Urban Canopy Cocktails

The Audubon network from coast to coast is working hard to support the next generation of conservation advocates — and Seattle Audubon is no different. From Gen Xers to Millennials, young professionals to student activists, we want to connect with you to protect urban habitats.

Needing an excuse to stray from the monotony in a long work week? Do you like the combination of a cold one and a good cause? Break up your week with some down time at Optimism Brewing. Learn more about what’s happening with habitat and wildlife in the city and network with others with similar interests.

Tickets $15, two drinks included. This event is 21+. This event is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsors: Jenner & Block LLP

To boost the Seattle dream of an electric car in every affordable garage, public charging stations being added across city, including one on Capitol Hill

(Image: Seattle.gov)

Elon Musk wouldn’t be pleased with the delivery timeline but Capitol Hill is lined up to host one of the city’s 20 planned public electric car chargers hoped to, um, jumpstart the adoption of electric vehicles in Seattle and make the automobiles more accessible.

Seattle City Light is making plans to install 18 more of the DC Fast Chargers for electric vehicles at 10 to 15 curbside and off-street locations across the city one of which will be located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

“We feel that as a public utility we have a responsibility to our ratepayers to invest in and implement solutions that support sustainability,” Jenny Levesque, community outreach manager for Seattle City Light, said at Monday’s Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council meeting. Continue reading

Seattle City Council endorses I-1631 state carbon tax

(Image: CHS)

Global climate change experts said Monday we have only a matter of years to reverse environmental damage or be doomed to living on a dying planet.

One path to doing our part on the needed correction on global warning is a carbon tax.

Monday afternoon, the Seattle City Council approved a resolution endorsing Washington’s I-1631, an initiative to require the largest polluters in the state to pay $15 — and, eventually, more — for every ton of carbon dioxide their corporations release into the atmosphere:

A RESOLUTION endorsing “Clean Air Clean Energy” Initiative 1631, a statewide initiative to the people that would charge pollution fees on the largest corporate polluters and use the revenue to invest in healthy communities, clean our air and water, promote clean energy, and slow down the impacts of climate change – all under oversight of a public board.

The state estimates the initiative would raise more than $2 billion to combat climate change in its first five years and $1 billion annually starting in 2023. Continue reading

Department of Ecology taking comment on Montlake ‘Circle K’ cleanup plan

The Washington Department of Ecology is taking public comment on the plan to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater below the site of a former Montlake gas station.

The Circle K cleanup plan would include a two-phase process starting in the summer of 2019 including “injections of oxygen-releasing chemicals to oxidize contaminated groundwater and “ground water and soil vapor extraction,” the announcement from the state reads. Continue reading

‘This is Zero Hour’ youth march for the environment crosses the Central District

Saturday’s national wave of demonstrations and marches for climate action led by a Seattle teenager included a march through the Central District.

Zero Hour, founded last year by Seattle teen Jamie Margolin, organized Saturday’s rally and march from Garfield to Pratt Park:

Enough is enough. We, the youth, believe that #thisisZeroHour to act on climate change. We cannot afford to wait any longer for adults to protect our right to the clean and safe environment, the natural resources we need to not just survive, but flourish. We know that we are the leaders we have been waiting for!

Continue reading

Plastic sucks: Seattle ban on non-compostable straws and utensils set to begin

Better stock up on compostable mermaids (Image: CHS)

Beginning Sunday, you had better not find plastic straws, utensils, or cocktail picks inside your favorite Capitol Hill bars, cafes, and restaurants.

July 1st marks the start of the city’s ban on the petroleum-based items that can’t be recycled and are adding to the bursting city’s garbage problem.

“Plastic pollution is surpassing crisis levels in the world’s oceans, and I’m proud Seattle is leading the way and setting an example for the nation by enacting a plastic straw ban,” Seattle Public Utilities general manager Mami Hara said in an announcement on the ban. “We are excited to continue our work looking for ways to reduce our plastic footprint and will continue to lead the way,” Hara said.

Seattle is believed to be the first large city in the country to enact such a ban. Continue reading

To make sure Capitol Hill’s Bullitt Center does not stand alone, Seattle looks to boost Living Buildings

(Image: Bullitt Center)

Over the years since the Bullitt Center first rose on Capitol Hill, Seattle has tried to build a system to repeat the project’s success across the city. Seattle is, of course, facing an affordability crisis — but it also faces the risks of continued global warming and climate change. In an effort to make construction of super-duper environmentally friendly buildings more attractive, the Seattle City Council Monday is ready to approve new legislation giving developers more incentives, and a lighter punishment for a failed attempt to create “Living Buildings.”

The original Living Building program started as a pilot program in 2010, (amended in 2012, 2014 and 2016) to allow up to 20 buildings to be constructed. By meeting energy and water use reduction, property owners would be permitted a bit more density than the zoning would typically allow. Continue reading

Environmental nonprofit Nia Tero ready to put down roots with new Pike/Pine office

A nonprofit dedicated to helping indigenous people efficiently manage the environment is coming to Capitol Hill. The nonprofit Nia Tero looks to move into offices being renovated this summer at 501 E Pine.

The organization will work with indigenous people around the world to help them continue to act as stewards of their land.

“For millennia, indigenous peoples have thrived through connection with their territorial lands and waters. These connections between people and place have shaped societies that sustain some of the most vital natural systems on the planet. Nia Tero exists to support and amplify this guardianship through equitable partnerships with indigenous peoples to sustain and govern large-scale territories,” says the group’s website. Continue reading

Mayor’s office: Durkan ‘misspoke’ on development as #1 Seattle greenhouse polluter — UPDATE

The mayor’s office says its boss messed up Saturday when she told the crowd at a Capitol Hill town hall that new development was the number one cause of greenhouse gases in Seattle.

CHS reported on the town hall’s wide ranging conversation that included Mayor Jenny Durkan’s comments on homelessness, transit, and affordability.

The mayor started off alright when it came to the environment:

While the city seems to be struggling to make real changes to its streets to address the concerns, Durkan also said Saturday her city needs to move away from dependency on cars. Speaking to Seattle’s future, Durkan addressed an audience member’s concern over climate change and Seattle’s struggle to reduce greenhouse gasses as the city continues to grow. “We gotta get rid of the single occupancy vehicles and move to electricity, electric busses, cabs, Ubers and Lyfts,” she said. “But we don’t want electric vehicles to become another demarcation of inequity.”

But she stumbled on a surprising pivot looking at Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning through the prism of its environmental impact: Continue reading

Sunny days for Capitol Hill solar with plans for Miller ‘microgrid,’ five years of Bullitt Center

Happy 5th birthday, Bullitt Center

Sunday — Earth Day 2018 — Capitol Hill’s Bullitt Center at 15th and Madison celebrated five years at “the greenest office building” in the world. At this point, Earth Day is probably the kind of thing we should think about all year round. A new project at Capitol Hill’s Miller Community Center is set to make the Seattle Parks facility part of an important test case for the city with plans for a $3.3 million solar microgrid to be installed in early 2019.

“Seattle is a leader in climate change, and with this project, we are adding sustainable, emission-free energy to the community,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in the announcement of the project to be funded through City Light investing $1.8 million and a $1.5 million state Clean Energy Fund matching grant from the Washington Department of Commerce. “Protecting our environment and lowering operating costs of our facilities makes good economic sense and is an important step as we move towards becoming a green economy.”

The $3.3 million “demonstration project” microgrid is expected to reduce the amount of electricity Seattle Parks buys from Seattle City Light, while saving about $4,000 annually, and about $70,000 over the 14-year life of the project, the city says. Continue reading