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Living Green: Making Better Choices Possible

Posted by Jen Coleman at Feb 13, 2014 05:55 PM |
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How do you choose what's best for you and for Oregon? From fuel to homes to toys, OEC works to make good choices possible.

When you want organic produce, there’s an organic label. When you want an efficient car or refrigerator, you can look for miles-per-gallon and Energy Star labels. You should feel good about these choices: You’re voting with your wallet to protect what you love. 

But you’re not in it alone: People have united around partnerships and policies that make data available and greener choices possible. Some programs are voluntary, like the thousands of businesses who work with the Energy Star program. Others are regulatory, like the standards that pushed the car industry to improve fuel efficiency. Either way, you have more information and better choices at the end of the day. 

And that’s Oregon Environmental Council’s job: to catalyze partnerships and policies that make data available and spur changes that bring greener and safer choices to market.

Here’s what we have in the works today:

Safer Children’s Products

whats on your listIt is possible to make children’s products without using toxic chemicals. We have some great models right here in Oregon: gDiapers, Milkies, and Earth Mama Angel Baby all have stories to tell.  Yet, as noted in the report released this week from Washington Toxics Coalition, there are thousands of products that still contain chemicals that are of concern to children’s health. 

OEC’s proposal: We’re supporting a law here in Oregon that would require manufacturers of children's products to disclose their use of chemicals that are of the greatest concern to children's health.

Support Safe Products

Cleaner Fuels

When it comes to releasing climate-changing carbon pollution not all transportation fuels are alike. In fact, not all gasoline is alike. 

Fuels

When you count pollution from “well to wheel”—that is, all the carbon released from sourcing, extracting, refining, delivering, and then burning fuel—oil from the Canadian tar sands, for example, is about 14–20% more polluting than the average fuel sold in the United States today. 

As part of Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program, established in 2009, our state has just begun to collect data on the “carbon intensity” of fuel. It’s the first step in the process of requiring fuel suppliers to gradually reduce the overall carbon content of fuel and start investing in cleaner, low-carbon fuels. Many of those fuels can be produced right here in Oregon!

Support Clean Fuels

Home Energy Performance

There’s a lot to think about when choosing a new home, and energy efficiency is only part of it. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some help knowing if a home will keep you cozy, or if it needs insulation? 

EPSThat’s the idea behind an energy performance score. It’s like a miles-per-gallon rating, only it describes how much energy a home will use. In Oregon, the scoring system was developed by a coalition of certified smart people. OEC helped champion state policy to make sure these scores have common criteria and standards, so that one building can be reliably compared to another.

 

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