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.

Clark County makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this web site. However, due to the possibility of transmission errors, HTML browser capabilities, changes made since the last update to the site, etc., neither Clark County, nor any agency, officer, or employee of Clark County warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.

In offering information on the Web, Clark County seeks to balance our requirement for public access with the privacy needs of individual citizens. Information that appears on the Clark County Web site is part of the public record. By law, it is available for public access, whether by telephone request, visiting county offices, or through other means.

This site contains links to other websites. Clark County is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content, accuracy or opinions expressed on such websites, and such websites are not investigated, monitored or checked by us for accuracy or completeness. Inclusion of any linked website on our site does not imply approval or endorsement of the linked website by us.

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Contact Details

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What is consumption?

Thoughtful consumption means considering the social, economic and environmental impacts of our choices. It is important to strike a balance between what we need and what we want. Once we determine our needs, we can determine just how much we need to fulfill our everyday functions. Essentially, thoughtful consumption asks us to be just that: thoughtful.

The things we buy and the activities we do are all components of consumption. Often times, consumption is equated to the products we buy, a.k.a. all the “stuff” we have in our lives. But consumption is about more than just products. Consumption includes the services we pay for, the events we attend, and the gas and electricity we use.

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Related articles: Food: Too Good to Waste | Holiday Waste Reduction | Thrift Store / Donation Map

thoughtful gas consumption article

Over-consumption?

Americans are notorious for how much we consume in our everyday lives. We buy a lot of stuff and we throw a lot away. This cycle is unsustainable and wastes large amounts of non-renewable resources like fuel and minerals mined from the earth. If everyone on the planet lived like the typical American, it would take the equivalent of at least four Earths to support the population. To quantify your own ecological footprint, take the simple online quiz: Footprint Calculator.

Over-consumption also includes the staggering amount of food being wasted in America. From the farm to the table in the U.S., up to 40% of food is wasted. For more information about wasted food, see our Food: Too Good to Waste webpage.

Thoughtful consumption

Whenever you are making a purchase, think about doing your part for the environment. The decisions we make every day have an impact. Here are a few tips for thoughtful consumption:

  • Use reputable sources for finding environmentally preferable products (i.e. EPA's Safer Choice)
  • Buy products that are durable, long-lasting, and repairable
  • Shop for locally-produced products and services
  • Learn to recognize "green washing"
  • Shop for products with minimal packaging
  • Borrow items from friends instead of purchasing new
  • Buy used items
  • Buy only what you need
  • Repurpose other items to serve a new function (check out the Recycled Arts Festival for inspiration!)
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Startling Stats

  • In 2015, 138 million TONS of garbage was landfilled in the U.S.
  • The average Washington resident produces 6.8 pounds of trash every day.
  • Up to 40% of all food in the U.S. is wasted.
  • There are over 10,000 landfills in the U.S., either active or closed.
  • Clark County garbage must be shipped 170 miles up the Columbia River to be disposed of in the Finley Buttes Landfill.