Opinion

Small town, big impact

• Patrick Pirtle, Snoqualmie Recycling Program Intern, shares his insight each month into conservation issues:

Snoqualmie is a small town, but its impact on the environment can add up.

The cumulative actions of towns of our size can have a big impact on the environment. Increased population creates more waste, and more development means more cars on the road — both of which affect our environment.

Fortunately, actions to provide good environmental planning, using cars that consume less energy, or public transportation options and waste reduction opportunities play a major role in city and citizen efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.

The three Rs — Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle — are the path towards zero waste and King County’s goal of a 45 percent recycling rate by 2015. King County’s current waste program has made recycling easy and convenient by promoting food scrap and food-soiled paper recycling in yard waste bins and consolidating recyclables into one bin.

With more people now living in Snoqualmie, more people are commuting to work in communities such as Issaquah and Redmond, which means more cars putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Choosing public transportation over driving can reduce carbon emissions by 10 times as much as any other household action.

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson has signed the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in an effort to reduce green house gas emissions to Kyoto protocol levels. The 1000th mayor has recently signed the agreement, which now represents more than a quarter of the U.S population.

“Every city and citizen should do their part to protect the environment and reduce waste and pollution,” Larson said. “The most effective way to do this is by making smarter decisions in every aspect of our lives, from what we purchase and consume to how we travel.”

To learn more about how you can reduce your impact, visit your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/garbage-recycling/

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