Redmond to launch new green-living program and Web site

The City of Redmond has long been focused on cross-departmental efforts to promote sustainability, broadly defined as "how to meet the needs of the present population without compromising the future generation's needs," said Cathy Beam, principal planner for an Impact Redmond program.

Cathy Beam

We all know that “going green” is the right thing to do, to keep our air and water clean, our wildlife healthy and our community a desirable place to live, work and play. But in the whirl of daily activities, not everyone has time to research best practices for green living.

The City of Redmond has long been focused on cross-departmental efforts to promote sustainability, broadly defined as “how to meet the needs of the present population without compromising the future generation’s needs,” said Cathy Beam, principal planner for an Impact Redmond program.

A big goal, by the end of 2010, is to launch an Impact Redmond Web site that will give residents and business owners faster and easier access to information on how to conserve energy, reduce carbon emissions, recycle, preserve natural resources and be good stewards of the environment.

And this summer, the City of Redmond will present handy tips for green living in conjunction with the annual Derby Days celebration outside of Redmond City Hall.

The Impact Redmond Eco-Fair, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, July 10, will feature a green car show, a solar-powered stage, a green Redmond business showcase, discounts and resources for “going green” and prizes and giveaways for participants.

Continuing environmental education is as important for city employees as the general population of Redmond, said Beam.

“The city is a business so we can look at what WE are doing to reduce our carbon footprint, Beam noted.

“We have a great transportation demand and commute trip reduction program, R-TRIP,” she explained, referring to the Redmond Trip Resource & Incentive Program that rewards residents or employees who walk, bike, carpool or ride a bus as alternatives to driving alone.

But more can be done to demystify the details of green living, Beam acknowledged.

For example, what if a homeowner wants to know how to install a solar panel? What if business owners would like to utilize electric vehicles but don’t yet know how to make that a viable option? Beam and other city employees are examining ways to answer their questions and set them on a path to success.

The city is working with “go-to” organizations and trailblazers such as ICLEI (International Consortium of Local Environmental Initiatives), SCALLOPS (Sustainable Communities All Over Puget Sound), Washington State Department of Ecology and Puget Sound Energy, which have plenty of useful knowledge on their Web sites.

Better still, Impact Redmond will be personalized and customized in response to questions or concerns about green resources, or lack thereof, right here in Redmond.

To inquire about the Impact Redmond program, e-mail or call Cathy Beam at cbeam@redmond.gov or (425) 556-2429.

Green business owners or others who want to know about the Impact Redmond Eco-Fair at Derby Days should contact Jill E. Smith at jesmith@redmond.gov or (425) 556-2448.

Information is also available on the City of Redmond Web site, at http://www.redmond.gov/derbydays/entertainmentEcoFair.asp.

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