Locals can join the MI Climate Challenge through December

Locals have a few months remaining to join the Mercer Island Climate Challenge where they can team up with others while helping fight climate change and saving money along the way.

The city partnered with Bellevue, Issaquah and Redmond to launch the Eastside Climate Challenge on April 22, 2022 — Earth Day — and they extended the successful campaign through this December. Islanders can step up their environmental conservation practices by being team leaders or members.

The cities joined California-based nonprofit Community Climate Solutions to host the challenge, which is an online platform that allows residents to track their carbon footprint and is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in residents’ household activities such as transportation, heating, electricity use and waste generation, according to a previous Reporter article. The Eastside Climate Challenge cities are founding members of the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration, which has a target of reducing GHG emissions 50% by 2030.

Actions that residents can engage in include adjusting thermostats, replacing AC filters, installing solar panels and electric heat pump water heaters, buying or leasing electric vehicles and more.

Currently, there are 129 Island households signed up for the challenge and the city’s goal is having 250 households on board by December, according to the challenge site. As a whole, the Eastside challenge cities have 729 households signed up and they are aiming to have 1,400 households participating by December.

The Eastside challenge cities’ carbon dioxide reduction goal is 500 tons by December and they are currently at 32% progress of reaching that mark, notes the challenge site. The Island is currently at 27% progress of its CO2 reduction goal of 100 tons by December.

“Being good stewards of the environment is the Islander way. We’ve seen this in so many forms, from home and community solar, electrification of private and city vehicles, and green power purchases, to reductions in consumables and solid waste collection that seek to lessen the impacts on our landfills and reuse more items,” said Mercer Island Mayor Salim Nice on the MI Climate Challenge site.

To join the challenge, visit https://eastsideclimatechallenge.org/mercerisland