December 2012 

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Recommendations for Climate Action Plan released 

On December 10th, the Seattle Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection presented the Mayor and City Council their recommendations for the new Climate Action Plan. The City of Seattle has adopted a world-leading goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. 


The 26 Commission members--community, environmental and business leaders--have worked for the last seven months to lay out a road map (or bike path) for achieving Seattle's ambitious climate protection goals. The recommendations are focused on actions that reduce Seattle's contribution to climate change while also creating a prosperous, equitable, and all-around-great place to live.


The Green Ribbon Commission's recommendations, as well as recommendations from Technical Advisory Groups of sector experts, are available for public comment. The City will launch a formal comment period from early January through February with enhanced online access to the materials developed to date and additional community outreach activities. The 2013 Climate Action Plan will be released in the spring. 

article2 City helps slow the flow with RainWise  

Seattle Public Utilities' RainWise program has already installed over 175 rain gardens and cisterns in the Ballard, North Union Bay, and Delridge neighborhoods. And more are on the way.  


RainWise provides eligible households with rebates that may cover 100-percent of the cost of installing a rain garden or cistern to keep stormwater out of the sewer system and prevent overflows.  

Program information and trained contractors can be found here. Seattle Public Utilities is also conducting soil analysis in Ballard this winter to better understand howstormwater is absorbed on different blocks. This will help plan for potential future roadside raingardens in the neighborhood.


In 2011, sewage and polluted stormwater overflowed 73 times and released 43 million gallons of raw sewage and stormwater into Salmon Bay. The Rainwise program and roadside raingardens are both tools for keeping stormwater out of the system and reducing the frequency of sewage overflows.  

Buying experiences instead of things tied to happiness  
If you're thinking about what to buy for holiday gifts, consider this: a recent study suggests that people who spend money on experiences are happier than those who spend their money on things.


Researchers found that people who are open to new experiences are more likely to spend money oSmiling womann concert tickets or a weekend away, rather than on possessions. These "experiential shoppers" reported greater life satisfaction, according to study lead Ryan Howell, professor at San Francisco State University.


The study was based on an online survey of nearly 10,000 people. You can take the survey yourself to find out what kind of shopper you are and how your spending choices affect you. Visit the researchers' Beyond the Purchase website.


"Even for people who naturally find themselves drawn to material purchases, our results suggest that getting more of a balance between traditional purchases and those that provide you with an experience could lead to greater life satisfaction and well-being," Howell said.


Read more details here. The research findings are published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.

From OSE's Blog... 


The purpose of this newsletter is to keep you informed about the City's environment and sustainability programs, partners, and initiatives. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for future issues at