July 26, 2016

Fight Climate Change on the Eastside

Seattle Tilth Trains New Master Recycler Composter Volunteers this Spring
Composter In Action
Are you passionate about the environment and want to make a positive change in your community? Concerned about climate change, but don’t know how to help? Seattle Tilth’s Master Recycler Composter Eastside trains community members to become environmental stewards — and climate change heroes — through sustainable gardening, composting, natural lawn care and water conservation. [Read more…]

Symphony of Gardens Tour to Benefit Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra

Symphony of Gardens 2015Symphony of Gardens to Feature Five Eastside Gardens and Benefit Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra’s Symphony of Gardens fundraiser features five exciting private gardens in Beaux Arts, Bellevue, Kirkland and Mercer Island

The Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra is planning its 2nd Annual Symphony of Gardens Tour. This event, which benefits the East Side’s premier orchestra, will be Sunday, June 28th, from 11am to 4pm. The tour will offer garden enthusiasts a rare glimpse of gorgeous private gardens in Beaux Arts, Bellevue, Kirkland and Mercer Island. LWSO musicians will play chamber music in the gardens from 1 to 2pm, weather permitting.

The Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony of Gardens Tour is Sunday, June 28th, from 11am-4pm. Tickets are $25. Tickets are available at Grape Choice, Bellevue Nursery, Sky Nursery and Wells Medina Nursery or through Brown Paper Tickets, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1586858. For information about the LWSO, see http://lwso.org

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Still Hope For Medical Cannabis Patients In Washington State

Wa State Pot LeafRepresentatives in Olympia continue with politics as usually listening special interests and agencies that treat medical cannabis as if it has no medicinal properties. They are going against the voters by further restricting patients, and taking away their rights approved by them including proposing to drop patient limits once again, and breaking HIPPA laws by having a registy in the process with SB 5052.

The reason a person can not overdose on cannabis is because when there are high doses of THC in one’s system, the brain produces pregnenolone that inhibits it.1 The recreational user benefits from the use of cannabis because their depleted endocannabinoid system is being nourished with all the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.2

Recreational use is “for profit”while medical use is “not-for-profit”. The Liquor Control Board is not a health care agency, and regulates “for profit” products. The LCB paid for a study to figure out the supply and demand numbers for the recreational use market3. In a presentation last December, the LCB said that at their current proposed expanded canopy of 8.5 million they expect to capture 44% of the recreational market. With such little of the recreational market captured, the LCB is not ready to handle the 17 year old medical cannabis market in this state. Besides the fact that the LCB has court cases against them for ethics charges and the implementation of 502, there are 4,000 public released pages that show how they held private meetings to end medical cannabis.4

The hope for patients in this state is with Initiative Measure No. 1372. I-1372 being filed on January 6th while SB 5052 was prefiled on the 11th gives it precedent over any law they may pass and sign into law.

I-1372 would create the first cannabis for medical use board that would be made up of the state and the community that is totally transparent with a separate revenue from the state to remain revenue neutral. It also adds in other protections for patients that would not be done in the normal political process, like preventing the use of federal drug money against those compliant with the state law.

A grassroots movement is behind I-1372 that comes from a 2011 partially vetoed SB 5073, work done in the community, as well as input from patients. Described as a well balanced and fair piece of legislation, it is also what American for Safe Access call their “perfect legislative bill with its own board, own revenue and revenue neutral.” The 20 signature and 5 signature mail-in petitions are at the web site www.cppwa.org.

Everyone is encouraged to contact their Representatives to share their thoughts and feelings about the current bill from State Senator Ann River, SB 5052. If you have already shared with your Representatives, remind them of you position. Be respective to them and their legislative assistances, your message will be better received as well as more possible to get positive results. http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/.

Washington Police Department Among First to Adopt New Alternative Fueling Technology in U.S.

The City of Edmonds Police Department recently announced the adoption of new low-emissions propane fueling technology as a part of its continued commitment to alternative fuels.

For nearly two years, the department has operated 14 propane autogas patrol vehicles, which reduce fuel cost and emissions compared with gasoline vehicles. In an effort to further reduce emissions, Edmonds PD is one of two Northwest fleets to adopt the Stäubli fueling nozzle and dispenser. Blue Star Gas, the department’s fuel supplier and one of the region’s largest propane distributors, brought the low-emissions alternative-fueling system from Europe to the Northwest.

“With the Stäubli refueling technology, operators are no longer required to wear personal protective equipment during fueling, and the nozzle releases next to zero emissions,” said Darren Engle, Director of Government Relations for Blue Star Gas. “Overall, this technology simplifies the fueling routine and creates a system similar to that of traditional fuels. It’s an important step toward normalizing alternative fuels within our transportation culture.”

Manufactured in Europe, the Stäubli dispenser nozzle and connector was recently brought to the U.S. by Alliance AutoGas. Blue Star Gas, a member of the Alliance AutoGas network, is facilitating Stäubli adoptions in the Northwest as part of an initiative to drive nationwide implementation of the technology. According to Engle, the robust alternative fuels program at Edmonds PD made the department an ideal candidate for adoption of the fueling technology.

“We’re delighted to be part of this effort,” said Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan. “The new technology will improve the overall quality of our alternative fuel program and will provide for a simplified, quicker and more environmentally friendly fueling procedure that my police officers will like.”

Blue Star Gas will oversee the installation of the nozzle and dispenser at Edmonds’ existing fueling locations and teach fleet personnel how to operate the new technology, while the City of Edmonds is tasked with replacing the filler receptacle on each vehicle. Edmonds police officers could be using the new system as soon as March 2015.

“On the surface, changing a fueling nozzle may seem like a small step, but this is a significant move for the propane autogas industry,” Engle said. “It adds one more competitive edge to the equation so, as a result, you can expect to see propane autogas at more service stations across the country.”

New Recreational Marijuana Retail Store Grand Opening in Kirkland

Higher Leaf, Kirkland’s premiere Recreational Marijuana Store has announced their official Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, which will be co-hosted by the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce is on Thursday, February 26th at 5:30 pm. Representatives from both the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and the Kirkland City Council will be in attendance.

They will have product specials and demonstrations at the main event and throughout the weekend of February 26th-March 1st. Representatives from Zoots, Craft Elixirs, Verdelux Chocolates, Liberty Reach, Confidence Labs, and several growers will be on hand for product demonstrations and some will provide non-infused samples of their products. Consumption of marijuana or marijuana infused products on the premises is not permitted so demonstrations will be done with non-infused products or household spices. Snacks will be available at the ribbon cutting event for anyone with a case of the munchies.

The event is happening at 12525 Willows Road NE, Suite 60, Kirkland, WA 98034 at 5:30 pm for the ribbon cutting event and throughout the weekend and the public (over 21) is invited.

Dates Are Set for National Drive Electric Week 2015

Plug In America Logo with TaglineDates have been set for the fifth annual National Drive Electric Week: Sat., Sept. 12 through Sun., Sept. 20, 2015. Events will encompass two weekends to give planners maximum flexibility and consumers plenty of opportunity to attend.

“Last year we saw U.S. plug-in vehicles sales grow 23 percent, lead by the Nissan Leaf growing at 34 percent, while the overall U.S. market grew at about 6 percent,” said Tom Saxton, Plug In America’s chief science officer. “This year, 2015, promises to be even more electrifying. The BMW i3 will be on the road for the first full year, we expect deliveries of the Tesla Model X, an updated Chevy Volt, and greater overall sales growth than we saw last year. We’ll have lots to celebrate and to share with new EV audiences.”

National Drive Electric Week is a grassroots observance designed to accelerate adoption of plug-in vehicles through hands-on experiences with electric cars and motorcycles. Plug In America, the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association are national organizers teaming up with local groups across the country and abroad to organize events.

“Electric cars are a key part of our country’s clean energy future, and they’re a lot of fun to drive,” said Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of the Sierra Club’s Electric Vehicles Initiative.”We’re revved up for National Drive Electric Week 2015, which will offer the public, the media, and policymakers a great opportunity to come check out many of the 20-plus plug-in vehicles on the market.”

Drive Electric Week attendance in 2014 more than doubled that of the previous year’s celebration with over 90,000 people participating in 152 events across the country and abroad. The event was launched in 2011 in 29 cities.

About Plug In America: Plug In America, a San Francisco-based national nonprofit organization, works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation’s dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. The organization conceived National Drive Electric Week (formerly National Plug In Day) and has advanced workplace charging by pioneering regular ride-and-drive events at such leading corporations as Google, Mattel and Paramount Pictures. It developed the world’s largest, most dedicated network of plug-in vehicle owners and drivers, many of whom have driven EVs for well over a decade. We drive electric. You can, too. www.pluginamerica.org.

About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization with more than 2.4 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. The Sierra Club’s national electric vehicles initiative advocates for a switch to EVs as one important way to reduce emissions and cut our addiction to oil. www.sierraclub.org/EVGuide.

About the Electric Auto Association: The Electric Auto Association, formed in 1967, is a nonprofit educational organization with 75 chapters worldwide that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of electric vehicles. www.electricauto.org.

Outerwall Commits to Collecting Two Million Pounds of Mobile Devices to Help Combat Surging E-Waste Crisis

On September 22nd at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Tenth Annual Meeting, Outerwall Inc. announced that it expects to collect at least two million pounds of mobile phones, tablets, and other devices and accessories over the next three years through its ecoATM recycling kiosks, which accept electronics for reuse and recycling, helping to divert e-waste from landfills.

Industry experts estimate that each year 15 pounds of e-waste are generated per person worldwide. Consumer demand for mobile phones remains strong. More than 1.8 billion mobile phones were sold worldwide in 2013 (Source: Gartner, Inc.), and  Apple announced more than four million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders were received within the first 24 hours of its announcement earlier this month.

“We can all make a tremendous impact if each person commits to reducing their personal e-waste footprint,” said J. Scott Di Valerio, CEO of Outerwall. “ecoATM was created to make it easy and rewarding for people to sell their devices for reuse and recycle, thereby reducing their impact on the environment.”

Outerwall’s sustainability efforts extend to the company’s Redbox entertainment and Coinstar money services businesses.  Redbox reuses DVDs, works with recyclers to shred and recycle discs and minimizes waste by selling used DVDs to third parties or donating them to nonprofit organizations. Coinstar’s network of coin counting kiosks helps keep coins in circulation, reducing the amount of new coins minted.  Over the past 20+ years, Coinstar has processed more than 650 billion coins.

“We are so pleased to see Outerwall’s commitment to ensure that electronic devices, currency and media are in circulation and in use for the full duration of their useful lives–and then their component materials recycled responsibly,” said Katherine V. Smith, executive director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. “This model can help address the digital divide in mobile computing and reduce landfill waste–this is great for our society and our planet,” Smith added.

ecoATM: Rewarding Reuse and Recycling of Mobile Devices

Outerwall’s network of approximately 1,100 ecoATM kiosks (as of 7/30/14), located in shopping malls and select retailers nationwide, recycle consumer electronics and keep them out of landfills by incentivizing reuse and recycling. ecoATM is able to find a second life for approximately 75 percent of devices collected. For the remaining 25 percent, ecoATM partners with certified e-waste reclamation facilities to ensure those materials are responsibly reused and recycled.

“Many of our retailer partners are taking significant strides toward integrating sustainability into their business operations,” said Maria Stipp, president of ecoATM. “These efforts confirm our strategic alignment and underscore the potential we have to work together to make e-waste recycling easy, safe, and convenient for consumers.”

ecoATM kiosks identify, evaluate, price and accept devices of any era or condition and use a worldwide auction system to offer consumers competitive prices ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. ecoATM holds both Responsible Recycling (R2) and ISO 14001 certification, confirming the company’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of electronics recycling, as well as ISO 27001 certification for information and personal data security. ecoATM is also a member of the Consumer Electronics Association and the Device Renewal Forum, and is a founding member of the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearing House (ERCC). These industry groups are focused on defining the best practices for e-waste recycling.  See ecoatm.com/how-it-works for a video of how an ecoATM kiosk works.

To learn more about ecoATM or find a kiosk, visit, ecoatm.com.

Learn About the Many Benefits of Driving Electric

Electric Vehicle Show XXX Rootbeer IssaquahDriving Electric is more fun, more convenient, and less expensive than driving a gas car. Find out more at the largest ever gathering of electric vehicles in the Pacific Northwest at Issaquah’s world-famous XXX Root Beer Drive-In.

It’s Official! Governor Jay Inslee has declared that September 15-21 is Drive Electric Week for the State of Washington and Mayor Fred Butler has declared September 15-21 to be Drive Electric Week for the City of Issaquah.

Learn about what it’s like to drive a plug-in electric vehicle from real owners. We’ll have owners on hand ready to answer your questions about the real-world experience driving all the popular plug-in vehicles from Tesla Motors, Nissan, Chevy, Ford and the brand new BMW i3, plus electric motorcycles from Zero and Brammo. We’ll also have some rare production electric vehicles that were only sold in California as well as custom cars built by the 30-year-old community of Seattle-area electric conversion enthusiasts.

Show Schedule

7:30 – 9 am Setup and vehicle load in
9:00 am Show open to the public
noon Special Guest Speakers: Charles Knutson of Governor Jay Inslee’s Office, Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler, King County Council Chair Larry Phillips, State Representative Chad Magendanz, Plug-In America’s Chief Science Officer Tom Saxton and Seattle Electric Vehicle Association President Stephen Johnsen
3:00 pm Show ends, load out

Registration is FREE If you want to show your plug-in electric vehicle register now. Space is filling up!