A listing on this page does not constitute an endorsement by Sustainable Burien unless we specifically say so. Sites and products are listed here because at the time we listed them they were useful, informative or interesting and contribute in some way to sustainability. Things may have changed since then. If you notice any problems please let us know.
We do not accept payments of any kind from anyone who is listed on this site.
Organizing this page is a challenge since many things fit into more than one category. And some categories will certainly develop sub-categories over time. The newest items in each section are added at the bottom. I’ve tried to include enough related text for each link so that you can search (CTRL+F in most browsers) on the page for a keyword and find the item you’re interested in. The included text is often quoted from the other site. Except for the last one, categories are in alphabetical order.
Reducing our impact [and saving our money]
Links related to events we participated in These will eventually be merged into other categories.
Some of the links on these pages lead to PDF files and you will need a PDF reader in order to view them.
Feet First is an advocacy organization building walkable communities. We help people take simple steps to create better places to live, learn, shop, work, and play – a world that cares about health, community, and design.
Puget Sound Community Change is designed to encourage loyalty to locally-focused, sustainably-minded businesses, and to support local non-profits and schools in the process. They are part of the Interra Project which is the sponsor of the Community Card programs which help communities reverse the negative impact of losing dollars to retailers that are not locally owned. Shop Locally, Share Locally!
No easy access to fresh groceries in many parts of Seattle from the Seattle PI.
How walkable is your neighborhood? You can check at Walkscore.com. Walkable neighborhoods offer surprising benefits to our health, the environment, and our communities.
Trail maps for King County. The site also has information about King County Parks.
ECOSS is a non-profit organization working with Puget Sound neighborhoods towards building an environmentally responsible community. We serve as a voice for the community on issues that encourage a clean environment and urban redevelopment. Through education and outreach, ECOSS helps businesses and individuals – many of whom are not native English speakers – prevent pollution, conserve energy, manage hazardous materials and clean up contaminated properties.
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies Seattle is dedicated to connecting, educating and promoting King County businesses supporting Local Living Economies. We are part of an international alliance of 51 independently operated local business networks with more than 15,000 members dedicated to building Local Living Economies.
Join the thousands of wildlife enthusiasts across the country who have been recognized for creating havens for neighborhood wildlife in their very own yards. These individuals have provided the essential elements for healthy and sustainable wildlife habitats and have earned the distinction of being part of National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. Even if you don’t want to get certified (which costs $15) there are lots of good tips for making a more wildlife habitat friendly yard. And it doesn’t have to be a yard, small areas along parking lots in apartment complexes can even qualify.
Have you ever wondered what Government Agencies are doing to help with Sustainability? Take a look at ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, it’s
a membership association of local governments committed to advancing climate protection and sustainable development. Since its inception in 1990, ICLEI has grown to include nearly 1,000 cities in the world, more than 400 of which are in the United States. They have a lot of good tools and information to help governments make green practices easier for citizens.
According to their website,
B-Sustainable is a regional resource of relevant, trusted and actionable information, providing an innovative framework and open platform for taking our collective sustainability efforts to the next level. Spearheaded by Sustainable Seattle, B-Sustainable is the collaborative effort of many individuals and organizations. They target 4 different areas: the Natural Environment, the Built Environment, the Social Environment and the Personal Environment. Sustainability involves all four. The B-Sustainable project includes scientists, industry, businesses, and citizens. Some parts of the site are still being developed, but they have a lot of information available.
Seattle Climate Partnership is a voluntary pact among Seattle-area employers to take action to reduce their own emissions and to work together to help meet the community-wide goal.
Earth Share of Washington partners with businesses and government agencies to encourage employees to give to the environment at work through payroll giving programs, volunteer projects and involvement in our annual Day in the Park.
Good mileage, safety often don’t ride together from the Seattle Times.
Puget Sound: One man’s indictment, love poem and call to arms from the Seattle Times.
The Relocalization Network is now composed of nearly 150 Local Post Carbon Groups from all over the world that are working to prepare their communities for an energy constrained future. These groups operate autonomously while receiving guidance, educational resources, project and technical support, and electronic infrastructure from Post Carbon Institute.
Greenwashing is like whitewashing with a green (environmental) brush. Greenwashingindex.com
This site is here to make sure that doesn’t happen. Our goal is to educate consumers about how to “read” an ad and encourage them to decide for themselves if what they’re seeing is greenwashing.
EnviroStars was designed to give small businesses incentives and recognition for reducing hazardous materials and waste, in order to protect public health, municipal systems, and the environment.
The maps presented on the Worldmapper.org website are equal area cartograms, otherwise known as density-equalizing maps. The cartogram re-sizes each territory according to the variable being mapped.
The Environmental Science Center is the only community-based, not-for-profit environmental education organization in South King County with programs for all ages. With a primary focus on K through 12, ESC offers school-day programs including classroom lessons and field trips, after-school programs, summer camps, and community presentations.
The Livable Streets Network is an online community for people working to create sustainable cities through sensible urban planning, design, and transportation policy. We provide free, open source, web-based, resources to citizens working to create a greener economy, address climate change, reduce oil dependence, alleviate traffic congestion, and provide better access to good jobs in healthy communities.
Appropedia is the site for collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development through the use of appropriate technology and the sharing of project information. It is a wiki, a type of website which allows anyone to add, remove, or edit content. Registration is encouraged but not required for contributors. You can search or browse their more than 16,000 pages of material.
Mr. Electricity has an online calculator you can use to get an approximate idea of how much energy different appliances, lights and other things in your home use. If you really want to see how much something specific [like your TV when it’s off, or the refrigerator, or the desk light] use, you can buy a Kill-A-Watt for about $22 or $26 for a fancier model. They’re available online or in many hardware stores. The Beginner’s Guide to Home Automation walks through additional areas of the home that can be automated to reduce energy consumption throughout the home and yard.
Solarwashington.org is a private not-for-profit 501(c)3 association of solar energy equipment manufacturers, system integrators, distributors, dealers, designers, consultants, students, and interested people. Be sure to see their Tips and Tricks page, which also includes links to other related sites.
Northwestsolarcenter.org is a project of Washington State University. Our membership and guiding board are northwestern utilities, not-for-profits, and local governments. Their FAQ will probably answer many of your questions about generating your own electricity using solar power.
Findsolar.com lists over 1,770 Solar Pros. You can look up local installers by area and find out lots of information about them.
Solar Epiphany in West Seattle is one company that has presented numerous times at Sustainable Burien Meetings.
An April 18, 2008, Seattle PI Article: With utility bills soaring, some Seattleites turning to solar power
Seattle Solar Installation Q&A podcast and article.
And on April 19, 2008, the PI published Solar power in Seattle? It may not boost a home’s price but can cut energy bills
Northwest Biodiesel Network
Our mission: To promote the use and benefits of biodiesel through awareness campaigns, educational programs, and specific initiatives.
A July 2006 article about Home Solar Power Incentives from the Seattle PI.
As part of the Solar Washington Solar Tour I visited Johnson Braund Design Group, Inc and had a chance to look at some of the things they’ve done. By combining various technologies they’ve achieved some outstanding savings.
Algae is looking like the new hot candidate for biofuel production. There are a lot of varieties that grow in different conditions [some even live on what we consider pollution, so they clean it up] and the resulting biofuels have different characteristics. See this October 5, 2008, article by Lisa Stiffler of the Seattle PI for more details.
Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development is a non-profit organization working throughout the Pacific Northwest. Northwest SEED works to establish a clean, diverse, and affordable Northwest energy system based on efficient use of renewable resources, with maximum local control and ownership of energy issues. They sponsor workshops on solar power, solar water heating, wind power, and biomass heating. Use the Workshops link in their menu on the left side of the page to find events you’re interested in.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. This is where you can find out about tax incentives and exemptions, grants, rebates, utility buybacks and more.
For local businesses, Business.com has published a guide to Small Business Energy Conservation. The guide covers some of the expected upgrades you would make in your own home, but also discusses electrical usage from devices like desktop vs laptop computers and other small business equipment.
For suggestions and tips on how to plant different types of small garden plots in the B-Patch, your yard or anywhere else check out the plans on Gardeners.com.
Food Alliance is a nonprofit organization that certifies farms and ranches and food handlers (including packers, processors and distributors) for sustainable agricultural and business practices.
Sustainable farming, an article from the Seattle PI.
Seattle Homestead, a local urban homesteading blog.
The lowdown on topsoil: It’s disappearing also from The Seattle PI.
Portland’s City Garden Farms program. Live Urban – Eat Local
Rent Mason Bees – Mason bees that can be rented during the growing season.
SPIN (Small Plot Intensive) Farming
Portland’s “Diggable City” Initiative
Root & Radicle Seed Co. is a local seed company based in Olympia, WA, focused on organic, open-pollinated, non-GMO, Pacific NW-adapted seeds.
Seattle Urban Farm Company
We use our collective farming and gardening experience to establish a productive organic vegetable plot in your yard.
Seattle Farm Co-Op is a local feed and supply co-operative located in South Seattle that is member owned and operated with over 600 members. See their website for hours and location.
Longfellow Creek Garden is situated on a ¼ acre parcel of land in the Delridge neighborhood of West Seattle. The Garden is organized to function as a cooperative. Local households collaborate together to grow food.
Puget Sound Fresh is sponsored by King County,
Working to open a large market for local farmers to serve better produce for Puget Sound residents. It is brought to you by the Cascade Harvest Coalition.
Through forums, promotions, better inter-communication, research, education and collaboration, Cascade Harvest Coalition’s member organizations and individuals will more effectively address the threats to sustainable agriculture.
Sprouts in the Sidewalk is all about Urban Agriculture, including some history and information about Urban Agriculture in different cities around the US.
SouthMauiSustainability.org has posted a good article by Marian Scott about the advantages of converting part of a lawn to garden space. There’s also some information about supporting local farmers, and some stuff that won’t work for you unless you move to Maui.
Full Circle Farm is a certified organic farm based in Carnation Washington. They make weekly deliveries of custom boxes of fresh food to designated pick-up points as part of Community Supported Agriculture. It’s a great way to support local farmers and get healthy food at the same time. There is a pickup location in Burien on South 128th St. They are willing to add pickup locations if someone will host it and there are enough customers who want an additional pick-up point. Details are on their pickup locations page. If you’re interested you can coordinate with others through the Food Pod’s Blog.
Community Supported Agriculture is a growing industry where people get together to buy locally produced healthy food, which also helps support local farmers. The products can be delivered to area distribution points or picked up at the farm depending on how the farm has set it up. Some are done with subscriptions, some just let you order what you want. You can use the information provided at LocalHarvest.org to find local services and see what fit your needs.
Urbangardenshare.org lists available garden space in areas around Seattle, and they also have a list of people looking for garden space. See if there’s anything that will work for you. As UGS says:
Matching homeowners (with garden space) to gardeners (with experience) is the perfect solution for cultivating both food production and community. Condo and apartment dwellers are faced with containers or p-patches as their only prospects for vibrant gardens. Homeowners can be overwhelmed by yet-another-garden-project. Together, we make a great team.
Wiserearth.org has a list of
Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle increases access to urban fruits and vegetables for all of our neighbors in West Seattle and White Center.
Solid Ground was founded in 1974 by community leaders and concerned citizens of one of Seattle’s then most economically devastated neighborhoods, Fremont. Originally called the Fremont Public Association, our services — emergency food bank, clothing bank, and employment program — reflected the desperate needs and the determined response of a mobilized and committed neighborhood. They sponsor the following 2 programs.
Lettuce Link (an innovative food and gardening program growing and giving since 1988) creates access to fresh, nutritious and organic produce, seeds, and gardening information for low-income families in Seattle. We work to educate the community about food security and sustainable food production.
Fruit is a valuable community resource. In 2007, Community Fruit Tree Harvest volunteers harvested more than 10,000 pounds of apples, plums, and pears from Seattle fruit trees and delivered it to people with limited access to organic produce.
The Library: Movies, DVDs, books and other materials
- The Power of Community, How Cuba Survived Peak Oil:
When Cuba lost access to Soviet oil in the early 1990s, the country faced an immediate crisis — feeding the population — and an ongoing challenge: how to create a new low-energy society. Cuba transitioned from large, fossil-fuel intensive farming to small, less energy-intensive organic farm and urban gardens, and from a highly industrial society to a more sustainable one.Available from the King County Library. There is a longer review of the movie at the Post Carbon Institute. You can also buy it from the producers at Community Solutions.
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.You can buy a DVD for a donation, or download a slightly lower quality version as a 54 MB mov file from the site.
- Good Food [the movie] was locally produced and is about Sustainable, natural farming in the Pacific Northwest. it’s available from the King County Library System, for purchase from BullFrog Films, and for viewing at Screenings around the Northwest. The following quote is from the Bullfrog listing.
Something remarkable is happening in the fields and orchards of the Pacific Northwest. After leaving the land for decades, family farmers are making a comeback. They are growing much healthier food, and more food per acre, while using less energy and water than factory farms. And most of this food is organic.
For decades Northwest agriculture was focused on a few big crops for export. But climate change and the end of cheap energy mean that each region needs to produce more of its own food and to grow it more sustainably. Good Food visits farmers, farmers’ markets, distributors, stores, restaurants and public officials who are developing a more sustainable food system for all.
Green Daily is your one-stop shop for all things eco-friendly. We cover everything from environmental news and politics, to green celebrity gossip and fashion trends, to the emerging green tech industry. We also offer a host of easy, practical, money-saving tips for reducing your impact on the planet.
- At Yes Magazine
We focus on a different topic each quarter, each one on opportunities for social change toward a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world. Recent issues have focused on redefining the “good life,” great urban places, preserving and reclaiming water resources, rethinking elderhood, finding alternatives to oil dependence. You can find a complete listing at our back issues page and articles sorted by topic.
1Sky Washington is a campaign led by Climate Solutions and Washington Environmental Council working with partners across the state to pass strong policies to reduce global warming pollution, decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, and transition Washington to a clean energy economy.
What does the Positive Futures Network (PFN) do?
Our purpose is to support people’s active engagement in creating a more just, sustainable, and compassionate society. We produce a quarterly magazine, YES! magazine, this website (www.yesmagazine.org), and we reach out to educators, community organizations, and groups working for a better world.
The Trust For Public Lands is sponsoring National Park(ing) Day, an opportunity to celebrate parks in cities and promote the need for more parks by creating temporary public parks in public parking spaces. National Park(ing) Day is Friday, September 19, 2008.
WiserEarth serves the people who are transforming the world. It is a community directory and networking forum that maps and connects non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals addressing the central issues of our day: climate change, poverty, the environment, peace, water, hunger, social justice, conservation, human rights and more. Content is created and edited by people like you.
A Seattle PI article with links about rebates/refunds/tax breaks.
Seattle City Light information about connecting alternative energy sources to power grid.
An August 4, 2008, Seattle PI article about car wash kits that prevent soapy water from going down the storm drains and into the Sound. The kits are available to charities for free.
Astronomer, teacher and writer Dr. Pamela L. Gay wrote an article titled My Summer Vacation off the Grid.
Takeitbacknetwork.org for information on electronics recycling including fluorescent tubes and bulbs. Although they aren’t currently listed on that site, Home Depot now accepts fluorescents at no charge. Expect others to start doing the same thing soon.
An April 18, 2008 article by Lisa Stiffler of the Seattle PI: Concerns are raised about where junk taken to free events ends up.
1800gotjunk.com has links to articles about e-waste recycling.
All Battery Sales and Service provides battery recycling in the Puget Sound area.
Please see our 2008 Burien Strawberry Festival links page for more recycling related links.
There are thousands of dollars of materials in buildings that need to be torn down. Instead of knocking them down, this Seattle Times article talks about Deconstructing them.
According to this September 19, 2008, Seattle PI article, as of late 2008 restaurants and businesses in Seattle are composting nearly 1,800 tons of food-related waste per year. And the volume is going up rapidly.
Call2Recycle is a web site with information about recycling rechargeable batteries. You can enter your zip code and get a list of nearby drop off locations.
New E-Cycling Regulations that go into effect On January 2, 2009. Basically, computers, laptops, monitors, and televisions can be recycled for free. This December 10, 2008, Seattle PI article has more information.
The Washington State Department of Ecology’s E-Cycle site has information about the new [as of January 2009] program that allows free recycling of computers, monitors, laptops, and televisions. Also, see our December 2008 article
According to their website, the Basel Action Network
is the world’s only organization focused on confronting the global environmental injustice and economic inefficiency of toxic trade (toxic wastes, products, and technologies) and its devastating impacts. BAN certifies electronics recyclers for proper handling of hazardous materials.
Total Reclaim and Re-PC are two of a number of places that accept TV’s, monitors and computers for free under Washington’s e-Cycle law that went into effect in January 2009. Both are certified by the Basel Action Network as responsible recyclers. Re-PC will attempt to repair/refurbish used equipment and sell it for reuse. They also sell computer parts if the whole computer can’t be saved. What can’t be reused will be taken to Total Reclaim. Total Reclaim does not attempt to determine if something is still functional, they simply break it down for recycling. So working or repairable items should be taken to Re-PC.
InterConnection is a Seattle based non-profit that accepts used computers and provides them to underserved people and communities around the world. They reuse computers to help keep them out of landfills, those that can’t be reused are recycled. InterConnection is certified by the Basel Action Network as an e-Steward for
sustainable and socially just electronics recycling.
Reducing our impact [and saving our money]
Also, see our section on Compostable bags and food containers.
Catalog Choice is a free service that allows you to decide what gets in your mailbox. Use it to reduce your mailbox clutter, while helping save natural resources.
Savingwater.org a website to help conserve water at home and at work.
GoodGuide provides the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home.
Greenup Seattle from Seattle City Light.
Saving Electricity at Home from Seattle City Light.
Plastic bags are killing us from Salon.com.
CO2: They Should Bottle That Stuff from Time Magazine.
Chico Bags sells compact, durable reusable bags.
Carbonfund.org is leading the fight against global climate change, making it easy and affordable for any individual, business or organization to eliminate their climate impact and hastening the transformation to a clean energy future.
Climate Solutions’ mission is to accelerate practical and profitable solutions to global warming by galvanizing leadership, growing investment and bridging divides.
The Freecycle Network ™ is made up of 4,559 groups with 5,524,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns.
Waste Management has a page full of links related to the premise that Waste Prevention Is Even Better Than Recycling!
Do you do Charity Car washes? DId you know that the runoff from car washing damages our streams and Puget Sound? But there’s hope. King County has information about Car Wash Kits a Car Wash Kit Lending Program for fundraising programs, and CharityCarWash.org lets you just sell tickets that can be used at participating professional car washes who properly recycle the wash water.
King County’s Ecoconsumer page.
An EcoConsumer balances consuming and conserving – Learn how here. We’ve added more tools and resources to help you reduce your environmental impact, and often save money and save time as well.
There are potential issues with recycling rain water. The State of Washington is working on rewriting the laws to deal with the new circumstances.
This November 21, 2004, Seattle Times article has tips for Building Green.
This September 29, 2008, Seattle PI article about green homes shows what can be done when a developer, utilities and government agencies cooperate to reduce the impact of new development. The Project’s web site is z-home.org.
Now there’s an Open Source Wiki related to green infrastructure. Their page says:
The term “green infrastructure” is being applied at a wide range of landscape scales, from statewide conservation networks to streetside rain gardens.
Paperstone Products are made from recycled paper and a proprietary non-petroleum based resin to create countertops, partitions and more. If you’re thinking about granite countertops or something similar, you might want to check this out. The manufacturer is just up the road in Hoquiam Washington.
The GE CFL FAQ has lots of information about Compact Fluorescent Lights, including some that can help you pick the right one for your needs. Some locations require special bulbs. And in some cases, you’re better off not using a CFL at all.
You can build your own solar-powered lawn mower for about $700, and it recycles an old gas mower.
If you break a CFL or other fluorescent bulb you don’t need to panic, but you do need to use caution. See these spill cleanup procedures from the EPA.
Compostable bags and food containers
Styrofoam and plastic food containers clog our landfills, litter our environment and use up non-renewable resources during their manufacturing. The City of Seattle is banning foam containers starting in 2009 and plastic containers starting in 2010. There are no plans to do the same in Burien, but the same alternative products will be available here, and prices will be coming down. It’s already possible to save money if you can buy in enough bulk, plus it can save on garbage costs.
This August 21, 2008, Seattle Times article is about what the University of Washington has done, and includes advice on getting started on the conversion.
The March 9, 2007, Gloucester Daily Times of North Andover, MA had an article about Replacing Styrofoam: Biodegradable plates enter the fast-food scene. And things have gotten better since then.
The Biodegradable Products Institute is a multi-stakeholder association of key individuals and groups from government, industry, and academia, which promotes the use, and recycling of biodegradable polymeric materials (via composting). The BPI is open to any materials and products that demonstrate that they meet the requirements in ASTM D6400 or D6868, based on testing in an approved laboratory.
You know all those plastic bags that are used for garbage, yard waste, and picking up after pets? They’re available as a biodegradable corn-based product.
BioBag is proud to be the best selling brand of certified 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable bags made from the material, Mater-Bi. We are also proud to be the first “bag from corn” to achieve national distribution of retail products through natural food stores across the country.
There’s even a list of stores in King County that carry them. And have you ever wondered how you’re going to pick up after your dog when there are no more plastic bags? Or worried about using an indestructible plastic bag to dispose of biodegradable waste? There are BioBags for pets.
This is a list of vendors in no particular order, with quotes from their sites:
Trellis Earth™ products are the true biodegradable alternative to toxic Styrofoam™ containers and polyethylene plastic bags.
World Centric is a non-profit organization that offers biocompostables to facilitate our mission objectives – to provide sustainable and equitable alternatives for daily consumption needs which reduce environmental degradation and social inequality.
Branch exists to advance the sustainability movement, and to encourage sustainable thinking by everyday people in everyday ways.
We believe that products should be made in the most environmentally-responsible way possible and that the best way to promote this practice is to do it in the marketplace.
Eco-Products strives to make a positive impact on the global community by offering a wide selection of high quality, environmentally friendly products at competitive prices.
Zipcar has a car in White Center. That’s as close as they’ve gotten to Burien. So far.
Metro Transit has route information, planners, Pass sales and much more online.
Sound Transit is making it easier to get around Central Puget Sound. Our congestion-fighting alternatives include fast ST Express buses, Tacoma Link light rail and Sounder commuter trains.
The Seattle Bicycling Guide Map is available from the Seattle Department of Transportation. There are online versions or you may request a printed copy.
Cascade’s Summer Bike League allows you to measure your impact throughout the summer. Unlike the Group Health Commute Challenge which tracks only bike to work trips, all miles can be logged this summer, including fitness/fun rides, trips to do errands and rides to and from your office or school.
The King County GIS Center has maps and flyers with information about parks, trails, bike lanes, playgrounds, and community centers in the Burien, Renton, Tukwila and SeaTac areas. This information builds on the Feet First program and maps. Free printed copies can be obtained from the cities involved or the County Parks Department.
Plug In Olympia is a grassroots effort to have electric vehicle recharging stations installed around Olympia Washington.
Getting there greener:
the Union of Concerned Scientists presents the first comprehensive analysis—peer-reviewed by experts—of the highest-carbon and lowest-carbon options for vacation travel.
Links related to events we participated in:
When we participate in an event, we usually have pamphlets or some other sort of information to hand out. And for those who don’t want to take a pamphlet, or want to save paper, or can’t make the event, we try to put all the relevant links on the web site, with a few notes. These are the pages related to past events.
Links related to the Burien Strawberry Festival. There are lots of links related to recycling, solar power, and water conservation, including yard and garden information.