Climate Action

In November 2020, Bainbridge Island City Council approved the first-ever Bainbridge Island Climate Action Plan (CAP). This plan is a culmination of a three-year effort by the Climate Change Advisory Committee working with City staff, community stakeholders and the public. 

 The CAP has three overarching goals:

  • Mitigation: Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 90% by 2045 compared to 2014 levels with interim milestones of 25% reduction by 2025 and 60% by 2035.
  • Adaptation: Ensure that Bainbridge Island is climate savvy and can withstand the impacts of climate change.
  • Community Engagement: Inspire community action and partner with local and regional organizations to take meaningful and equitable climate change mitigation and adaptation actions. 

Communitywide GHG emissions increased 9% from 2014 to 2018. Achieving the goals outlined in the CAP will depend on everyone in the Bainbridge Island community working towards a clean, healthy and vibrant future.  

Curious what actions will have the biggest climate benefit for your household? Want to reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and improve the health of our community? Join the Climate Smart Challenge today! Learn more about steps you can take to help reduce GHG emissions and prepare for climate change

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News & Current Topics of Interest

Become a Climate Smart Bainbridge Team Leader today!

Bainbridge Islanders have reduced 142 metric tons of climate pollution by completing simple actions in the Climate Smart Challenge - that’s equivalent to taking 32 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles off the road for one full year! We can make an even bigger impact by working together within our community, whether it’s challenging your friends and neighbors, or introducing the Challenge to groups you’re involved with. That’s why we’re calling on all Islanders to join our Climate Smart Team Leader cohort!

From October through December, we’ll be highlighting climate smart solutions for transportation, home energy, and more, and providing the resources and support to help you make the greatest impact before the end of the year. All you need is the passion for a Climate Smart Bainbridge and about an hour per week! Ready to get started? Register here to become a Climate Smart Team Leader!

Want to learn more before signing up? Join our upcoming informational session to learn more about the Challenge and the different ways you can take action for a Climate Smart Bainbridge, and connect with others in the community. 

Explore Climate Smart Tax Credits from the IRA

The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) directs $500 billion towards accelerating clean energy investments and reducing carbon emissions, in addition to other healthcare and tax investments. The suite of buildings-related rebates and incentives under the IRA will support electrification and efficiency, with a special focus on low-income households. Households will be able to take advantage of a range of upfront rebates and tax credits towards energy efficient electric appliances and energy efficiency improvements in their homes. Learn more

Graphic showing tax credits for Inflation Reduction Act

Learn how the Sustainable Transportation Plan can help reduce GHG Emissions

The City contracted with the firm Fehr & Peers in 2022-23 to: 

  • measure the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction potential of the Connecting Centers scenario from the STP,
  • evaluate additional scenarios to determine which strategies and transportation projects could provide substantial progress towards reducing GHG emissions on Bainbridge Island, 
  • establish 2021 vehicle miles traveled and transportation-related GHGs emissions data for the Island, and
  • analyze the impact of federal and state policies and legislation on future greenhouse gas emissions related to transportation. 

A summary of their findings is available in a high-level Arc GIS Storymap and a detailed report (PDF). 

STP Storymap Graphic

New organic waste collection bins in downtown Winslow

In support of the City’s 2023 waste regulations requiring home compostable food service ware for to-go orders, the City recently installed bins to collect organic waste at various locations in downtown Winslow. The new “Compost Only” containers can accept food waste, napkins, wooden utensils, pizza boxes and other natural fiber-based home compostable food containers. All dog poop and plastic items marked as “compostable” should go in the trash. The new containers include images and text in five languages – English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese – to help quickly communicate what goes where with visitors from around the world. Nearby containers collecting materials for recycling and disposal to the landfill were also updated with new signage.

City staff will be monitoring contamination in the new compost containers and working with Bainbridge Island Zero Waste to perform 1-2 audits of materials collected in the containers as part of this pilot project to assess container style and messaging for the collection of organic waste in a public setting. Learn more by watching the short video below. Thank you to our Public Work’s staff for getting these new containers installed and helping with this pilot program! 

The City has transitioned to zero emission tools!

As part of the 2018 greenhouse gas emissions inventory, the City recorded close to 6,500 gallons of fuel consumption per year for the use of gas-powered equipment for vegetation management, accounting for about 3% of the overall emissions from City government operations. In January 2022, the City ordered two zero emission, electric leaf blowers, which finally arrived in early 2023 for a pilot test in City operations. A full transition to electric leaf blowers, string trimmers, hedge clippers, pole saws, and lawn edgers was completed by the City in May 2023, with electric chainsaws currently on backorder. Learn more in the short video below. 

Meet our newest Climate Smart Leader: Sara Daubenberger! 

Please help us celebrate our newest Climate Smart Leader, Sarah Daubenberger! Sarah helped initiate the Climate Smart 4th Grader pilot program at Ordway Elementary School, working with City staff to bring this program from an idea to implementation.  Congratulations Sara and thank you for your efforts to create a Climate Smart Bainbridge for both today's residents and future generations!

Climate Smart Leader- Sara Daubenberger

  1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
  2. Past City Actions Related to Sustainability

In 2019, the City worked with Cascadia Consulting Group to complete a comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory to quantify the amount of climate pollution produced in our community.  This information is summarized in a fact sheet (PDF) and will help track progress and inform decisions related to our Climate Action Plan goals.

Graph of 2018 Communitywide Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The majority of community GHG emissions stem from electricity use in homes and commercial buildings and gasoline and diesel fuel use for both on-road vehicles and air travel. Detailed information on sources of emissions can be found in the 2019 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report (PDF), which includes three distinct inventories:

  • A community inventory that estimates GHG emissions produced by activities of the Bainbridge Island community, including residents and businesses.
  • A municipal inventory that estimates GHG emissions resulting from City of Bainbridge Island government operations.
  • A consumption-based inventory that estimates GHG emissions associated with the consumption of food, goods, and services within the community, regardless of their origin.

The report also presents findings from additional analyses, including contribution analyses that identify key drivers of observed trends in emissions, such as changes in weather, population, or economic activity. A carbon sequestration analysis that estimates the amount of carbon dioxide that Bainbridge Island trees absorb—or sequester—from the atmosphere on an annual basis is also included.

Learn more about what the City is doing – and actions you can take – to both reduce GHG emissions and prepare our community for the impacts of climate change by exploring the links on this page.