Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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Green Neighbor of the Year: Ellen Ives

Ellen Ives

Ellen Ives is the recipient of the 2021 Clark County Green Neighbor of the Year award. Meg Johnson, her friend, coworker and nominator, draws inspiration from her and stated, "Ellen Ives is a sustainability goddess among mortals. She eats, lives, and breathes environmental sustainability into the world. She's a 65 year young mother, grandmother, educator and all around good person who consistently demonstrates her belief that every person can make a difference."

The Clark County Green Awards celebrates our community's environmental champions, recognizing work done by individuals and businesses. The Clark County Green Neighbor of the Year is meant to recognize an individual who walks the sustainability walk and inspires others. Green Neighbor of the Year nominees demonstrate dedication to energy conservation, environmental health, habitat conservation, waste reduction, water conservation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The 2020 Clark County Green Awards was planned to be held in-person on March 18, but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. The Green Awards committee decided to honor the 2020 recipients this year. We wish that we could celebrate our award recipients in-person, but our honorees will be celebrated virtually this year.

 Watch Ellen share some of her green living tips in the video below!

Ellen inspires many people within the Clark County community. Josy Wright, another friend and coworker elaborated on this and said, "Ellen actively participates in her church and volunteers with the local Master Composter Recycler program and Bike Clark County, in addition to volunteering at local events to teach children and adults how to recycle and compost."

Meg Johnson shared that, "If it's broke – fix it! Ellen avidly 'saves' material from landfill or even recycling by finding creative uses for them. From keeping defunct bike tires […] to seeking out recycled materials for all of her gift giving, Ellen is always looking for ways to breathe new life into something commonly seen as past its prime. She makes cloth napkins out of old tattered clothes, often giving away "lunch packs" as gifts. Even if she's used material to the end of its current life, she finds a new way to use it and offers it to others. Ellen also collects litter while riding on her bike. On a nice day in spring or summer, it's always fun to see her side bins on her bike full of garbage or recycling that otherwise would have been left in the street to enter into our waterways."

We will leave you with these words of wisdom:

"Take a look at something you are continually throwing away. Then take a moment to consider another way to do the same thing that produces less waste or no waste at all."

Ellen Ives

 Congratulations, Ellen, from the Green Neighbors team!

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