‘Carbon Neutral’ Seattle community meeting

The Seattle City Council voted earlier this year to become a carbon neutral city. As part of this effort, they are gathering information from eight different sectors – land use, schools, transportation, green jobs, energy, food systems, zero waste and neighborhoods.

On Tuesday evening, Sustainable Ballard is hosting a community meeting on Tuesday, July 20th at 6 p.m. at the Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) to discuss ways the city can achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Some of the talking points at the meeting will be:

Document great models of existing projects. What are neighborhood groups doing already to be more carbon neutral that could use City support?

New ideas with old money. Does your group have new ideas for using City land, buildings, staff and other assets to make neighborhoods more carbon neutral? Can you suggest pilot projects using existing City assets with multiple positive benefits that exemplify systems thinking?

New ideas with new money. Offset credits for food gardens, fruit trees, and non-motorized transit; Green local business networks and small business mentoring; Shared business spaces and community businesses; Local currency stimulus money and other wild funding ideas to build carbon neutral neighborhoods.

Your neighborhood/my neighborhood. One size seldom fits all. Density, geography, historic land uses, all shape what a neighborhood is and what it can become. What are some of distinguishing characteristics of your neighborhood and how can they be used advantageously to get us closer to carbon neutrality? How does carbon neutral fit into how we address on-going neighborhood planning?

What City policies can work towards carbon neutrality? What policies encourage local jobs, local agriculture, less consumption (zero waste), more shared resources (libraries, tool banks, childcare), more local social networks (clubs, religious, cultural, community kitchens), good public and non-motorized transit, good local schools, density, what else? Who will we invite from departments and elected officials to inform our next discussions?

What are the “lowest hanging fruits” in our future carbon neutral neighborhoods? What policies move neighborhoods away from carbon neutrality? What encourages more travel, more private consumption, less local community, fewer local jobs?

What are our goals, milestones, and benchmarks of a carbon neutral neighborhood? What is OUR definition of success?

Recommendations for action will be presented to the city council in September. If you can’t make Tuesday’s meeting, Sustainable Ballard has set up an online survey.

4 comments on “‘Carbon Neutral’ Seattle community meeting”

  1. Oh, great. Just wait and see what kind of misery they will be foisting on us next…

    Mayor McGinn announced today a new proposal to ban the use of toilet paper in Seattle.

    “That Charmin may feel squeezably soft, but toilet paper represents a major source of carbon pollution, and experts say that toilet paper production introduces millions of tons of toxic compounds into our environment each year.” He added, “if bears in the woods don’t need it, neither do you.”

    “I’m proud to announce today that my administration has committed Seattle to a goal of being toilet-paper-neutral by the year 2015, ” McGinn beamed. “Effective immediately, sales of disposable toilet paper in the City of Seattle will be subject to an environmental offset fee of $10 for the first roll, and $25 for each subsequent roll purchased up to 10 per month. If your family needs more than 10 rolls per month, you should change you eating habits.”

    To encourage and accelerate the changeover to a more sustainable solution, McGinn said the City will immediately begin distributing vouchers good for $5 off a bundle of natural, cotton adult diapers. McGinn went on: “These products can be rinsed out and reused many times before needing to be laundered, and I can tell you from personal experience, they dry quickly even in an office cubicle, and they feel just great as undergarments – I even wear ’em when commuting to work on my bike. No more spandex for me, just the touch of cotton!”

    McGinn went on to reassure anyone who might be concerned about the change: “Just remember, diapers are a well-tested technology. We all started out and will probably end our lives in them, so it’s not like you have no experience with this – and they’ve been in use for hundreds of years with great success all around the world. It’s only in recent years, with our ill-advised fetish for modern, industrialized society, that we have abandoned this time-tested, sustainable technology. Now Seattle will proudly lead the way in the Sustainable Diaper Movement in the coming years!”

    McGinn also gave reporters a peak at his next initiative: reducing the glut of used toothbrushes and dental floss that goes into Seattle’s trash. “Did you know there’s a giant mass of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, and a good portion of that consists of old toothbrushes and dental floss? Well, we’re going to put a stop to that.” McGinn said there were several plans under consideration, including providing public flossing stations at schools and churches which could take advantage of advancements in re-usable/washable flossing materials. He cautioned, though, that he would not leave Seattle citizens on the hook for any unfunded floss project: “If I am not absolutely guaranteed that the citizens of Seattle will not be left with the bill for this project, then I will tear down Interstate 5…Let’s see how the Governor feels after she goes a few weeks without brushing her teeth – she’ll come around then,” he chuckled.

    The city council said they would study McGinn’s initiatives at their next scheduled meeting.

  2. Snort. Reusuable floss ewe!

    Of course thats what I said about keeping rotting food on my counter top and look at me now with my bio bags and designer compost bin to match my back splash . . .

  3. I think planning for the future is a good thing. Those who do not wish to plan and want things to remain the same as they are now are free to not participate. However, I predict that the future will happen in any case whether we plan or not.

  4. Nonsense – a convenient straw-man for when you lack an honest argument.

    You set up the false choice of doing nothing or doing what you want. Riiiiight.

    Thanks for showing your true colors: a complete lack of honesty or transparency.

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