Our Redeemer's Blog

EarthCare Newsletter

In This Issue, No. 8 March 2015

To Think About
EarthCare Retreat
Be a responsible            consumer
Threadcycle — keep        unwearable                clothing out of            the landfill
Plastic Cap                      Recycling                    Program Ends,          But …
Ready to become a        vegetable                    gardener?
Upcoming Events
Read, Watch
State Parks turn 102!
Do you live on the          water?
Helpful Links
Earth Ministry
Sustainability Q+A
The Last Word
EarthCare Newsletter
Our Redeemer’s “Care for Creation” theme began on Ash Wednesday and runs through the summer months.  We hope this newsletter will inspire you during your Lenten journey to find more ways to honor this Creation that has been entrusted by God into our care.

To Think About
“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.
~ Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day

EarthCare Retreat

April 24, 25, 26

Registration deadline: April 1st

The EarthCare Team invites you to participate in a retreat at Pacific Beach, built around participation in the Washington Coast Savers cleanup on the morning of Saturday, April 25th.  Helpful links:

Children are welcome!  Please contact a member of the Retreat Planning Team if you have any questions:  Linda orJohn Ellingboe, Sue Johnson, Margaret Wetter
Please join us!

Be a responsible consumer


Green America’s Responsible Shopper provides you with the real story about abuses by well-known companies, gives you actions to promote corporate responsibility, and helps you green your life and world.


With this guide you can search hundreds of companies by name or industry to compare corporate responsibility within industries, you can participate in dozens of campaigns to curb corporate abuse, and you can green your shopping.  Check it out!

Threadcycle — keep unwearable clothing out of the landfill

King County and Seattle Public Utilities have launched Threadcycle, a new effort in partnership with eight area used clothing collectors to reduce the estimated 40,000 tons of clothes, shoes and linens that area residents and businesses send to landfills each year.


“People are accustomed to hearing that only ‘gently used’ items can be given to thrift stores and drop boxes – many don’t know that they can give damaged clothes and linens, or even single shoes and socks, which will either be reused, or recycled and used to make new products,” said Kris Beatty, program manager for King County Solid Waste Division.


The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year; up to 95 percent of the used clothes, shoes and linens thrown in the garbage could have been reused or recycled.


Campaign partners who accept clothes, shoes and linens in any condition except wet, mildewed, or contaminated with hazardous materials are: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, Seattle Goodwill, Northwest Center, Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores, SightConnection, TexGreen, USAgain, and Value Village.


To learn more about Threadcycle, what items can be given for reuse or recycling, and where or how to donate, visit here.


Plastic Cap Recycling Program Ends, but …


Unfortunate news!  We have learned that Aveda is discontinuing their plastic cap recycling program.  We don’t want plastic caps to go to the landfill, so please send an email to the City of Seattle at this address:

AskEvelyn@seattle.gov, and ask them to implement a Plastic Cap Recycling Program.  This is something they are considering — if we all write and encourage them to do so, it’s sure to make a difference.


But good news!  We will continue to collect plastic caps for Paula Hlastala to use in her Magnolia toy store.  So, keep bringing ’em in, and we’ll do our best to keep them out of the landfill.  And thank you, Paula!

Ready to become a vegetable gardener?
Crown Hill Neighborhood Association Class
Jump Into Gardening – March 21st

If you’re a new gardener, or want some tips to improve your success, this may be the class for you!  It’s local and it’s the right price (FREE!), so what are you waiting for?  Check it out here.


Upcoming Events
Learn, be inspired, act!

~ Sustainable Path Presents a Panel Discussion: Putting a Price on Climate Pollution in Washington State – March 16, 7:30pm, Town Hall.  More info and tickets here.

~ Groundswell NW Annual Meeting and Civic Social – March 24, 6pm-8:30pm, Nordic Heritage Museum.  The Ballard Open Space Plan will be highlighted and a facilitated interactive exercise will spark future parks, public art, gardens, green space connectors and habitat in Northwest Seattle.  More info.

~ Ballard Corners Park Work Party – March 28, 9am-2pm, corner of 17th Ave NW & NW 63rd St.  If you have them, bring your own gloves and tools.


Read, Watch
Learn, be inspired, act!

~ From The Washington Post: Your shower is wasting huge amounts of energy and water. Here is what you can do about it.

~ From KUOW: Will Seattle Ever Be Trash Free?

~ Eat Well Guide:  Find Sustainable Food!

~ How many reasons do you have to love Northwest rivers?Well, here are 50!


State Parks turn 102!
Visit for free on March 19
Washington State Parks turns 102 years old on Thursday, March 19, and visitors are invited to help celebrate by getting out to enjoy a state park for free that day.
With the 2015 spring and summer seasons just around the corner, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission reminds the public that there are recreation opportunities available in more than 100 parks, trails and recreation sites all over the state. March 19 is the third of 12 State Parks “free days” in 2015, when visitors are not required to display the Discover Pass to visit a park.
More upcoming “free days”:
  • April 4 – (Saturday) A springtime free Saturday
  • April 22 – (Wednesday) Earth Day
  • May 10 – (Sunday) A springtime free Sunday

Do you live on the water?
Be part of the Witness King Tide Project
The Witness King Tide Project aims to promote awareness of the impacts of sea level rise by visualizing and monitoring areas vulnerable to tidal inundation over time. King Tide photos are used several ways to help people:
  1. Document current flood risk in coastal areas.
  2. Visualize the impacts of future sea level rise in their community.
  3. Validate climate change models by comparing model predictions with the high-tide reality.
  4. Serve as a living record for future generations.
Interested?  Learn more here.

Helpful Links
Places you may wish to go …
  • Seattle Tilth offers classes to help you be more sufficient in your garden, kitchen or yard
  • The Garden Hotline is a great resource for all kinds of classes and events in our area
  • 21 Acres is a non-profit organization with a vision to create and operate a vital, open public space for all of us to rediscover the agricultural heritage of our region and learn about cutting-edge, sustainable agricultural design and technologies as well as ways to maximize the beneficial aspects of fresh local produce and farm products.
  • If you’re planning to replace your windows, doors or skylights anytime soon, the National Fenestration Rating Council is a great resource for information on energy efficient products.
  • Sustainable Ballard is a terrific resource for all kinds of local events and activities around All Things Sustainable.  Sign up for their e-newsletter (see the home page of their website) to keep informed.

Earth Ministry
The congregation of Our Redeemer’s is a member of Earth Ministry, an organization formed to engage the faith community in environmental stewardship.  The 2015 Washington State legislative session has begun, and Earth Ministry / Washington Interfaith Power & Light are making sure the faith community is actively engaged in the important environmental issues our state is dealing with this session. Go here to learn more about their priorities and, most importantly, how you can join them to raise your voice as a champion for creation care! 

Check out Earth Ministry’s 2015 Legislative Priorities Fact Sheet – a useful resource to share with friends and family!


Sustainability Q+A
Q: Many houses have “silent” water leaks, in the toilets or in pipes throughout the house?  How can you check for these?

A: A silent leak in your toilet can waste up to 150 gallons of water a day.  Put a dozen drops of red food coloring into the tank.  If the dye appears in the bowl, there is a silent leak; you may need to change the flapper or the float.  If no dye appears in the bowl after 15 minutes, you may rest easy.

Read your water meter while no water is being used in your house.  Check again after several hours when no one has used any water.  If the meter reading has changed, you could well have an underground water leak.

Q+A Courtesy of The Sierra Club



The Last Word
“Snowflakes are one of natures most fragile things, but look what they can do when they stick together.”

~ Unknown