Issaquah Kiwanis Environmental Committee – What do we do?
By: Kiwanis Team ~ 1/18/2021

We are a committee of the Issaquah Kiwanis club focused on environmental projects within the greater Issaquah community that provide opportunities for Kiwanis and affiliated clubs to restore and enhance the environment in alignment with the club mission.  We also hold ourselves accountable to demonstrate efficiency by guiding the club to be more efficient in all operations.

We start at home – in our Building and Operations

Our Building:

We are working toward increasing efficiency of the Gibson hall to retire fossil fuel at every opportunity and to prepare to participate in the use of renewable energy.  This transformation is being kicked off with the replacement of a 32-year-old water heater.  We will be performing a PSE energy assessment to help prioritize future projects.  The committee is also researching options for purchasing renewable energy for the building.  A few of the options are the PSE Green Power Program or Arcadia Renewable Energy.

BLOGPOST_EnvironmentalCommittee_01182021.jpg 

Our Operations:

Demonstrate environmental considerations in all our meetings and events.  Focus on reduce/reuse/recycle/less plastic. 

And we work in our Community: 

We support environmental restoration and beautification projects.  A sampling of recent involvement:

    • Raised Money and Awareness to support the Kokanee restoration effort in Lake Sammamish:

Kokanee Project Web Page

Spawning Grounds Documentary Trailer

    • Participation in the Green Issaquah Partnership

https://www.issaquahwa.gov/3041/Green-Issaquah

We participate in many community cleanup events alongside partner organizations in the city:

    • Downtown Issaquah Association (DIA)
    • Chamber of Commerce (CoC)
    • Key Clubs
    • Green Teams (High Schools) – DECA Students/Working w/City
    • Rotary
    • Issaquah Alps Trails Club
    • Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park (FLSSP)
    • Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH)
    • Issaquah People for Climate Change
    • Issaquah Parks & Community Services Department
    • Issaquah Public Works Department

And best of all, we have FUN!

Meetings are currently virtual, and the committee is busy where we are, using what we have and doing what we can within the safety guidelines of a roaring pandemic.  I’m looking forward to enjoying the comradery outside of zoom meetings soon!

My Challenge to readers - is to find one new thing that you can do to support a more sustainable lifestyle, and here’s a great place to find ideas:

City of Issaquah Office of Sustainability

 

Gratefully,

Sherry Dietz – Issaquah Kiwanis Environmental Committee Chair

 

 


Transportation, Lithium-Ion Battery Research and a Phone Call leads to This Blog Post
By: Kiwanis Team ~ 1/11/2021

I recently retired and decided to start investing time and money into the lifestyle and companies that are venturing into where humankind is headed for sustainable living. The demand for energy will never cease. However, fossil fuel use must cease and make room for a new way to consume energy for a sustainable planet for generations to come. So, to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, I am spending some time soaking up information so I can capitalize and contribute to the solutions.

Electrification & Economics & Renewable Energy

Electrification is on the rise very fast and if you have a car, home, appliance, etc. that uses electricity, the source of energy can easily be switched to a cheaper, cleaner and renewable sources as they come online. Message: Prepare for the future, start electrifying.

Economics is everything. Right now, our public utilities are generating cheap electricity, and a small percentage of it is renewable. The economic investment and returns for renewables are getting better and we are moving toward the renewables fast. Here's an example of the investment in renewable energy. This Ellensburg, WA project is economically lucrative to the private owner, supports several jobs, restores the land, creates salmon habitat, in addition to creating renewable energy for approximately 1,250 average households. - I want to power my car and home with this type of energy instead of a barrel of oil.

Swauk Ranch leading by example in private energy supply

Closing the Gap: Transportation and Energy Storage

Storage of guilt-free renewable electricity in the transportation sector is an emerging global industry right now. Transportation is a major consumer of fossil fuel, and a switch to an electric car requires a battery to replace a fuel tank.

The most efficient, safest, mass produced batteries for the emerging transportation demand today are Lithium-Ion based. For the science, see the University of Washington Clean Energy Institute: Lithium-Ion Battery: https://www.cei.washington.edu/education/science-of-solar/battery-technology/ 

And this is where I circle back to the phone call leading to this post. I was called on a lazy winter morning. The call was from the Issaquah Kiwanis communications committee chair - and she asked me what I was doing at the moment. On that particular morning I was adequately fueled with coffee, and deep into researching Lithium ore companies for investment opportunities. She remarked that she had never heard someone respond they were researching lithium when asked what they were doing. I'm a little nerdy and you never know what bunny trail I'll send my brain down in any given day. We both agreed, that an article may be of interest to the club. I don't know a lot of detail about the science behind lithium's efficiency, I'll leave that to the battery experts, however I do know, it's the best commercially produced type of transportation battery we have at this time, and it's in demand.

Life will get better for the planet and for me.

For now, I've signed up for the PSE Green Power program, my bill was $3 last month - very doable. I've also invested a small sum in a few Lithium mines I've determined are worth betting on. The switch to electrification and the demand for Lithium will be high for some time to come. I know I'll enjoy a new electric car and all its features in the near future, and the growth and gains in the mining stocks just might pay for the car. I'll also be thrilled to count the barrels of oil I'm not burning (1 barrel of oil makes about 1 tank of gas).

Now… what's after that? Hydrogen? Electrified Rail Infrastructure? I sure hope so!

Sherry Dietz,
Issaquah Kiwanis Environmental Committee Chair