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Taking a Closer Look at Living Green

By March 29, 2016April 8th, 2016Connections, Front Page, General

Taking a Closer Look at Living Green
Produced by Nina Milligan, Highlands Council, Crofton Springs Resident

garage sale

Look forward to selling (or giving away) your unwanted items at our next Community Garage Sale!

Living Green is a broad and complex concept, impacting many aspects of our lives. In Issaquah Highlands it’s in how our homes were built (all ours are certified Built Green, by the way); how much – and what kind of – energy we use; how much we drive a car; where our food comes from; how our landscapes are managed, and more. Living Green refers to living sustainably, or supporting long-term ecological balance through adopting practices that can continue indefinitely without degrading effects. One of the biggest human-caused degrading effects is the generation of garbage. This can be minimized by employing Living Green practices. In this issue, we show you new and innovative ways to reduce your waste, as well as showing you how to make the most of conventional methods. Keep these pages for future reference when:

  • Your children have outgrown their toys: Find here what to do with them, and the batteries they ran on.
  •  You have run out of room in the garage: Find organizations you can donate usable items to.
  •  You are downsizing: Find in these pages how to keep your stuff from simply going to the landfill.

Our last Living Green issue featured the green around us, the fact that 1,400 acres of green space was placed into preservation when our dense urban village was designed. We also covered Zero-Waste living, our green awards, and a few of our Greeniacs, leaders in our community who not only live green, but are an inspiration to the rest of us.

Please read in the following pages this year’s Living Green topic: Using social media, donations and recycling to achieve Zero Waste Living.

The Sharing Economy – Better than Throwing it Away
by Lynn Trowern, Manchester Court

Feature IH Free IMG_0880 croppedDid you know that Issaquah Highlands has its own “free gifting” or sharing economy via a Facebook page?  It’s called “Issaquah Highlands Free Exchange”.

We all have ‘stuff’ we don’t need or use anymore, and this is a great way to recycle.  As the saying goes “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”… Well, ok, we don’t encourage giving away trash, but I think you know what I mean.

side column

There are many ways to keep your stuff from going in the landfill. (Big Brothers and Sisters drop box has moved to behind Safeway in Sammamish.)

The idea of the group is to post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share. You can also ask for anything you’d like to receive for free, or borrow. Each post comes with a photo of the item being gifted (or wanted). The ‘gifter’ decides from the comments that follow, who will receive the item.  Then the ‘winner’ picks up the item from the person’s porch, usually within two days.

The most important rule of all is that absolutely no money can change hands!  Also, you have to live in the Issaquah Highlands, to be a member of the group.

What are the most common items that are given away?  Clothes (adults and kids), toys, baby items, furniture, household items, even food.  You’d be amazed what you can find in this group!

What are my personal best ‘finds’?  Toys and books for my grandson who spends a lot of time at grandmas. Also garden items in spring and summer, such as wind chimes, flower pots, yard art. And what’s my favorite thing to do when my grandson has outgrown the toys? Re-gift them to someone else!

There is no doubt, the ‘Issaquah Highlands Free Exchange” is a great way to get to know your neighbors. The sharing of gratitude for gifts received, friendships formed, experiences, life lessons, and other good things are all part of this wonderful community.

Interested in joining the “Issaquah Highlands Free Exchange”? Please email Lynne Trowern ( or Chelsea Musick ( We will add you to the group, via your email.  See you on the “Issaquah Highlands Free Exchange” page on Facebook….and let’s ‘go green’!

Issaquah Highlands Free Exchange “Rules”
by Chelsea Musick, Central Park

Hi everyone! We’ve had a lot of activity recently (which is GREAT!), so Lynne Trowern and I thought it would be a good idea to set up some official rules. I think these were “informal” rules before, so there’s nothing shocking. 🙂

  1. When you have gifted your item to someone, please post “taken” or “gifted” in the comments. This way others will know it is no longer available. If you are using the “Sell Something”-type post, just go in and mark “Sold”.
  2. If the gifter has offered PPU (Porch Pick Up) for the item, please be courteous and pick up the item within 48 hours. If it has not been picked up by then, the gifter can offer the item to the group again.
  3. If you are offering an item to the group and it is still available after a week, please comment to the post to “bump” it up so others know it is available.

Thanks for all your help to make this group a pleasant experience for everyone! If you have any suggestions for other rules, just let us know. 🙂

Recycle All You Can at Gilman Village Issaquahrecology

The Recology Store at Gilman Village helps the City of Issaquah reach its waste reduction goals through education and by accepting hard-to-recycle items. Located at 317 NW Gilman Blvd #22 in Issaquah’s Gilman Village, The Recology Store is staffed by a team of recycling experts, available to provide in-person customer service support for our customers.

Recycle just about anything:

  • Car Seats
  • Propane Cylinders
  • Hard Cover Books
  • Textiles
  • Small Appliances
  • Fluorescent Bulbs
  • Electronics
  • Block Styrofoam
  • Cooking Oilgraph 2
  • Bicycles
  • Batteries

This graph shows special item recycling habits at The Recology Store in Issaquah throughout 2015. Special item recycling significantly increased in 2015 with customers dropping off almost three times as many car seats, more than 10 times as many fluorescent bulbs, and twice as many bicycles than they did in 2014. Because customers utilized this free service at The Recology Store, the City of Issaquah’s residential sector diverted 61% of their waste away from the landfill. Keep up the good work: Dispose of items in an environmentally friendly way and replace disposal items with reusable ones!

If You MUST Throw it Away…
Reducing your “Waste” is cheaper, and better for the environment!

Garbage is not “Living Green”; it’s that simple. Everything we throw away in the garbage goes into a regional land fill system. In King County all our garbage (the stuff we dump in the grey receptacle) goes to the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. (There are nine other full and closed landfill sites, in King County.) What’s wrong with that? Outta sight, outta mind, right?


King County’s Cedar Hills Regional Landfill with a view of Mount Rainier. (Photo Credit: City of Kirkland)

Cedar Hills Regional Landfill
920 acres – equivalent in size to nearly 700 football fields!
Tons disposed in 2015: 869,802 (a 3% increase over 2014)
And it keeps coming: Expansion Area 8 comes on line in 2020

Landfills waste land, threaten our air and water quality and are almost entirely avoidable. In an ideal Living Green world we would create no landfills. Issaquah is a leader in “waste diversion”, providing many ways for us to reduce our waste and the impacts of garbage.

Firstly, all homes in Issaquah Highlands are certified “Built Green”. A big part of that is reducing construction waste and recycling waste that is generated. Now that we are “Built Green”, how do we live green?

The City of Issaquah, working with Recology CleanScapes, envisions a world without waste. To help us  get closer to this zero-waste goal, Recology CleanScapes provides a variety of garbage waste carts, the smallest being a 10-gallon micro-can.

recology cleanscapes

Recology Cleanscapes offers a variety of garbage “carts” for residential waste pick up, the smallest being the Micro-Can.

garbage collection chart


A typical Issaquah Highlands waste configuration: blue/recycling is the biggest cart; the green/compost cart provides another diversion from landfill (the grey cart).










Even better, recycling and compost services are included in the cost of garbage collection at no additional charge.  This means that if you throw less in the trash and more in the recycling and compost bins, you save money! During April’s Earth Month, see how little garbage you can generate. If it’s time to downsize your garbage receptacle, (the grey one), contact Recology CleanScapes at 425.837.1234 or online at and reduce your service level.

Living Green is an Issaquah Highlands brand, something we are proud of and known for. As we consider our role in the Sharing Economy or in the Waste Stream, think about how “less is more”. Minimalism and Voluntary Simplicity are growing trends which we will cover in future issues of Connections News. Come back each month for a variety of stories on Living Green.

This story was produced with help by Danielle Gambogi, Zero Waste Specialist, Recology CleanScapes