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SE Uplift Virtual Earth Week 2020


Welcome to SE Uplift’s virtual earth week! 

Each year, SE Uplift hosts Earth Day litter pickups, clean-ups, and events with staff, neighborhoods, and community partners. 

This year, SE Uplift will celebrate earth day’s 50th anniversary with a week-long virtual earth week! Starting Monday, April 20th through Friday, April 24th we will be sharing activities, livestream events, share information on recycling and waste-related topics, fun reuse tips, and more!  

Check out our Facebook page to keep up with these activities in real time and use #SEPDXEarthDay2020 to share what you have been up to.  You could be one of our lucky winners of a $50 Fred Meyer Gift Certificate just for sharing.  The more you share, the more chances you have to win. 

April 20th

April 21st

April 22nd

Thursday April 23rd

April 24th

Climate Change & Energy

Bees & Trees

Earth Day

Compost & Food

Reduce Toxins & Creative Reuse

  • Take this quiz to test your knowledge. Think you know it all when it comes to sustainability? If you are so bold, post the quiz and your score on our Facebook page. 
  • Make a travel/commuter plan for when we return to our regular schedules. Use Metro’s Get  There Tool, which has options for getting around town without a car. 
  • Attend SE Uplift’s Virtual LUTC meeting. Tonight at 7pm we will cover environment and policy topics in the region. Register hereAgenda here. 

Our local, regional, and state governments all set the framework for efforts to combat climate change and policies that follow:

Lean about Portland’s most current policy efforts to combat climate change by reviewing Portlands Climate Emergency Resolution. 

Multnomah County’s Climate Action Plan originated in 2009 and was also adopted by Portland. Learn more here. 

After Oregon’s Cap and Trade bill died in both the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-04 which directs state agencies regulate greenhouse gas emissions. While this order updates the state’s carbon reduction goals, it does not create a market place. Therefore, loss of potential revenue to support changes in the original Senate Bill 1530.  


Portland’s Rose Lane Project is working to make bus a more attractive option for those with the ability to use it. Over the next 2 years a series of pilot projects will be implemented that get buses and streetcars out of traffic using a variety of solutions. These improvements are predicted to make transit more reliable for more than 100,000 transit riders on about 45 lines. 


Want to know more about what Portland is doing to address climate and energy? Review this history and key documents of climate planning and action in Portland here. 


Multnomah County’s Climate Action Plan (153.87 KB) serves as a 40-year roadmap for the institutional and individual change needed to affect climate change. The vision is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. See the latest 2017 update and related information here. 


There are a handful of neighborhood groups in SE working to make their streets safer for walking and biking and improve air quality in the process. Read SE Uplift’s article here and reach out to engage with these amazing community members.   


Learn more at SE Uplift’s Land Use and Transportation Meeting tonight at 7pm. Register for the zoom meeting here. See agenda here 

  • Attend a virtual presentation on “Placemaking and How City Repair Is Responding to the Pandemic.”@ 5:30pm. Learn more & RSVP here. Join event info here.
  • Take the 2019/20 bee survey here.
  • Post a photo or name your favorite SE Portland street or park to walk through. Does it have trees? Why do you love it? Tag us on Facebook!
  • Calculate the benefits of your trees to the community. Go here then post your results to our FB page. 
  • Donate/plant a tree. Go here to donate on behalf of someone or yourself! What is earth day without trees?    
  • Create a bee habitat on your property. Post a photo on our Facebook page @SEuplift on &/or Instagram with the hashtag #SEPDXEarthDay2020 
  • Volunteer to support our urban forest! Join your Neighborhood Tree Team or take part in one of many opportunities through Urban Forestry or with Friends of Trees

Trees need policy protection too:

Portland’s Tree Code was launched in 2015 to strike a balance between development and tree preservation. In September 2016, the City Auditor conducted an Audit on the code here. Learn more about how to be part of this process here & take the survey here.

Bureau of Environmental Services is investing in a cleaner, healthier city, one tree at a time by offering residents a one-time credit on their City of Portland sewer/water utility bill for planting a tree on a residential yard. Learn more about the TreeBate program.

Tree Benefits: Can you list all the benefits of trees? I bet you are missing one… go hereto learn more. We guarantee you’ll be surprised.  


Tree Maintenance: Sharpen your tree pruning or planting skills by viewing the resources here. Find out if you need a permit before pruning or removing existing trees here 

  • Attend a virtual live presentation by Ground Score Association @ noon – Who Is Ground Works and How to Support Canners! Learn more & RSVP hereJoin event info here.
  • Become a citizen scientist. Gather important scientific data near you — air quality and plastic pollution using an earth challenge app. Go here for more information. 
  • Share an earth day or sustainability story/action from your past to inspire others. Share on our our Facebook page
  • Post a photo of how you are showing mother earth some love today and chate with us @SEuplift on Facebook &/or Instagram with the hashtag #SEPDXEarthDay2020
  • Join OPAL’s virtual Climate Justice Rally and Teach-in @ 4pm. Lean more and sign up here

Organizational policies that help our climate: Organizations and businesses contribute to greenhouse gasses and waste. They can do a lot to reduce their carbon footprint. Metro, our regional government and operator of large venues such as the convention center,  has taken a number of steps to build and operate more sustainably.

SE Uplift is also striving to do its part for the environment. Read our article here on how we have gone green over the last year and post to Facebook suggestion on how we can do better! 

Learn more about 50 years of Earth Day. Visit the  national Earth Day 2020 site here


Portland’s Parks and Recreation get creative with incorporating more natural habitat in our parks. Read SE Uplift’s Executive Director’s perspective here.


Environmental justice is an important part of the struggle to improve and maintain a clean and healthful environment, especially for those who have traditionally lived, worked and played closest to the sources of pollution. Learn more about Environmental Justice, the history, the struggle for equality in communities of color here

  • Attend a virtual presentation by City Repair Project on Natural Building and Earth Art @ 5:30. Learn more & RSVP hereJoin event info here.
  • Make a compost!

* Have space in your backyard? See tips for building your own compost here

* Apartment living? Don’t worry, ShareWaste  connects folks without access to compost bins and folks with to help everyone compost.

* Share on our Facebook page @SEuplift on &/or Instagram with the hashtag #SEPDXEarthDay2020 

  • Pledge to reduce your food wates. Take the Eat Smart, Waste Less Challenge and make a pledge to reduce your food waste today. 
  • Make a commitment to reduce your animal-based food consumption. Learn more here and post your pledge to our FB site or Instagram at hashtag #SEPDXEarthDay2020

Diverting waste from our landfills:

Approximately one ton of CO2-equivalent emissions is prevented for each ton of food scraps diverted from landfill. With this incentive, Portland implemented the residential food collection program in 2012 where garbage collection was reduced to every other week and food scraps were combined with yard debris in a weekly service. Waste sent to landfills decreased by 38%! Organic waste collected was nearly three times the amount collected the prior year. See more information about why and how here and the report here 

Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse – Can we do better? Opinion piece here by Leah Fisher, SE Uplift staff.


Composting turns your yard trimmings and vegetable scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendment for your yard and garden. Metro offers tips for composting success and other resources, like how to make your own bin.  


Learn more about how damaging food waste is and find tips for limiting your waste here.

Did you know that 2 people throw away enough food each day to feed another person? Learn more here.


Maximize use of your curbside compost bin, tips for eliminating odors and pests, what goes in the bin and MORE helpful reminders! RE

  • Attend a virtual life presentation on where housing, neighbors, and environmental justice meet @ 4pm. Learn more & RSVP here
  • Make your own green cleaner! Post a photo or video; tag @SEUplift!
  • Share a story or photo on our FB about the most creative way you’ve reused something that might otherwise have been thrown away to inspire others!
  • Become a Mater Recycler. Master Recyclers are a volunteer corps who inspire neighbors and coworkers into action. Learn more here
  • Walk the block and pick up litter. Do a neighborhood litter pick up. Please email:  at least 24 hrs. in advance to borrow a sanitized litter pickup kit!
  • Go through your stuff and donate unwanted items. Old and unwanted electronics to Free Geek, tools to the SE Portland Tool Library or other donations to the Goodwill or other local consignment shops.  

Reducing toxins in our environment can happen in a variety of ways, below are just a couple examples of how policy can help:

Portland’s residential deconstruction program promotes reuse of historic building materials and reduces the release of toxins into our environment during demolition. First passed in July 2016, it was recently expanded upon to include more of our housing stock. Learn more about the program here.

Additionally, there are non- governmental organizations promoting safe and sustainable demolition practices to improve health and safety, reduce waste, and mitigate community concerns. Go here to learn what earth advantage is doing in Portland. 


Plastic reduction efforts have included a number of local and state policies.  Styrofoam and other plastic products are extremely difficult to recycle and often end up as litter in our open spaces, rivers and oceans.  They break down into small toxic pieces that wildlife and aquatic animals consume because they can’t distinguish the small pieces from food. 

Styrofoam has been prohibited in Portland at restaurants, grocery stores, and nonprofit food services for a few years now.

A statewide plastic bag ban went into effect January 2020. First passed in Portland, statewide adoption means less plastic waste in our environment. Learn more here

And in 2020, The City of Portland banned single use plastic straws and utensils and requires restaurants to ask if customers need to go utensils instead of automatically including it.  Learn more about the city’s efforts here.

Where Housing, Neighbors, & Environmental Justice Meet: Online Presentation by Backyard Tiny Houses, Nupur Patel and Laquida Landford and her Afro Village Project!  



Green cleaning is a toxic free way to clean your home and much much more. Learn more here


Recycle, Reduce and Reuse – can we do better? SE Uplift Earth Week article see below To sharpen your recycling skills, go here 


SE Uplift supports seasonal litter pick ups and neighborhood clean ups to provide an opportunity for neighbors to donate and dispose of bulky items that might not fit in their bins. Learn more about SE Uplift’s Community Collection events and their impact here

Earth Week Live Conversation Series

SE Uplift is co-hosting a series of  Live Virtual Earth Week Conversations with groups like City Repair, Ground Score Association, Afro Village PDX Project and more! Go here for more information and to register.  Go here to join an event via Zoom. 

Local Organizations Making a Difference in Southeast

Bikes for Humanity PDX

Bikes For Humanity PDX is a local Southeast organization that works to substantially increase public access to affordable and safe bikes. If you are a bike nerd or passionate about two wheels for all, consider volunteering or donating a bike.

Friends of Trees

Friends of Trees is a too good to be true, but it is, organization that makes planting trees a snap for neighbors. Want a street tree? They will send someone to measure, assess and permit your planting strip and send you a list of approved trees. Want a yard tree? You choose exactly where you want to plant. Most for under $40. Donate, volunteer, or go online to get a tree planted. 

Sunrise Movement PDX

Sunrise Movement PDX is a grassroots organization lead by young people passionate about combating climate change. Visit their website and take action.

Ground Score

Ground Score is an association of environmental workers who create and fill low-barrier waste management jobs. Ground Score puts homeless Portlanders to work for a fair wage by sorting recyclables and trash that would otherwise be left on the ground or shipped to landfills! Read more.!

SE Tool Library

SE Portland Tool Library is a local non-profit that recognizes when neighbors have access to tools they need, creativity knows no bounds. Because tools are an expensive investment, it can be a barrier for some community members. To Help members borrow tools, or work behind the scenes. Or Donate today!

The Street Trust

The Street Trust focuses on creating a reality where people can meet their daily transportation needs through active transportation (e.g. walking, biking, and rolling). This org encourages biking and walking through events such as their annual Bike More Challenge. Consider volunteering, get involved in advocacy, or participate in their events.

Portland Urban Bee Keepers

Portland Urban Bee Keepers provide community, advocacy, and education for those interested in raising honey bees and supporting their presence in the environment. Volunteer or donate today!

Oregon Environmental Council

Oregon Environmental Council brings Oregonians together to protect our water, air and land with healthy solutions that work for today and for future generations. OEC works statewide as a membership-based, nonpartisan nonprofit.

Local Food Pantries

Southeast Community Food Pantry and Urban Gleaners are food pantries working hard to reduce regional food waste while ensuring everyone has something to eat. Call (503)895-6102 to make a donation or volunteer. To pick up food at 5535 SE Rhone St. Portland, call in advance to confirm hours.Check Urban Gleaners' online schedule for food distribution at Or set up a mobile market in your community, email or call (503) 226-8061Also visit Type in your zip code to find a free food pantry near you!

Free Geek

Free Geek, located in inner SE, exists to sustainably reuse technology, enable digital access, and provide education to create a community that empowers people to realize their potential. They provide services to businesses and the community such as: discounted or free electronics, support, and educational classes. Free Geek accepts donations of computers and other electronics at their Portland facility.

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