Green Energy Issues in this Washington State Legislative Session
- posted on: February 24, 2022
- posted by: 21 Acres
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H ere at 21 Acres we always have climate-forward work at the top of our priority list. Whether that’s learning about regenerative farm practices, supporting a vibrant local food system, or making updates to our LEED Platinum Certified building, we’re learning as a climate action community together.
One piece of the climate puzzle is legislation. We’ve been engaged by following the news and good information from Futurewise, Carbon Washington, Washington Farmland Trust, Project Drawdown, Eastside 360, American Farmland Trust , and so many more. This legislative session, Washington State House and Senate are considering a record number of proposed climate initiatives this year.
Of all the bills that are in the Washington State House and Senate, many topics address some of the very same issues that we work on here at our LEED Platinum green campus.
Some of the 2022 climate-forward built environment proposed bills address:
- Strengthening energy codes to require better energy efficiency in built environments
- Incentives for transitioning away from gas and to electric appliances, furnaces and other residential and commercial equipment
- Requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings
- Managing organic waste and landfills responsibly
Read up on the current news in this legislative session, particularly E2SHB 1099 which seeks to improve the state’s climate response through updates to the comprehensive planning framework.
Here are some examples of projects we work on toward climate resilience at 21 Acres:
When it comes to green buildings, knowledge is power—we constantly monitor our energy use to make data-based adjustments. This is how one reason we earned recognition as an Envirostars Champion.
Our solar array is a significant example. We find ourselves talking with virtual and in-person visitors all the time about the value of significant infrastructure investments in solar energy, not only for lower electricity costs and for the climate but especially for communities adversely impacted by environmental degradation.
We also make decisions based on human experience. The past few years’ historic heat domes in the Seattle area, which exacerbated widespread wildfires, made us reconsider ventilation in our green building.
From where we work to where we live, our built environments impact and are informed by the natural environment. You might be interested in these bills in this Washington State legislative session:
- ESHB 1770 – Strengthening energy codes
- SSB 5722 – Reducing greenhouse gas emission in buildings
- HB 1280 – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the design of public facilities
- SHB 1814 – Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects.
- SHB 1103 – Improving environmental and social outcomes with the production of building
Decarbonization and Electrification:
It’s vital for us to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to carbon emissions and therefore climate change. Carbon offsets are one way that our community is exploring to address capturing the carbon currently present in our atmosphere. For example, in December 2020 Pierce County became the first in the nation to offer carbon offsets for urban reforestation of riparian habitat.
We also pay a lot of attention to how far our food has to travel and the carbon impact of growing our favorite foods. Moving toward greater electrification of the built environment and the transportation sector is a top priority for climate stewards. The transportation and agriculture sector account for significant greenhouse gas emissions.
Here at 21 Acres, we just received a grant from King Conservation District to invest in an electric tractor to be part of a tool share for all farmers in the Sammamish Valley APD. We’ve also been building an all-electric refrigerated truck to move locally grown produce in the most earth-friendly way.
Whether you travel by car or are concerned about what it took to grow your food, you might be interested in these transportation-focused bills in this Washington State legislative session:
- HB 1767 – Targeted electrification
- SHB 1084 – Reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by achieving greater decarbonization of residential and commercial buildings.
We’re constantly thinking about waste—from sourcing thoughtful product packaging to composting onsite food scraps to farm runoff to the red wiggling worms in our composting toilets. Our multi-layered waste stream prevents about 90% of our waste from going to landfills. Agriculture contributes to a massive amount of waste—which is why we’ve supported area farmers with recycling common agricultural waste like irrigation and plastic planters.
Our staff even challenge each other to go plastic-free and find ways to learn about the impact of plastics in our kitchens.
If you’re waste-less obsessed like we are, you might be interested in learning more about the following bills in this Washington State legislative session:
- E2SHB 1799 – Organic materials management
- E2SHB 1663 – Reducing methane emissions from landfills
We’re sharing more climate work on agriculture and land stewardship very soon, and will update here and on our Advocacy page when we do.