What can you do to prevent climate change?
You can find out with a new outreach effort called Climate Smart Bainbridge. You can find out how you can reduce transportation choices, electricity use, heating, food choices and waste – the major causes of greenhouse gas emissions.
The program explains how people can take action to protect the environment, save money, and improve your health and comfort at home.
The Climate Smart Challenge is an easy and fun way to reduce your GHG emissions. Based on your lifestyle, you can track your progress and watch your carbon footprint decline.
The city will be hosting commnity workshops on Climate Smart Bainbridge as part of its Climate Action Plan goals for this year. Go to www.ClimateSmartBainbridge.org for more.
At the first online meeting April 21, Autumn Salamack, the city’s climate mitigation and adaption officer, gave some simple advice to make a difference: from turning stuff off and composting to installing solar and obtaining an electric vehicle.
She gave an example of a family who turned down the thermostat, ate less meat, combined trips for errands and chose 100% green electricity. While the last change cost them about $60 more, the other three changes cost nothing and saved them about $500 a year.
If you sign up for the challenge, you can form teams for fun, or even for competition as results can be tracked. Team leaders are needed to get folks to meet every two to four weeks. The city will provide materials to make the meetings fun and interactive.
Meanwhile, BI is making progress on CAP, Salamack told the BI Planning Commission recently. She discussed in a Powerpoint presentation CAP’s goals, progress and work plan for this year.
She reminded the commission about CAP’s three main priorities.
•Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025, 60% by 2035 and 90% by 2045, compared to measurements made in 2014.
•Prepare the BI community for climate change impacts.
•Engage and educate the community.
Salamack said 55% of emissions can be linked to residential uses and 34% from areas related to transportation.
She gave an update on progress made on the 18 major initial projects established in relation to energy, buildings, transportation, natural environment, waste and community engagement.
Some of the major accomplishments include:
•Working with Puget Sound Energy for a partnership on providing a cleaner energy supply.
•Working with the National Renewable Energy Lab on having 100% renewable energy on the island by 2030.
•Discussion of a biodigester for the island is taking place. The City Council decided the recycling structure is not in place right now to get one, but it is looking to change that.
•The Green Building Task Force was formed.
•The Sustainable Transportation Plan was adopted.
•BI is transitioning to using electric landscaping tools.
•BI also is transitioning to electric fleet vehicles, with the police department recently getting its first one. BI also is making progress in developing charging stations in the community. Even when not transitioning to electric, BI is changing from diesel to renewable diesel fuel.
•The City Council passed two laws to reduce plastic waste in BI.
•The city has authorized design funding for the Wing Point Sewer Pump Station.
•It has drainage repair at the stormwater outfall to prevent flooding during high tides.
•And it is planning for solar panels and battery energy storage at six community disaster hubs – at Waterfront Park, the Recreation Center, Bloedel Reserve, Battle Point Park, Bainbridge High School and Hyla School.
•It has developed a website at www.bainbridgewa.gov/climateaction
Looking ahead, Salamack said this year’s plans include:
•Installing the solar and batteries at the disaster hubs.
•Evaluating electric charging station needs for the city and community.
•Evaluating code updates and supporting climate goals.
•Training staff to look at projects through a climate change lens.
•Promoting early adoption of 2023 waste reduction requirements.
•Developing a community solar project at Vincent Road.