“I feel more confident than ever that the power to save the planet rests with the individual consumer.”
– Denis Hayes, Organizer of the 1st Earth Day, 1970
– Honoring Our Planet –
The world continues to see impacts from climate change in rising seas and the increased intensity of wildfires, droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events. Earth Day is April 22 and April is Earth Month, which are good reminders to promote earth-friendly practices every day.
To do our part, the City of Hood River has committed to its goal to become a more environmentally sustainable community with its own annual projects, and encourages community members and organizations to do the same.
The City of Hood River’s efforts are intended to:
- Reduce reliance on fossil fuels in municipal operations and pursue of local policies and reforms that promote environmental stewardship and sustainability.
- Reduce municipal net greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible with a target of reaching net zero by 2035 with appropriate financial and regulatory assistance from Hood River County, the region, and State and Federal authorities.
- Initiate efforts for adaptation and resilience approaches in preparation for intensifying climate impacts.
Some highlights of prior or on-going energy-efficient projects or actions undertaken by the City of Hood River include:
- Establishing a baseline of energy usage and emissions for City-owned facilities and vehicle fleet (completed in 2020).
- Planning for and purchasing hybrid police patrol vehicles — by June, 2022, the City will have five hybrid police vehicles in service with the plan for all patrol vehicles to be hybrid by 2028.
- Installing solar panel at the WasteWater Treatment Plant, Hood River Fire Station, Waterfront Park restrooms, and Public Works administration building to generate solar energy,
- Changing City street lights from incandescent bulbs to LEDs as an ongoing project.
- Providing permanent funding for the Hood River County Energy Coordinator position.
The City’s energy baseline and assessment offers practical comparisons of results from future projects. For example, in 2020 the City installed a 75kW solar panel array at its Wastewater Treatment Plant which has saved 12% more electricity than was anticipated — over $7,800 in electricity expenses, offsetting the equivalent electricity of 10 households. This link displays real-time summaries of power generated at the WWTP: egauge53259.egaug.es/5DFD3/classic.html
The City of Hood River has also committed to review progress and update strategies annually in order to adapt; partner to educate residents about steps needed to limit the extent and effects of global warming; underscore the need for community participation, inclusion, and support, in efforts to rapidly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and the city’s climate impact; keep the concerns of vulnerable communities central to all climate change planning processes and invite and encourage these communities to actively participate and advocate directly for their needs; join a nationwide call to limit or reverse climate change at all levels of government.
For more background on the City’s commitment to creating a more environmentally sustainable community, see the Fact Sheet on City Council goals page.