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PrepPost: Sustainable Emergency Preparedness

There are many ways to prepare for an emergency in sustainable and earth-friendly ways. Learn how and get started today!
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Prioritizing sustainability in your life doesn’t have to stop when you focus on emergency preparedness. There are several ways to build your emergency kit while still doing good for the environment. Here are some great ways to create a sustainable emergency kit:

  • Keep most of your important documents in the cloud or on a USB drive. This will reduce the amount of paper you need to print.
  • Use larger containers for water like gallon or 5-gallon jugs. This can help limit the amount of single use plastic in landfills. The Regional Water Providers Consortium has videos on how to safely store water in these containers. If you must use smaller containers, look for water in aluminum cans or bottles.
  • Choose biodegradable or eco-friendly items when buying supplies: trash bags, wet wipes, paper items (plates, napkins, towels, toilet paper), dog poop bags etc. 
  • If within your budget, shop organic canned fruits and vegetables
  • Look for working condition used supplies instead of buying new. This can help keep items out of the landfill and reduce CO2 emissions caused by delivery trucks.

You can also work to reduce your carbon footprint which will help lessen the impact of climate change. Here are some free and low-cost ways!

  1. Have a green thumb (or hope to)? Check out the Washington County Master Gardener Program through the OSU Extension School where you can learn about sustainable gardening for free, or invest in courses to become a Master Gardener.
  2. Washington County has a free Master Recycling Program where you can learn about how to maximize your recycling efforts. You can also check out opportunities to attend recycling or repair events in the community.
  3. When possible, leave your car at home and opt for walking, biking, wheeling, or skating for a carbon-free trip. Check out urban scooter-sharing for a zippy, low-energy way to hit the road. As always, taking public transportation or carpooling are less polluting than riding solo in your own vehicle.
  4. Some types of lawns and landscaping are very water intensive. Take a look at growing native, drought-tolerant plants in your greenspaces instead.
  5. Improve the energy efficiency of your home with an energy audit. An energy auditor will let you know where you’re losing energy in your home and help offer ideas to improve. An energy audit can help you lower your energy utility bills. Low-income households could qualify for a free audit and support to weatherize your home. Learn more and apply today.

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