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Earth Week events offer chances to learn more, do more about environment

Summary

King County is providing opportunities designed to demonstrate how easy it is to take part in an environmental activity or pick up a new, simple green lifestyle habit.

Story

King County is providing opportunities designed to demonstrate how easy it is to take part in an environmental activity or pick up a new, simple green lifestyle habit.

“It’s true that small, easy green choices can add up to big changes,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Earth Week is a great time to start good habits that help protect our environment.” 

Click on the County’s “Easy Being Green” website to discover a list of green events happening around the County and learn easy tips for saving money, conserving natural resources or improving our environment.

Whether it’s safely disposing of household hazardous waste and medicines, or taking a tour of one of several King County facilities that help keep our region healthy, the latest information and participation opportunities can be found at the County’s “Easy Being Green” website.

Residents can help with the County’s efforts through individual actions, such as:

  • Making smart transportation choices for trips to work, home or school by taking transit, carpooling, walking or biking;
  • Continuing to reduce, reuse and recycle;
  • Conserving energy at home and at work; and
  • Considering the environmental impacts of purchases and choosing sustainably manufactured, efficient alternatives.

Executive Constantine yesterday issued an Earth Action Day proclamation, encouraging residents to “celebrate the earth as we continue to build a thriving community of residents empowered for environmental protection.”

Here are some upcoming Earth Week opportunities:

Today

  • King County EcoConsumer Earth Day Challenge

The King County EcoConsumer Earth Day Challenge includes a website with tips on waste reduction, solar energy, volunteering and sharing. We interviewed community members who are taking positive steps to make smart consumer decisions that are good for the planet and the pocketbook, too. Whether it’s dropping your one-use plastic bag habit, or cooking a tasty meal using the sun’s own energy, we can show you real examples of how your neighbors are greening their lives.

  • King County Executive’s John D. Spellman Awards for Achievement in Historic Preservation

Preserving historic buildings is the ultimate recycling, and King County has been at it for 35 years! Please join King County Executive Dow Constantine in celebrating the 35th anniversary of the County’s Historic Preservation Program at a joint awards ceremony with the Association of King County Historical Organizations on Tuesday, April 23 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Museum of History & Industry’s new location at Lake Union Park. Find more information.

April 26-28

  • Household hazardous waste disposal

One of the easiest green steps all King County residents can take is proper disposal of household hazardous waste through the Wastemobile. The first program of its kind in the nation, the Wastemobile offers a safe and convenient way to safely dispose of old car batteries, oil, paint and other items that need special handling.     

The roving Wastemobile makes its way to Des Moines for a household hazardous waste collection event April 26-28, at 22307 Dock St., Des Moines. Hours of operation at all locations are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Learn more, including upcoming stops.

April 27:

  • Learn about where your garbage goes: Tour King County’s Cedar Hills Regional Landfill

King County is offering free, guided public tour of its Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m.

The last operating landfill in King County, Cedar Hills covers 920 acres and accepts about 800,000 tons of garbage each year from throughout King County, excluding the cities of Seattle and Milton.

The tour will last for about one hour and is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Reservations are required and must be made by April 25. Space is limited to 40 people; to reserve your spot, or to request accommodations, call 206-296-4490, TTY Relay: 711. Parking is provided at the landfill, 16645 228th Ave S.E., Maple Valley, and participants will board a Metro bus for the guided tour. The bus is wheelchair accessible.

To ensure safety, tour participants must wear closed toe footwear and adhere to all traffic signs at the landfill. This tour is designed for adults; children ages 5 and over are welcome, if accompanied by an adult. Tours for school groups can be arranged by calling 206-296-4490.

  • Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in King County

Keep medicines out of the environment and protect wildlife. Properly disposing of your unwanted and expired medicines is a great way to celebrate Earth Day!

Did you know about 30 percent of prescription and over-the-counter medicines sold go unused each year. And flushed or put in the household trash, unused drugs can end up getting into our environment.

This Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement are coordinating a medicine take-back event.

Residents can dispose of their unwanted and expired household medicines safely and securely at a DEA collection site in their community. And thanks to all our local law enforcement who are providing collection sites, there is no cost to residents and it's anonymous.

Find a collection site at: www.takebackyourmeds.org/dea-events.   

  • Brightwater Education Center open house

Come celebrate Earth Day 2013 with Island Wood and King County at Brightwater Center. Hike the trails and visit our interactive exhibit hall. We’ll have activities for all ages, including outdoor exploration, treatment plant tours and more.

Visit us any time between 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. Treatment plant tours are also available to those ages 9 and over. Learn more, and pre-register for the treatment plant tour.

May 4

  • RainWise Rain Garden and Cistern Fair

Learn how you can be RainWise and help stop pollution runoff in your own yard. At this event, rain garden designers and installers and cistern installers will be available to answer all your questions. The event is May 4, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Chief Sealth International High School.

More Green Resources

  • Recycle your computers, monitors and TVs through ‘E-Cycle Washington’ Did you know that when Washington residents purchase a computer, laptop, tablet, monitor or TV, the end-of-life recycling service is included with the product? You can recycle any of these electronic products at no additional cost at an authorized E-Cycle Washington collection site. There are more than 100 collection sites in King County; find the nearest location.
  • Celebrate Earth Day by taking your family to one of more than 800 parks in King County that are managed with few to no pesticides. Find a place near you where kids can play worry-free. Just search by city, ZIP code, place name or click and drag.
  • Any business owner or manager in King County can take a new look at how much hazardous materials could be costing their business. Get help identifying what materials you have and how to manage them. For free, anonymous assistance call the Business Waste Line at 206-263-8899.
  • Artists — Protect yourself and the environment from hidden hazards in the arts. For more information on workshops for printmakers, painters, glass artists, ceramicists, jewelers and even candlestick makers, call 206-263-3069.