Living sustainably in Seattle

Sustainable living is becoming less of a choice and more of a necessity.

As President Donald Trump dismantles the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and refuses to acknowledge deals such as the Paris Accord, it’s up to private citizens to make meaningful changes to this country’s carbon footprint.

For many, this will seem like spitting in the wind. With the world’s greatest superpower doubling down on fossil fuels, what can a single person do to affect change in the climate?

From a pessimist’s point of view you’d be absolutely right. However, fatalism won’t help the climate.

To show how real change is happening, let’s look at how citizens and companies in Seattle have responded to climate change.

These tips from this thriving tech city may make you look at your carbon footprint in a new light.

Duwamish Valley

The use of natural air filters (plants, bushes and other types of greenery) has had a significant impact on the air in the polluted Duwamish Valley in Seattle.

And they’ve been created by a number of groups, including King County Wastewater Treatment Division, Just Health Action, DIRT Corps, Duwamish Valley Youth Corps and Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition.

Speaking to the Seattle Times, community engagement and outreach manager for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition Paulina Lopez said, ‘The community needs to be empowered, and needs to be heard, and needs to take action. Having a green wall is a great example of collaboration of work, but also as a showing that concrete action can be taken and that can help improve air quality. This is a way, also, of showing the community that if you speak up, you can make a change.’

Seattle Airport

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has been attempting a number of strategies to reduce air pollution. In doing so, it’s securing the future of a number of companies working alongside it, including, Aqua Terra and Anthony’s Restaurant.

The airport has been making headway on sustainable aviation fuels and has changed other vehicles to their electrical variants (electric cars, vans etcetera). Alongside this, it will become the first US airport to have electrical charging outputs across runways, helping reduce pollution even further.

According to KUOW, the airport aims to get 10 percent of its fuel from locally produced biofuel a decade from now and 50 percent by 2050. Will this be nothing more than a drop in the ocean? Only time will tell.


Worldwide consumer site Amazon has been under fire from Seattle employees over its lackadaisical attitude to climate change

In another interview with the Seattle Times, Weston Fribley, a software engineer in Seattle, said, ‘We’re in a position as Amazon employees where we can push for Amazon to be a leader in the climate space. We think that by having a group of co-filers, we’re showing how broadly felt this concern is within Amazon.’

We hope you found these examples useful. Is there anything you’d like to contribute to the debate? Then let us know in the comments below.

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