NEW! Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Community Report

Sustainability Semi-Annual Report Masthead

January 2018

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Upcoming Events

South Tacoma Community Breakfast | Saturday, March 10, 8:30AM to 11:30AM, at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center, 4851 S. Tacoma Way. Enjoy a free breakfast with your friends, neighbors and family, and learn about cost-saving resources. Enter the free raffle for your chance to win prizes! 

‘T-Town: Play, Explore, Learn’ City Services Expo | Saturday, March 24, 10AM to 3PM, at the Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St. Visit us at this free, public and family friendly event to learn more about our City’s services and operations. We welcome feedback, conversation and new ideas! We will also be presenting a physical representation of our award-winning Green Living Map

Wapato Hills Community Garden Build Party | Saturday, March 24, 9:30AM to 12:30PM, at 6231 S. Wapato St. Bring your friends and family, and help build new garden beds at Wapato Hills Park. This is a great opportunity to reserve your garden bed for the new season, and meet your neighbors. Kid-friendly activities will be provided by Tinkergarten

South Sound Sustainability Expo | Saturday, April 14, 10AM to 3PM, at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center & Tollefson Plaza, 1500 Broadway. Join local organizations, businesses and community members in celebrating everyday opportunities to create a healthier and more sustainable South Sound community. Free admission and family friendly!

Tacoma Bike Swap | Saturday, April 28 at the University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. Warner. Buy, sell, or trade bikes and accessories to get in gear for bike riding season!

Ongoing Opportunities

Sustainable Tacoma Commission | Every 3rd Tuesday, 4:30PM to 6:30PM, at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St. Room 243. Public welcome!  

BPTAG (Bicycle Pedestrian Technical Advisory Group) | Every 4th Monday, 5:30PM, at the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St. Room 243. Public welcome!

Tacoma Green Drinks | Every 1st Thursday, 6:00PM, at varying locations.

Attend an EnviroHouse workshop to learn more about sustainable home improvements and gardening! 

Additional education and involvement opportunities.

Green Living Guide 

Visit our award-winning interactive map featuring many of Tacoma’s sustainable resources. Experience a physical version of this map at the ‘T-Town: Play, Explore, Learn’ City Services Expo!


EnviroHouse How-To's | Get the step by step on DIY sustainable projects you can do around the house.

EnviroShorts | Learn about the City of Tacoma’s waste management resources. 

Urban Green | TV Tacoma program spotlighting South Sound environmental efforts and showcasing fun and easy ways to get involved in sustainable living. Check out our recent video on Preventing Food Waste!

Tacoma Eco Videos | Enjoy this video archive featuring Tacoma's green livability!


South Sound Sustainability Expo 2018

It’s the 11th anniversary for this free public event that connects local residents and business owners with services, products, companies, and agencies that address sustainability needs in our community. Event attendees learn about transportation choices, green construction, energy conservation, reuse and recycling, solar energy, local food and gardening, and cost-effective sustainability practices. Vendor registration is now open! Join the fun Saturday, April 14th, 10AM to 3PM at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. 

November 4th Ride and Drive Event

On November 4th, we co-hosted an Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. This free event gave people the opportunity to test drive a variety of electric vehicles and E-bikes and learn about the benefits of electric mobility. A team of electric vehicle experts were there to answer questions about everything from how to charge an electric vehicle to the carbon reduction benefits of going electric. The event was a huge success and there will be more to come. Please visit TPU’s Savings Calculator to learn if electric is right for you!

Tree Coupon

Request your tree coupon now, and spend it before April 1st! The Tree Coupon Program is funded by stormwater utility rates to support multiple City of Tacoma goals and policies, including growing Tacoma’s canopy cover and reducing stormwater runoff and pollution. You can use a tree coupon for a $15 discount on your next residential tree purchase from select local retailers. Trees purchased may be planted on private property or in the right-of-way (such as the planting strip) areas next to their property.


The EnviroChallenger program continues on its mission to educate our youth on the ways they can help protect our environment through using the 5 R’s: Reduce Reuse Recycle Respect and Responsibility. We are excited to launch our new tree lesson: 2-5-Tree: Why plant a tree? This new lesson will help students understand how trees help our community with the goal of reducing our carbon footprint, as well as helping with our stormwater through the tree’s filtering process and promoting infiltration. Book a lesson with an EnviroChallenger online!

Sustainability Speaker Series

Interested in a sustainability presentation for your group or organization? We can come to you and present on a variety of topics including how the sustainability office works, Preventing Wasted Food, Our Changing Climate, Electric Vehicles, and more. Click through the presentations online to learn more, or send us an email to schedule one today!

Healthy Homes

The Healthy Homes, Healthy Neighborhoods program has been hard at work in South Tacoma to connect residents with eco-friendly, cost-saving resources and services. Our staff and interns have visited over 600 households and have connected dozens of residents to programs to help them save money and live better.

We have several events coming up this spring, including a South Tacoma Community Breakfast, a Wapato Hills Community Garden Build Party, and more on the way! 

Follow us on Facebook, email or call (253) 591-1573.

Sustainability Small Grant

New in 2018, the Environmental Services Department is excited to be launching the Sustainability Small Grant program. Through this program, not-for-profit organizations and individuals can receive up to $5,000 for projects or events that protect and restore our local environment and quality of life. Strong applications will demonstrate a connection to one of the three Environmental Services utilities – Solid Waste, Wastewater, and Surface Water. Projects that also benefit our local economy, support social equity, and address the causes or impacts of climate change will be given extra consideration. Applications will be reviewed by the Sustainable Tacoma Commission, and the reimbursement grants will be awarded quarterly. For additional details and application materials, visit the Grants and Sponsorship webpage.

253 Waste Free

The City of Tacoma is working to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill 70% by 2028. Wasting less is an important part of our journey to a healthier and more sustainable Tacoma. 

Visit our new webpage, WasteFree253, to explore ideas that will help you waste less and live better. For example, you can join an online sharing community, opt out of junk mail, donate items to the Tacoma Recovery & Transfer Center, or shop at Tacoma’s many secondhand, antique, and thrift stores!

Not only can wasting less help you save money, meet your neighbors, and support your community, but you also help create a healthier environment by keeping stuff out of the landfill, lessening our demand for natural resources, and reducing pollution like harmful carbon emissions that come from manufacturing and transportation. Head on over to WasteFree253 to learn more.


Get up to date on the 2016 Greenhouse Gas Report

For nearly a decade, the City has estimated and tracked our community and government greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to our changing climate and sea level rise. Our emissions are tracked against the international Kyoto Protocol and Paris Accord goals, and the City of Tacoma’s Climate Action Plan goals. 

Our new 2016 greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and report was just completed using the ICLEI ClearPath™ online tool for both Community and Government Operations emissions calculations. We also re-ran data from 2005 and 2012 in the tool to insure consistent methods over the three time periods. 

The 2016 report presents our estimated GHG emissions both graphically and in a narrative context, and compares all three years to get a sense of where we need to focus our GHG mitigation efforts. As indicated in years past, on-road transportation accounted for the largest category (~55%) of GHG emissions and continues to grow, pointing to the need for more lower or no-emissions vehicles, less dependence on single-occupancy trips and increased improvements to and ridership of mass transit.

Resolution 39880

Staff from the Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability have been meeting with peers within the four-county regional area over the last two years to discuss climate change adaptation. A formal organization, the Puget Sound Regional Climate Preparedness Collaborative, kicked-off at the Northwest Climate Conference October 2017. Resolution 39880 was passed by the Tacoma City Council in December, based on the Collaborative’s pledge, formalizing the City’s commitment to participate and pursue the following shared actions: capacity building; community engagement; coordinated research; funding and resources; and planning.