Opinion

Things you can do to make a better Valley—today

The holidays are a time to come together and do good to your loved ones, friends and neighbors.

So, with the spirit of community in mind, I’d like to offer the following ways you can do good for the people around you, now. Deadlines may apply, so get your do-gooding done before the new year begins and it’s back to business as usual.

Reward the virtuous

The close of the year is generally a quieter time for elected governments. Budgets are passed, outgoing officials say farewell, and awards are presented. North Bend recently closed nominations for its Citizen of the Year award, winners of which will be revealed soon.

Another awards list, however, is still in the process of taking names. I’m referring to the second annual Give Good Awards, created by Valley resident Angela Craig to recognize inspirational people and all the hard work that makes the Valley a great place to live. These awards are for everyday heroes, outstanding citizens, youth, businesses, and organizations—they get a red carpet event all their own, February 28 at the Church on the Ridge in Snoqualmie.

If you can think of one friend, neighbor, family member, organization, or business that really inspired you, cast a vote in 12 categories at www.givegoodawards.org. Nominations close December 31. Voting is easy and takes less than five minutes.

Sign up for green power

There’s still a few days left to help the city of Snoqualmie hold and keep its lead as the greenest city in the Puget Sound Energy network.

Snoqualmie is now first in PSE’s Green Power Challenge, in which communities compete to see who can sign up the most people for a program that ensures at least part of their power at home or work comes from independent, sustainable sources like wind, solar and biogas.

If Snoqualmie wins, the community gets a $40,000 grant for a community solar generating project at the Y. It helps a city with ambitions on being green take an important step to boosting hometown solar energy. Snoqualmie already generates green power at Snoqualmie Falls, and a big solar project using free power from the sun is an easy bonus.

Snoqualmie may be ahead, but there’s no telling what Tumwater, Kirkland, Anacortes and Bainbridge Island residents are doing to to try to catch up.

If you’ve ever thought about going greener with your own power use, there’s no better time than now to sign up and help your neighbors get over the hump. We can all be proud if Snoqualmie wins and those solar panels go up to power the community center.

In the 98065 zip code, 255 PSE customers are taking part in the program, out of 4,400 properties. There’s room to grow. Let’s win this thing. Sign up at www.PSE.com/GPChallenge or call 1-800-562-1482.

Make sure to let the city know if you’ve signed up, as they’re doing a prize drawing for participants. Call the city at (425) 888-1555 to let them know.

Get to know your local food banks

Everybody’s on social media now. Including our local food banks, which can sometimes be challenged to meet their goals.

If you’re inclined to donate, volunteer or just grow product and donate it, you can now follow and “friend” the Mount Si Food Bank, Fall City Food Pantry and Hopelink on Facebook.

You’re now one click away from helping others.

Get a good night’s sleep

Most readers know how our publisher, William Shaw, nearly lost his daughter, Mora, in a drowsy-driving accident seven years ago. Bill has been on a crusade to make people aware of the dangers of driving while asleep. He scored a win this past month, when the King County Council issued a proclamation on the need to drive when you’re awake, and able to do so safely. I know that I’ve experienced similar moments. Have you ever drifted across the lane late at night? Have you ever worked a double shift and driven home, taking a risk that you were too tired to drive? Save your own life, and those of the people around you. Put sleep and safety first.

 

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