautify your yard naturally.
Composting is a way to turn your yard and kitchen waste into part of nature’s natural cycle of decomposition. It also reduces your contribution to landfills and climate changing gasses while producing a wonderful soil amendment for yards and gardens. For tips on starting a home composting system or workshops and demonstrations on composting see https://clarkgreenneighbors.org/mcr/how-to-compost
Reduce Harmful Chemicals
Protect your family and your community by cutting down on toxic products and disposing of them in the correct manner.
- Get toxins out of your garden: If you need to use products in your yard or garden, consider less toxic products like fungicides and herbicides.
- Dispose of Hazardous Materials: Household hazardous waste products include automotive products, household cleaners, paints and solvents, and pesticides. Storing hazardous chemicals in your home can put your family at risk of exposure. Leftover hazardous waste should never be thrown in the trash or recycling bin, flushed down the toilet, or dumped down the drain or storm sewer. For information on where to dispose of hazardous materials see https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health-/household-hazardous-waste.
Curbside recycling is available to all residents of Clark County. Recycling is picked up on the same day as garbage (self-haul garbage customers are given a recycling schedule). Clark County residents have blue recycling carts for most recyclable materials and a separate in for glass. See https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/residential-recycling-service.
To get answers to a variety of options for reusing and recycling, see https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/recycling.