Positively Impacting Our Environment

on this page:

  1. Activism Can Effect Change
  2. Renewable Energy Generation and Use by Electric Utilities
  3. You Can Use More Renewable Energy Now
  4. Volunteer to Improve Local Habitat
  5. Sea Level Rise and What Is Being Done About It in Our Community


Activism Can Bring About Change

Ten (10) times the average number of voters in a Thurston Conservation District Board of Commissioners election recently cast ballots. The result? A new commissioner endorsed by Environmental Voters of Thurston County rather than the one endorsed by the Republican Party, and an individual focused on seeing the Board fulfill its responsibilities to protect and enhance our local environment


Push for Greater Renewable Energy Generation Requirements

Washington State's citizens created a statutory requirement (Initiative Measure No. 937, approved November 7, 2006) that electric utilities provide increasing levels of electricity generation from renewable resources to meet the needs of Washington customers. Beginning in 2012 the target requirement was for a minimum of 3% of electricity needs; in 2016 for a minimum of 9%; and in 2020 and thereafter the requirement is for a minimum of 15%. 

Oregon, Montana, and California are reported to have more aggressive timelines and/or percentage requirements for renewable energy generation by their utilities, and, frankly, the goals established 10 years ago are dated, more readily attainable, and insufficient to current needs and conditions. Somewhat paradoxically, Montana is the site of coal-fired electricity generating plants which provide the source of 30% of the power needs of Puget Sound Energy for use in our area.

Further educate yourself on this by checking out the statutory requirement (link above) created by the initiative. Some additional information can be found here. Contact your legislators and ask them to pursue the updating of this statute and an increase in its requirements for renewable power generation.


Purchase Renewable Energy Now

Washington state law also mandates that electric utilities must provide an additional voluntary option to consumers for purchase of qualified alternative energy resources to meet their power needs. Electric utilities may not use voluntary consumer purchase of this renewable energy to meet the statutory obligation for renewable energy generation imposed by initiative that is outlined above ( RCW 19.285.040(2)(f)(ii) ). Some additional information on Green Power programs can by found here.

If you do not already do so, consider purchasing a larger proportion (up to 100%) of your electricity from renewable sources through your electric utility. As noted above, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) gets 30% of its generated electricity for us from coal-fired plants. PSE has additional information on Green Power and their program, and a link to sign up for it here.


Volunteer/Donate to Local Organizations Working to Improve Natural Habitat

Stream Team provides indoor and outdoor education and volunteer work opportunities for monitoring, protecting, and improving Thurston County area streams, rivers, and Puget Sound area throughout the year. You can read more about them and how you can get involved here or by checking out their calendar.

The Native Plant Salvage Foundation is another South Puget Sound organization providing education and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve water resources and habitat in this area. You can link here to find out more about them, to donate to their organization, and to volunteer your help in their programs, and you see upcoming projects and opportunities on their calendar.


The Stream Team and Native Plant Salvage Foundation are partnering to provide volunteer work opportunities to help maintain the McLane Creek Trail, trimming, pulling weeds, and clearing the paths of debris. You can get more information about the project here, and you can sign up to participate by sending an email to nativeplantsalvage@gmail.com .


Sea-Level Rise Response Planning

The City of Olympia, in conjunction with the Lacey-Olympia-Tumwater-Thurston (LOTT) Clean Water Alliance and the Port of Olympia is in the planning phase of developing response to rising sea-level and its potential impact here in Olympia/Thurston County (interactive graphic).

Learn more HERE about the issue in Olympia/Thurston County and community response and planning.