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

Updates to Waste Reduction Regulations for 2024

On September 12, 2023, City Council adopted Ordinance 2023-24 amending BIMC 8.24, Disposable Food Service Ware and Waste Reduction. These changes were made based on feedback from local businesses and City staff experience implementing the disposable food service ware and waste reduction requirements that went into effect in 2022 and 2023. 

Key changes include the following:  

  • Eliminates the 25-cent disposable cup fee: food retail establishments on the Island are no longer required to charge a 25-cent disposable cup fee for each disposable, home compostable beverage cup provided to customers for off-premises dining.  Customers are still encouraged to bring their own reusable cup!  
  • Changes from a process that requires all disposable food service ware be home compostable to a limited list of home compostable products required each year. View the 2024 home compostable disposable food service ware product list (PDF) 
  • Allows the use of metal foil and metal foil-faced papers to wrap hot food such as hamburgers and burritos. 
  • Allows retail food establishments to make the following single-use items available to customers (for to-go orders only) in cylinders, bins, dispensers, containers, or other means on a self-service basis after customers affirm that they want them:  
    • Utensils (must be home compostable)
    • Straws (must be home compostable)
    • Condiments in packaging
    • Beverage cup lids 

Access resources and educational materials to comply with City waste reduction regulations using the 2024 Waste Reduction Resources link. 

Table showing a list of 16 disposable food service ware products required in a home compostable form

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

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 installed bins to collect organic waste at various locations in downtown Winslow this summer. 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 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. 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 arriving in late 2023. Learn more in the short video below. 

  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.