How the City of Lake Oswego Is Helping Residents Think Globally, Act Locally

Coming off a summer of record heat in the Portland metro area and a record-setting wildfire in southern Oregon, news of the U.N.’s latest report on climate change might have left us all wondering, “What’s a person to do?”

The City of Lake Oswego has an answer for that.

They are launching a new residential sustainability certification program, EcoHome LO, that provides tools and resources to help Lake Oswego residents improve their households’ ecological footprints. While the program is not yet open for public submissions, you can complete an interest form and download some of the materials now.

I’ve checked it out and like the clear calls to action it suggests for each of us to make a difference in how we go about making sustainable choices a daily habit.

Participants can download two virtual checklists:

EcoDay Checklist which encourages participants to take up the EcoDay Challenge—complete five of the actions a person has decided to focus on in one day. These include suggestions such as purchasing a majority of products without plastic packaging while shopping, bundling multiple errands together in one trip and visiting a local park and picking up any litter found.

EcoHome Certification Checklist challenges residents to complete at least one action from every category on the list which include: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Energy Conservation; Water Conservation, Transportation, Social Equity, Ecological Conservation, Civic Engagement, Emergency Preparedness, Construction and Renovation. Many of these actions go a little bit further than the ones on the EcoDay checklist, suggesting that residents:

•Exchange at least 2 types of single-use materials for reusable or alternative materials

•Conduct an at-home energy audit and resolved any pressing issues found within the past year

•Install showerheads that are WaterSense-certified

•Volunteer for an ivy pull or organized one with friends and family within the past 6 months

The checklist is considered a tool to help residents track their sustainability progress and contributions, and connect them with community resources and connections along the way. Upon completion of 20 items, residents can apply for and receive the bronze level of certification (followed by silver and gold as more items are completed) and receive a free lawn/window sign to commemorate their progress.

As I look over the checklists, I’m reassured to see I am already incorporating sustainable practices into my everyday life such as supporting locally sourced businesses, cooking plant-based meals, and using the compost pail the City has provided to collect leftover food scraps. But there is much more I could be doing so the first place my wife and I are starting is to purchase reusable cloth bowl covers to reduce our use of plastic.

The Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The City of Lake Oswego has laid out a choice of steps we can all take to tread more intentionally upon this planet.

If you’d like to explore homes in Lake Oswego with sustainable features, give me a call at 503.939.9801, email me at or check my website. I’ve been a Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to make your next move your best one!

About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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