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What you can do

What you can do

Bike count

We all have a role to play in taking action on climate change

Climate change threatens the health and safety of people, the economy, and environment, both locally and globally. In King County, we are already seeing the impacts of a changing climate including: warming temperatures, warming and acidifying marine waters, rising sea levels, increasing flooding risk, decreasing mountain snowpack, and less water in the summer.

While people are responsible for creating the climate problem, people also hold the key to the solution of our problem. By making small changes in our everyday actions we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that we create and collectively tackle climate change.

Calculate your carbon footprint and learn how simple choices in our daily lives can reduce carbon pollution.

On this page:

Electric bus

Green up your travel

Transportation accounts for nearly half of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Washington. By taking the bus more, carpooling with family, friends, and neighbors, riding your bike, or walking, you could reduce the amount of GHG emissions you create on your daily commute. King County Metro offers reduced fares through the ORCA LIFT program and provides a rideshare program that make carpooling easy and efficient. Learn more about other travel options that can help green up your travels.

LED lighting

Save energy

Reducing the amount of energy that is used in your home helps cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are created. You can save energy, save money, and help the environment when you use less electricity at home. A few things you can do to decrease household energy use include: turning off your lights when you aren’t in a room, unplugging appliances that aren’t in use, and switching to energy efficient appliances and LED light bulbs. Get discounts on LED light bulbs and LED fixtures through Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light.

Waste less

Compost more. Waste less.

Uneaten food that is thrown away or ends up in a landfill creates methane emissions which is a very powerful greenhouse gas and contributor to climate change. Did you know, almost 35% of what ends up in the landfill is food scraps and food-soiled paper, and that it can be recycled in your curbside yardwaste cart? When we throw away food, we also waste all the water, energy, and fuel used to produce, package, and transport food from the farm to our plates. Learn more about how you can make a positive impact for the environment while buying food and when throwing it away.

Buy seasonal, buy local

Buy Seasonal and Local Food

Buying local and seasonal foods helps reduce CO2 pollution while also supporting local farmers and businesses. Many foods that aren’t in season are shipped from places far away and travel many miles before being sold in the grocery store, creating CO2 pollution in the process. Learn about how King County is working to build a stronger farm-to-plate pipeline with the Local Food Initiative

Buy sustainable products

Buy sustainable products

The products that we purchase, use and throw away have a significant impact on our climate. Every stage of a product’s life requires significant energy use that results in greenhouse gas emissions. Buying more sustainable and low-impact products can help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions we produce. Learn how to identify and purchase sustainable products by using King County’s Sustainable Purchasing Guide.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Reduce, reuse, recycle 

The products and services that we purchase, use and throw away have a significant impact on our climate. By reducing the amount of waste that’s created, we can decrease the amount of greenhouse gases emissions that are produced and make better choices for the environment. For example, some materials, like plastic can take around 450 years to completely degrade! Learn more about how recycling and waste prevention helps fight climate change.  Stop by one of the free community repair events around King County to get your small household items and clothing repaired or mended for free at a community center near you.

Tree planting volunteers


Volunteer with local organizations to collectively take action on climate change. For example, you can volunteer with an organization to plant trees throughout our region which helps fight pollution, cleans the air, and creates shady places to escape the heat. Learn more about King County’s goal to plant and protect 3 million trees and volunteer for upcoming tree planting events.  If you’re looking for something to do to celebrate Earth Day, check out the volunteer opportunities and events King County has planned to help you go green this April.

Be prepared: flooding

Be prepared

Be ready for extreme weather events before they happen and create an emergency plan with your family and within your neighborhood. Check out some helpful tips on how to prepare yourself for an emergency and learn how to stay cool in the heat from comics created by Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Make your voice heard: community meeting

Make your voice heard 

Make your voice heard by talking to others about climate change and going to community meetings to talk about why you care about climate change and how it impacts you and your community. See the County meeting calendar

2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan cover

The Proposed 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP) is here!

King County is updating its Strategic Climate Action Plan in 2020 that outlines the County’s actions on climate change for the next five years. The 2020 SCAP will focus on reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions, preparing for climate change impacts, and supporting resilience in communities disproportionally impacted by climate change.

King County Executive Dow Constantine transmitted the proposed 2020 SCAP to the King County Council on August 27, 2020. The County Council will review and schedule public hearings to consider adoption of the SCAP this fall and winter. Read the full news release of the 2020 SCAP.  Learn more about the 2020 SCAP update.

Request a climate presentation or workshop
Request a member of the King County Climate Action Team to come provide a tailored presentation or interactive workshop on King County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP) to your organization, coalition meeting, board meeting, youth group, class, or other gathering. This is a great opportunity for your participants to give input on the 2020 update of the Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP).

If you are interested in having a climate presentation or workshop for your group, please fill out a request form. *Due to staff capacity we may not be able to accommodate all requests but we will do our best to meet the needs of your organization or group.*

Fill out a request form