Yard Sale and Free Share, July 22 & 23

Our annual Yard Sale and Free Share weekend is coming up on July 22 and 23.

Through reuse we are helping to minimize our neighborhood’s waste stream as well as reminding each other of the inherent value and embodied energy that all of these material “things” possess.

Every year lots of great deals abound as we turn unwanted items into newfound treasures.  Mark your calendars and come on out!

This favorite neighborhood tradition is a great way to get to know your neighbors! Find all the details here. 

Beach School Native Plant Sale – May 11

 

A Gift From Mother Earth; Just in Time For Mother’s Day!

Support our neighborhood elementary school’s newly renovated gardens. The raised bed garden for annual vegetables, perennial food forest and native pollinator meadow are for use by students, after-school programs  like SUN and Girl Scouts and the community. Shop a variety of native plants for sun or shade.

Thursday, May 11, 3 to 6 pm

Beach Elementary School
1710 N Humboldt St, Portland, OR 97217

Plant Sale Flyer

Successful 2017 Overlook Sustainability Summit!

We had a fantastic turn out last week as neighbors within Overlook came together to Prepare Out Loud with The American Red Cross’ Steven Eberlein.

The afternoon was filled with tabling from organizations including Multnomah County’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Dove Lewis, PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human) and Portland State University’s Center for Public Service.

Big thanks to Kenny & Zukes for a ton of donated bagels and shmears, Blend Coffee on N Killingsworth for donating coffee for the day, and to Atomic Pizza for providing a delicious pizza lunch.  Also many thanks go out to the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) program operating out of Beach School, led by Cinda Jackson, who helped us to secure the venue once again this year.  Every year we get stronger because of these tremendous partners!

 

Finally, one more quick note from Steven Eberlein and the Red Cross:

Mountain House has offered a two-week food supply available through the end of April –www.mountainhouse.com/redcross. The coupon code upon checkout is Redcross. Nearly $30 of every purchase supports the Red Cross, so we hope you’ll prepare yourself and support us at once.

If you’re on Facebook, please like our post, tag yourself, comment, like, upload a picture of your newly assembled kit or secured water heater or anything else you might have done. https://www.facebook.com/RedCrossCascades/photos/a.1542954529333550.1073741828.1538747963087540/1658859297743072/?type=3&theater

City Club’s Look at Portland Resilience

City Club of Portland has recently released a draft report that looks at economic, environmental, and social resilience on the scale of our city, with an eye to preserving this special place despite the great threat of a Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) Earthquake that looms on the horizon.  Here is a link to the report and a host of other information:

http://www.pdxcityclub.org/Files/Reports/Earthquake/EarthquakeResilienceExecSummary-CityClub.pdf

http://www.pdxcityclub.org/earthquake

If you’re interested in how we can make Portland more resilient at a neighborhood scale, check out our upcoming Sustainability Summit on Saturday February 25 that will be focusing on how we can respond together after an event has taken place.   Steven Eberlein from the American Red Cross will be on hand to deliver the keynote presentation.  While the quest for resilience can help to ensure our long term sustainability, a short term benefit is that we get to become even more socially connected as a community and build our own self-reliance at the community scale.  Hope to see you there!

Coming in February: Energy & Carbon Footprint Workshops

Concerned About Climate Change?  Take Action!

Governments around the world are developing policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide and methane. Portland and Multnomah County are leaders, with the 2015 Climate Action Plan calling for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. Per person, that means reducing carbon from 10 tons per year to 2 tons.
Sounds like a radical change, and it is. To achieve this goal, every government agency, business, household, and individual will have to make deep cuts in their use of energy from fossil fuels. Overlook Neighborhood Association and Trillium Charter School are co-sponsoring this pair of small-group, two-hour workshops to help you determine your personal carbon dioxide emissions, and second, identify practical actions and choices to reduce them.

Workshop 1. What’s Your Carbon Footprint?
Monday, February 227-9 PM at Trillium Charter School
The term ‘carbon footprint’ includes all the carbon dioxide (CO2*) you put into the atmosphere—directly or indirectly—by using energy generated from fossil fuels, including electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, auto and airplane fuels; and by purchasing food and products made using fossil fuels.
Almost no one knows how much CO2 they create, because we don’t get feedback about our energy use in terms of CO2 equivalents. For example, looking at an electric utility bill, we see how many kilowatt-hours we used, but not how much coal or natural gas was used to generate that much power. Both PGE and Pacific Power generate electricity with fossil fuels, so when we cut our electricity use, we also reduce our CO2 emissions.
Before the workshop meets, we will get free copies of our past year’s bills from our electric and gas utilties, and/or fuel oil supplier. At the workshop we will translate those into CO2 emissions. We’ll use receipts for gasoline or diesel fuel, or estimate gasoline use from miles driven. We will also estimate CO2 from air miles traveled. We’ll add these up to determine our total household emissions. We will compare our results with others in our group, and with Portland averages. Finally, we will consider what it may take to cut our carbon to meet the goal of 80% reduction by 2050.
By the end of this workshop, you will have a much better idea of your household greenhouse gas emissions, or ‘carbon footprint’.

Workshop 2. Reducing Your Energy and CO2
Wednesday, February 247-9 PM at Trillium Charter School
Each family is unique in how it uses energy, so we need specific ways to reduce that are practical, sensible, and fit their lifestyle and budget.
We will look at each of the biggest energy users in our homes and identify specific ways to reduce energy use, including home heating and air conditioning, water heating, kitchen and laundry appliances, lighting, and electronics. We’ll also examine auto and air travel use. Our priorities will be: No. 1, changing our behavior and choices, No. 2 no- or low-cost measures, and No. 3, long-term investments, such as weatherizing a house or replacing a furnace.
By the end of this workshop, you will have a customized kit of tools and strategies to help cut your household energy use and CO2 emissions. You will also have a clear sense of your challenges and opportunities.
* ”Carbon” is shorthand for CO2, the carbon dioxide molecule with one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. CO2 gas is a byproduct of burning coal, oil, gasoline, diesel, airplane fuel, natural gas or propane. CO2 and methane are the primary causes of global warming and climate change.

Workshop Leader
The workshops will be led by Overlook neighbor Mike O’Brien, a teacher and advocate for energy efficient buildings for over thirty years, most recently as the City of Portland’s Green Building Specialist. He and his wife Vana built their new house at 1905 North Alberta Street in 2007—it’s red and has plants growing on the roof. If you have questions about the workshop, please phone or text him at 503-819-8991.
Registration
In order to have sharing time among participants, group size is limited to 12 people, so don’t delay!
Workshops are free.
 
Nora will email you instructions for items to bring to the first workshop, including 12 months of electric and natural gas bills, and/or gallons of fuel oil; gallons of gasoline OR auto mileage and MPG, and air travel over the past year. She will provide contact information for your utility customer service. Please bring a journal or pad of paper to record notes.

Madrona Nurse Log Dedication this coming Wednesday

Madrone in 2003     Madrone on ground Feb 16 2015     Madrone Nurse log

 

Please join Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry, Overlook Neighborhood Association, and Sustainable Overlook to celebrate the famous and magnificent tree that was the namesake of Madrona Park.  As you may know, this sentinel tree fell down on a windless day in February and has now been brought back to the park to serve as a nurse log for the bluff’s fragile habitat.

This dedication will honor the Madrona tree’s cycle of life by celebrating with food, heritage tree coaster/necklace souvenirs, historical information and fun kids’ educational activities, as well as information about future restoration efforts and volunteer opportunities in the Park.

When: Wednesday, May 20  6:45 pm

Where: Madrona Park at 2499 N Wygant (limited parking please use Wygant, Humboldt or Alberta to access the park)

Learn more at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/530255

Sustainability Summit Recap

A message from Sustainable Overlook steering committee member and summit organizer Josh Cabot:

We want to send a BIG thank you to everyone that came out last month and participated in our neighborhood’s first Sustainability Summit.  There was so much to cover and so we just made a few first steps, but it’s a tremendous start!

A few of the big ideas that percolated out of the day included:

  • Local economy is strengthened by looping our material and monetary flows back into our immediate community.  Perhaps we can develop a directory and map, or other method, for listing all of our neighborhood’s local businesses so that residents can make informed decisions that encourage them to look locally first when seeking out goods and services.
  • As a community we need to take a more direct look at equity issues in Overlook and find ways to be more culturally inclusive.  A series of “courageous conversations”, as Cinda Jackson coined it, could be an especially direct way to engage communities of all colors and cultures here in Overlook.
  • Social Equity and Resilience (aka Emergency Preparedness) are strengthened as neighbors get to know each other better.  Block parties are great ways for each street/block to know itself and to stay coordinated as a small piece of our broader community.  While a lot of block parties already happen throughout the summer in Overlook, maybe it would be more productive and interesting to ask all blocks to try and host a party on the same day…much like the Yard Sale / Free Share that happens on the same weekend every year across the entire neighborhood.
  • We have the power to directly shape the world around us – particularly the physical environment.  Exercising thoughtfulness around the plants we put into the ground and the chemicals we use to amend our yards and gardens is especially key.  Being pesticide free as a neighborhood is entirely possible, and using native plants to transform our outdoor spaces into rich ecologies is a great first step toward that goal.  Identifying and protecting the existing natural spaces we do have on the edges of neighborhood, such as the bluff, can certainly improve Overlook’s natural beauty, but perhaps more importantly it allows us to do our part for the broader ecologic health of the region.

A more thorough summary can be found on the Summit page here.

If you have other ideas, please do share them with us!  Everything we talked about at this summit is achievable if we all lift a little bit.

If you did not get a chance to leave feedback for us about how the day went and how Sustainable Overlook is doing in general, please email comments and ideas to sustainable@overlookneighborhood.org

I hope this helps us sustain our momentum going forward toward greater health, livability and resilience.  Now go out there and help make it happen!

Agent of Change Training with the Center for Earth Leadership

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead

The Center for Earth Leadership is starting a new Agent of Change training in February. Sustainable Overlook’s founder Leslee Lewis has taken this training and been involved with the Center for a number of years and highly recommends it. Led by Co-Directors Jeanne and Dick Roy, Center programs empower participants to assume a hands-on leadership role in the Northwest sustainability movement by (1) being an intentional agent of change, (2) reducing personal impact on Earth, and/or (3) becoming an assertive advocate for Earth. Here are some details on the upcoming training. Register at their website.

NEXT TRAINING:

Dates: Five Mondays –

February 23, March 2, 9, 16, and April 13

Time: 6:00-7:45 p.m.

Location: Downtown Portland

Our cornerstone Agent of Change Program begins with a six-session training, “How to Be an Agent of Change in Your Circle Influence.” Over 1,000 adults have enrolled.

Each participant selects a circle in advance of the course (see the “Project Ideas by Circle” PDF for inspiration). During the training, each participant develops a plan to effect change, and, in consultation with other participants, takes first steps to implement it. After completing the training, through our Agent of Change Network, participants receive ongoing support, inspiration, and education.

Individually, our trained agents achieve tangible, visible results as they construct building blocks for a sustainable culture within their circles of influence. Collectively, they form a legion of trained agents fanning out across the greater Portland community to transform the broader culture.