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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Contact Details

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Solar panel

  • Interactive House

    Welcome to our Green House! There are a lot of small actions you can take around your home that will make a big difference. Clicking on the plus icons will reveal simple suggestions for a greener lifestyle. Make sure to navigate to all the rooms of the house!

    Solar Panel

    Despite the Northwest’s gray and drizzly weather, homeowners still may find rewards from investing in a solar energy collection system. The best return comes from solar-heated water for indoor use or an outdoor swimming pool.

    Water heating accounts for about 15 to 25 percent of home energy costs—about $450 per year for a family of four. Using solar can help reduce those costs, say experts at Clark Public Utilities. When choosing a system, make sure the design is “climate specific,” said Bob West, an energy counselor at the utility.

    For more information, contact Clark Public Utilities Energy Conservation Counselors at 360-992-3355.

    Heat Pump

    Consider a heat pump, which can save up to 50% on home heating bills. With a process similar to refrigeration, the heat pump picks up heat from the air and either puts it inside the home or outside, depending on the season.

    Consider also a ductless heat pump, which is available to homeowners who heat their home with cable ceiling heat, baseboard or wall heaters. Check out Clark PUD’s website for more information. Clark Public Utilities also offers a great Heating Comparison Calculator.

    Car

    Washing your car or changing its oil in your driveway will leave harmful chemicals in the path of the storm drains. These chemicals don’t just “go away”—they instead wash into your storm drains, entering the local waterways and harming the flora and fauna. Choose eco-friendly soaps and oil cleaners to get the job done, or go to a professional carwash or auto shop where they have all the means to dispose of your auto’s essentials.

    Permeable Driveway and Sidewalk

    Let water seep in instead of running awry! Your hard surfaces outside can be replaced with permeable materials, allowing rain water to seep in to your soil. It’s a great way to control your runoff’s pollutants and contribute to your local ecosystem.

    Garbage and Recycling Bins

    Don’t let it go to waste. In Clark County, the amount of waste landfilled per person per day in 2008 was 3.29 pounds. We sent a total of 254,468 tons of recyclable garbage to the landfill that year, avoiding many of the benefits of recycling and waste reduction.

    Recycling is important because, when compared with the production of new materials, it saves a lot of energy and resources. Clark County did recycle 96,646 tons in 2008, but it can do much more than recycle. Remember the Four R’s of the Waste Heirarchy: refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Start by refusing any unnecessary products in your life, then work your way down. Only use the trash when absolutely necessary.

    Landscaping with Native Plants

    Consider using more native plants in your landscape. They are adapted to our NW climate, are more disease-resistant, often provide food for wildlife, attract native insects and require less water.

    Rain Garden

    As rain pours off our lawns and onto impervious surfaces, it carries pollutants such as fertilizer, oil, pesticides, and pet waste to our local waterways. Runoff directed toward rain gardens helps to keep these pollutants from leaving our yards. Not to mention, the rain gardens also boast beautiful and beneficial plants to our properties.

    Rain Barrel

    All that water that comes off your roof—it could be yours! Make a rain barrel not only to reduce storm water runoff, but also to collect clean water for gardening or landscaping. Making one is very easy. You can make one on your own or attend one of the many rain barrel workshops around Clark County to get a feel for others’ barrels.

    • Solar Panel

      Despite the Northwest’s gray and drizzly weather, homeowners still may find rewards from investing in a solar energy collection system. The best return comes from solar-heated water for indoor use or an outdoor swimming pool.

      Water heating accounts for about 15 to 25 percent of home energy costs—about $450 per year for a family of four. Using solar can help reduce those costs, say experts at Clark Public Utilities. When choosing a system, make sure the design is “climate specific,” said Bob West, an energy counselor at the utility.

      For more information, contact Clark Public Utilities Energy Conservation Counselors at 360-992-3355.

    • Heat Pump

      Consider a heat pump, which can save up to 50% on home heating bills. With a process similar to refrigeration, the heat pump picks up heat from the air and either puts it inside the home or outside, depending on the season.

      Consider also a ductless heat pump, which is available to homeowners who heat their home with cable ceiling heat, baseboard or wall heaters. Check out Clark PUD’s website for more information. Clark Public Utilities also offers a great Heating Comparison Calculator.

    • Car

      Washing your car or changing its oil in your driveway will leave harmful chemicals in the path of the storm drains. These chemicals don’t just “go away”—they instead wash into your storm drains, entering the local waterways and harming the flora and fauna. Choose eco-friendly soaps and oil cleaners to get the job done, or go to a professional carwash or auto shop where they have all the means to dispose of your auto’s essentials.

    • Permeable Driveway and Sidewalk

      Let water seep in instead of running awry! Your hard surfaces outside can be replaced with permeable materials, allowing rain water to seep in to your soil. It’s a great way to control your runoff’s pollutants and contribute to your local ecosystem.

    • Garbage and Recycling Bins

      Don’t let it go to waste. In Clark County, the amount of waste landfilled per person per day in 2008 was 3.29 pounds. We sent a total of 254,468 tons of recyclable garbage to the landfill that year, avoiding many of the benefits of recycling and waste reduction.

      Recycling is important because, when compared with the production of new materials, it saves a lot of energy and resources. Clark County did recycle 96,646 tons in 2008, but it can do much more than recycle. Remember the Four R’s of the Waste Heirarchy: refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Start by refusing any unnecessary products in your life, then work your way down. Only use the trash when absolutely necessary.

    • Landscaping with Native Plants

      Consider using more native plants in your landscape. They are adapted to our NW climate, are more disease-resistant, often provide food for wildlife, attract native insects and require less water.

    • Rain Garden

      As rain pours off our lawns and onto impervious surfaces, it carries pollutants such as fertilizer, oil, pesticides, and pet waste to our local waterways. Runoff directed toward rain gardens helps to keep these pollutants from leaving our yards. Not to mention, the rain gardens also boast beautiful and beneficial plants to our properties.

    • Rain Barrel

      All that water that comes off your roof—it could be yours! Make a rain barrel not only to reduce storm water runoff, but also to collect clean water for gardening or landscaping. Making one is very easy. You can make one on your own or attend one of the many rain barrel workshops around Clark County to get a feel for others’ barrels.

    • Energy Efficiency

      Keeping our homes efficient isn’t just about using resources wisely. It could also mean financial savings. Just changing the bulbs we use could reduce the electricity bill. Adjusting the setting on the hot water heater and affects both our energy usage and our pocket books. Whether you’re looking for long-term energy efficiency projects or quick tips, take a look at all our tips and resources.

      Efficient Home

      Your house is a system. How and where it sits on the property, known as ‘siting’, determines how it will be affected by the seasons and weather. The walls, roof, floor, windows, doors, and insulation make up the envelope of the structure. The heating and cooling, ventilation, and ductwork should work well separately and together for optimal performance. For many tips on these individual systems and household appliances, check out services & resources or home assessments.

       

      Related articles: Home Assessments | Transportation