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Resources Abound for Earth Month, Earth Day Observances

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April 12, 2024

April is observed as Earth Month, a time to raise environmental awareness. Since the first observance of Early Day on April 22, 1970, has mobilized more than 1 billion people annually “to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.”

There are numerous ways to commemorate Earth Month and Earth Day locally and globally.

Free Green Homes Tour

On April 27 from 11 am to 5 pm, the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is presenting its annual Northwest Green Home Tour. This free educational event showcases examples of sustainable, green new homes and remodels, along with energy retrofits. It’s an opportunity for consumers to learn about sustainable building practices and the businesses involved in it.

Tickets are free (donations are greatly appreciated) but registration is required to obtain the list of locations.

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is a 501(c)3 community of builders, designers, suppliers, homeowners, and partners concerned with ecological building in the Pacific Northwest.

Founded in 1993, the organization provides open-source educational materials to the construction industry and the general public to encourage building practices that dramatically reduce carbon emissions, are self-sustaining, contribute to local economies, and create optimal conditions for human health and community. Since its formation. it has grown to three chapters in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia.

Northwest MLS Green Listing, Searching Options

Northwest MLS offers several options to help brokers and their clients promote and search for homes with green features. In addition, they provide a Green Fields Glossary and options on Form 6, the Green Building Information Supplement.

Noting green features can be a big selling point, NWMLS reported its brokers have sold more than 3,300 residential homes and condominiums that were “green certified” in the past three years.  The MLS compared the overall median sales price for homes sold by member brokers during 2023 and found that homes with Green Certification sold for 20% more.

Property listings with Green Certification and the applicable documentation may use various approved fields on listing input forms and in Matrix, including Built Green™, LEED™, and Northwest ENERGY STAR®.

In addition to the Green Certification field, many other field options are available:

  • Green Flooring, such as bamboo or cork
  • Green Heating & Cooling, such as radiant heat and ductless mini-splits
  • ENERGY STAR® Windows
  • Green Energy Source, such as Geothermal, Solar, or Ground Source
  • Green Construction Methods
  • Water Conservation Features
  • Green Landscaping
  • Water Recycling Systems
  • Green (living) Roof
More About Earth Day 2024

Millions of people from more than 190 countries come together annually on April 22 to champion a greener future and promote collective responsibility to safeguard the environment., the driving force behind Earth Day, offers a “How to Do Earth Day 2024” toolkit. It provides practical guidance and actional steps to participate in this year’s theme, Planet vs. Plastics.

The 2024 theme focuses on a commitment for a “bold 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040 and proposes to phase out single-use plastics by 2030.

The toolkit features step-by-step tips for a variety of activities such as:

  • Planning a march or rally, hosting or participating in the Great Global Cleanup’;
  • Exploring various activities, e.g., planting a pollinator garden;
  • Ideas for events hosted by businesses, communities, schools, students, home owners or community groups;
  • Ideas for content creators.

To build awareness of the detrimental impacts of plastics, cites various statistics on the use of plastics:

  • Plastic production generates more than 380 million tons per year.
  • More plastic has been produced in the last ten years than in the entire 20th
  • “Plastics are produced in polluting facilities that somehow seem to always be located in the poorest neighborhoods.” ~ Denis Hayes, chair emeritus of
  • Some plastics are lethal when combusted while other plastics transmit hormone-disrupting chemicals, and all plastics can starve birds and suffocate sea life.
  • More than 500 billion plastic bags (one million bags per minute) were produced worldwide in 2023. Even after plastics disintegrate, they remain as microplastics (“minute particles permeating every nice of life on the planet.”
  • 100 billion plastic beverage containers were sold last year in the U.S. That equates to more than 300 bottles per inhabitant. While some will be converted into park benches, none will be made into new plastic bottles and 95% of all plastics in the US won’t be recycled at all.
  • Making a plastic bottle requires six times as much water as the bottle itself contains.
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