In the beginning of what will be a series of events related to the 2020 LO Reads book, "Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore" by Elizabeth Rush, the community will have an opportunity to learn about various organizations — local and statewide — that are making an effort to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
During the What Can You Do Fair at City Hall Saturday, Feb. 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public is invited to attend the educational event and learn how others have responded to climate change.
There will be representatives from about 15 groups that will host informational tables, including Clackamas County Sustainability and Solid Waste's Master Recycler and Green Cleaners programs, SOLVE and the electric vehicle advocacy group Forth.
"We invited organizations we feel are committed to sustainability," said Lynn Taylor, who's with the LO Reads Events Committee. "Their mission statements are really about that and living a cleaner and healthier life because it's a huge issue. The climate crisis is huge."
Taylor said people can learn about sustainable organizations local to Lake Oswego like the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, Lake Oswego Sustainability Network and the Library of Things — a collection of useful items available for checkout at the library.
Through the Clackamas County Sustainability and Solid Waste programs, community members can learn about recycling — where and why items are placed in a recycling bin, special recycling depot or in the garbage.
"Reducing garbage is a big thing," Taylor said. "We can all do better at reducing garbage."
Community members will also have the opportunity to learn about how certain cleaning products can have a negative effect on a person's health as well as the environment. They can then learn how to make their own cleaners with safer alternatives.
Forth will be returning to Lake Oswego after a prior appearance at the Electric Vehicle Fair hosted by the Sustainability Network.
Though Forth will not have a display of electric vehicles, motor bikes or scooters this time,
Taylor said that an employee will bring their electric skateboard.
"It is pretty impressive," Taylor said. "He said in the last three years he put 2,500 miles on it. It's so great."
Portland's DIY Bar will also have a table showing the public what the bar is all about. The DIY Bar provides tools, materials and tutorials to make creative projects that reuse leftover materials.
"One of the things I'm excited about is this new kids magazine that's coming out," said Taylor of the new Earthbound Journal that will publish columns and art by kids relating to climate change and their connections with nature. "You're going to be able to draw and write stories about what you love about the earth and they will put them up on a bulletin board at the actual event and let you know how you can actually submit stories and artwork to the magazine."
The first issue has not come out yet.
"We all just need to do our part to help keep our world cleaner, healthier for our children … We are all interconnected," Taylor said. "Sustainability is so important. Climate change is obviously happening. A lot of people are not aware and some are in denial."
Taylor said the event is about bringing awareness and education to the public.
"Hopefully you can go home with some ideas about 'Oh, I can do that. I didn't even think of that. It's such an easy thing and I can do that,'" she said. "So that's what we're hoping."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.