May 2014
In this issue:
  • Moving The Needle: Seattle's Environmental Progress Report
  • Seattle's Carbon Footprint
  • Small Climate Action Grants
  • Summer Fun in the Streets

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Moving The Needle - A Snaphot of Seattle's Environmental Goals

On Earth Day this year, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray released Moving the Needle, a report that pulls together Seattle's key environmental goals and reports on our progress and achievements.  

Seattle has hundreds of environmental goals expressed in various plans, policies, and programs, which City departments track in many ways. Moving the Needle highlights 35 goals across seven areas: buildings and energy; transportation and land use; food; waste; water; trees and green space; and climate change. This report provides a comprehensive look across environmental sectors and demonstrates how the goals work together to create a bold environmental vision for the Emerald City.
Identifying Seattle's Carbon Footprint 
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories are the primary means of monitoring and reporting progress toward emission-reduction goals. Seattle's latest GHG inventory, which tracks the period from 1990 to 2012, allows us to monitor our progress toward our goals, and it will inform Seattle's ongoing climate action planning. 
Seattle's emissions are considered from two perspectives:
  • Core emissions are those which the City has the greatest opportunity to influence: building energy use, road transportation, and waste management. 
  • Expanded emissions include additional sources, such as industry, marine, rail, and air travel, yard equipment, and wastewater treatment. 

This most recent inventory shows that total emissions in our core sectors have declined 4% from 1990 levels. But reductions in total emissions only tell part of the story and it is important to remember that between 1990 and 2012, Seattle's population and jobs grew 23% and 14% respectively, even while our emissions fell. The 2012 GHG inventory demonstrates that cities can grow in population and economic activity while still reducing emissions.

Small Climate Action Grants Available Year-Round

Have a great idea to spur climate action in community but just need a little help to get it off the ground?     

The Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) can help! OSE offers grants of up to $500 for grassroots climate focused programs, events, education or outreach initiatives. Applications are accepted year-round. Have questions or want more information? Contact Sara Wysocki or visit the Community Climate Projects webpage. 


Play in the Street at Summer Streets and Bicycle Sundays!

It's time for two annual summertime favorites - Summer Streets and Bicycle Sundays. You and your family can join neighbors and friends enjoying streets transformed into playgrounds.


During Summer Streets (starting May 18 in Alki, May 29 in Ballard, continuing with Phinneywood on August 9, and ending in Rainier Valley August 16), the streets will be opened up to people on foot and bike, filled with free and healthy activities like bike parades, yoga, music, art, and more. Each event is hosted with the help of local organizations and volunteers. 

On Bicycle Sundays, you can bike or walk at your leisure along Lake Washington Boulevard south of Mount Baker Beach to Seward Park's entrance when the street is closed to motorized traffic from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. You'll catch great views of both Mount Baker and Mount Rainier on clear days! Bicycle Sundays started on May 3 and run at least two Sundays a month through September. 


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 - contact Sara Wysocki.