In recent years, climate change has become a pressing concern among policymakers. Certain states and cities have been leading the way in developing policies that support the overall sustainability of their communities. Oregon is one of the top states for green initiatives. Here are some of the ways Oregon has managed to become environmentally friendly.

1. Citizen Responsibility 

The citizens of Oregon take pride in the state’s history of environmental stewardship. Furthermore, the residents commit to big and minor changes to make their localities greener. Residents support local farmers’ markets so that their food is locally sourced. Neighbors recycle everything they can. Commuters have committed to reducing time spent driving carbon-sourced vehicles to work by carpooling and using other transportation methods. Homeowners are using more energy-efficient appliances, electronics, and light bulbs.

Businesses have also taken a lead in committing to more sustainability. For instance, business initiatives include using better technology to operate remotely and reduce paperwork. Certain activities that used to require an in-person presence are being conducted via videoconferencing. An example of an industry adapting to improve overall sustainability is court reporters Bend who offer video conferencing for depositions and other legal hearings that used to be done in person. Conducting depositions and hearings via videoconference eliminates travel by the parties and saves on carbon emissions.

2. Transportation

Cities in Oregon have invested heavily in mass transit infrastructure to allow residents to reduce the use of personal vehicles. Therefore, localities have made public transit a priority and worked on making sure the options are clean and safe. Mass transit available to residents includes light rail services, expanded bus services, and gondolas. Many places also have extensive bike trails that are lit nicely. Many employees choose to bike to work rather than take another commuting option. Areas with increased mass transit options enjoy lower carbon emissions and better air quality.

3. Soil Quality

The health of the soil is an important metric to measure the environmental health of a state. Soil is a key component of the ecological community and performs many functions that are important to the ecosystem. Trees and plants get their nourishment from the soil. Soil provides water regulation as a filtration system and an erosion preventative. In addition, soil helps manage the earth’s climate. Good quality soil demonstrates the overall sustainability of the productiveness and function of the soil. Oregon is in the top ten states for overall soil quality. This metric demonstrates that Oregon is a leader in sustainability.

4. Renewable Energy Consumption

The state of Oregon reports higher use of renewable energy than any other state and is one of the top producers of renewable energy in the country. The state’s residents get more than half of their electricity from renewable sources. Hydroelectric power is a large source of the state’s renewable energy. The primary input for hydroelectric power is water that comes from a sustainable source. Advantages of this type of power generation include that it has low emissions and is safe and reliable. Hydroelectric power is helping Oregan be a national leader in sustainable power generation.

5. LEED-Certified Buildings

Oregon is also one of the top ten states for the number of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified buildings. Buildings with a LEED certification are recognized as having been built and designed with consideration to minimizing environmental impacts in a variety of categories. Under its green building policy, Oregon has required all new buildings to have a minimum LEED certification. 

Many states are making changes to become better stewards of the environment. Oregon views its sustainability as a key part of its economic future. The state has made investments in its infrastructure to bring more mass transit and nonmotorized commuting options to its residents. Oregon has also been a good steward of its natural resources, including protecting its soil and producing renewable energy. The state’s policies have made green buildings the way of the future. The overall success of Oregon’s green initiatives is evident in the actions of its residents, who support and thrive on the green movement.

Author: Finnegan Pierson