Waste not, want not

Waste not, want not

Let’s be honest — drinking beer made from water that at one time contained sewage might...

Neighborhood bounty

Neighborhood bounty

The Gabriel Park Demonstration Orchard keeps drawing Marian Grebanien back. “There’s...

City gets ready to battle EPA on Superfund costs

City gets ready to battle EPA on Superfund costs

Despite the city’s lead role in financing the Portland Harbor Superfund project to date,...

Ballot measure would bar trade in parts from endangered and exotic species in Oregon

Ballot measure would bar trade in parts from endangered and exotic species in Oregon

The Save Endangered Animals Oregon coalition said it turned in more than 150,000 petition...

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Sustainable Life Section

July 14, 2016

Subs on the Slough

by Steve Law
The Portland Water Bureau and Columbia Slough Watershed Council will offer a free lunchtime tour of the slough on Friday, Aug. 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants can learn how to protect the city of Portland’s underground drinking water…
COURTESY OF THE TEMPERATE ORCHARD CONSERVANCY  - The ground has been tilled and rows laid out at the Temperate Orchard Conservancy just outside Molalla, where grafted baby apple trees were planted in a nursery  before being transplanted to their permanent location this winter.
July 19, 2016

Preserving heirloom apples

by Lyndsey Hewitt
Apple enthusiasts and history buffs might know that Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple was the Esopus Spitzenburg, which he grew on his plantation from 1768 to 1814. But shoppers won’t find the Esopus Spitzenburg at their local Safeway or Fred Meyer,…
SETH GORDON - Jim Kiser grows milkweed at his Newberg home and distributes it in hopes of restoring the native habitat for monarch butterflies to lay their eggs. Milkweed has grown scarce due to pesticides, urbanization and other factors.
July 19, 2016

Monarch butterflies receive a helping hand

by Colin Staub
A Newberg man has made it his goal to spread the word about milkweed – and to promote the native plant’s regrowth throughout the local area. Why milkweed? It’s more about what the plant provides for, than about the plant itself. Milkweed is the only…
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: MARA STINE - Tammy Franks, child passenger safety coordinator for Randall Childrens Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in North Portland, removes harder-to-recycle components, such as harnesses, straps, hard foam and metal, before the hard plastic shell that remains can be recycled.
July 19, 2016

Keeping car seats out of the landfill

by Mara Stine
Child car safety seats are a blessing and a curse. They save lives, but the bulky contraptions require an advanced degree to correctly install. And they’re quickly outgrown, requiring a larger replacement and then a booster seat. If the castoffs are…
July 14, 2016

Leading bicycle group to advocate for walking, transit

by Steve Law
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance, one of the leading advocacy groups for two-wheeled transport in Portland, is going “multi-modal.” The nonprofit group is expanding its mission to support walking and transit, along with bicycling, as alternatives…
PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JAIME VALDEZ - Precision Castparts Corp. has two twin plants straddling the Portland-Milwaukie border, next to the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.
July 13, 2016

Neighbors file suits against Precision Castparts Corp.

by Paul Koberstein
Six residents of Southeast Portland have filed two separate class-action lawsuits against Precision Castparts Corp., alleging that its toxic air emissions have harmed their health and decreased property values, according to court documents filed in…
COURTESY PORTLAND HARBOR COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUP  - This year's Willamette River Festival theme is to celebrate the river, and its impending cleanup.
July 08, 2016

Celebrate the Willamette River, and its cleanup

by Steve Law
Now that the EPA has finally released its cleanup plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund site, the citizens group working on the project wants to get public feedback on the plan, and dreamed up a fun way to get it — at this year’s Willamette River…
COURTESY EARTHFIX  - An aerial view of the Mosier oil train derailment.
July 08, 2016

How train inspectors missed broken bolts that caused the Mosier oil train derailment

by Tony Schick and Conrad Wilson, EarthFix
On April 27, Steve Holm and three other inspectors drove right over a set of broken railroad bolts that later would cause a massive oil train explosion. Holm rode shotgun as Union Pacific Railroad’s specially equipped pickup rolled along at 10 mph…
July 08, 2016

Forest Grove mixes food waste with yard debris

by Travis Loose
On July 1, Forest Grove residents began combining their food waste in their yard debris bins for recycling by Waste Management. At least that was the plan. It’s unclear how many people actually followed it. To raise awareness and help residents…
PHOTO COURTESY SABAH WILDLIFE RESCUE UNIT - Rescued elephant calves take an afternoon walk with staff at the Sepilok Wildlife Medical Care Center in Sabah, Malaysia.
July 07, 2016

Endowment fund to promote elephant conservation created by Oregon Zoo Foundation

by Steve Law
The Oregon Zoo Foundation has created a $1 million endowment fund to finance projects promoting elephant conservation. Earnings from the endowment will be earmarked to support endangered Asian elephants. The endowment was announced Thursday, July 7,…
PHOTO BY ELI MANGOLD, COURTESY OF GROUNDWORK PORTLAND  - Rose Longoria, regional Superfund cleanup projects coordinator of Yakama Nation Fisheries, addresses a recent rally in front of the Portland Building, calling on the EPA to adopt a more aggressive plan to clean up the Portland Harbor Superfund site.
Jul 07, 2016

Is the EPA lowballing Superfund cleanup costs?

by Steve Law
One might think that polluters on the hook to clean up the Portland Harbor Superfund site would be overjoyed when the EPA slashed the projected price tag in half last month. But many say EPA…
TRIBUNE PHOTO: BIANCA PAHL - The Save Outdoor School for All Campaign announced it received enough signatures to provide a measure on November's ballot.
Jul 07, 2016

One step closer to Outdoor School for all

by Bianca Pahl
Oregonians likely will have a chance to vote on a measure that provides funding for every fifth- and sixth-grade student statewide to experience Outdoor School. The Save Outdoor School for All…
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JO OSTGARDEN - Cows get to roam the fields munching on grass at Milk E Way Farm outside Coquille in Coos County.
Jul 07, 2016

Not penned in

by Jo Ostgarden
Many people know that eating too much cheese can lead to obesity and unhealthy cholesterol levels. But there’s a way to make it a healthier part of your diet: Eat cheese sourced from sustainably…
COURTESY PSU - Students learn about bees and beekeeping at the new PSU Apiary at the colleges Community Orchard.
Jul 07, 2016

Beehives abuzz at Portland State

by Jennifer Anderson
Portland already is a hive of urban beekeepers, bee-friendly gardens and local honey products. Local chefs and grocery stores — even Portland International Airport — keep beehives. Now Portland…
Jun 28, 2016

Want to help write new state air quality regulations?

by Steve Law
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Health Authority are seeking 10 volunteers to serve on an advisory committee helping devise rules for the new Cleaner Air Oregon…
COURTESY HUMAN ACCESS PROJECT - Paddlers enjoy the Big Float on the Willamette River. The sixth-annual party on the river is July 10.
Jun 24, 2016

Big Float waves into Portland on July 10

by Steve Law
The Big Float is returning to the Willamette River on July 10. Now in its sixth year, the Big Float is a party on the river in downtown Portland. A flotilla of people on inner tubes paddle or…
COURTESY XERCES SOCIETY - An elusive rusty patched bumble bee.
Jun 24, 2016

Nature photographer seeks footage of elusive endangered bees

by Steve Law
A new short film has been released about the rusty patched bumble bee, which is being considered for endangered species protection. Nature photographer Clay Bolt were on a multi-year quest to…
Jun 22, 2016

Superfund expert says natural recovery won't work to clean up…

by Bianca Pahl and Steve Law
Local residents, environmentalists and companies along the Portland waterfront are all raising concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed $746 million plan to clean up a…
PHOTO BY RICHARD WILHELM, COURTESY OF THE WETLANDS CONSERVANCY AND LIGHT HAWK - Water is a precious asset for birds and other wildlife at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, as well as ranchers in the area.
Jun 21, 2016

Greenies, ranchers find common ground in Harney County

by Esther Lev
Editor's note: With all the recent talk about conflict between ranchers and environmentalists in Harney County, Esther Lev, executive director of The Wetlands Conservancy in Portland, has a…
COURTESY DRONESEED  - Grant Canary and his partners at DroneSeed are outfitting drones to replant, treat and survey huge areas following timber harvests, wildfires and environmental degradation.
Jun 21, 2016

Planting trees via drones

by Eric Apalategui
DroneSeed can fire pellets of seeds into the soil from the sky. Grant Canary says planting forests is 100 years behind the times. His Beaverton-based company, DroneSeed, is flying to the rescue.…