New Ways to Protect the Environment

Ecova employees post their EcoChallenges on the 'ecochallenge tree'
Ecova employees post their EcoChallenges on the ‘ecochallenge tree’

Are you looking for new ways to protect the environment? Ready to try a new sustainable habit but just need support in taking the leap? This week Sustainable Business Oregon highlighted the EcoChallenge as a way to get started. Thanks to Wendy Culverwell of the Portland Business Journal for the following article!

The NW Earth Institute is taking registrations  for the 2014 edition of its popular EcoChallenge.The challenge asks participants to set one goal to reduce their environmental impact and stick to it for two weeks. The theory is that by the end of the challenge, those actions will become habits, meaning participants will keep at it.

The 2014 version runs Oct. 15 to 29 and includes plenty of incentives and prizes to motivate businesses and other groups to meet their self-set goals. Nearly all of the 2013 participants told NW Earth Institute they planned to continue their work after the challenge ended.

“We often hear from people who are looking for ways to live more sustainably,” said Mike Mercer, executive director. “Our Eco-Challenge is the perfect opportunity to take action with thousands of people, make a difference for the planet, and share the inspiring journey from ‘I should’ to ‘I do.’” NW Earth Institute estimated 5,000 people and businesses have taken the EcoChallenge.

Past examples include:

  • Hopworks Urban Brewery: Billed as Portland’s first eco-brewpub, Hopworks used the 2013 EcoChallenge to tackle its goal of sending no waste to landfills. It scoured garbage bags for recyclable and compostable items and worked with staff to divert even more waste by taking pictures and posting it.
  • Capital Pacific Bank: The bank’s 2012 experience reducing waste was so successful it returned in 2013. It’s goal: Improve workplace health by choosing safer cleaning products, eliminating containers with BPA and turning down the thermostat.
  • Tapalaya Restaurant: In 2012, restaurateur Chantal Agnot of Tapalaya  locked up her car keys and ran the business by bike, a pledge that included towing a bike trailer “full of ice and crab” to the restaurant. She even handed out $20 gift certificates to customers who joined the EcoChalllenge. Eventually, 23 did.

For the full piece, click here. To register for the EcoChallenge and start you own new way of protecting the environment, click here.


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