In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we're hosting a community Bingo card to encourage everyone who lives and works in Kirkland to give back a little by taking action to help the environment during April. These actions can be done at home or following social distancing guidelines in your neighborhood and local parks. Join Council and City staff in taking action to help the planet during April - plus you can be entered in a prize drawing if you complete a Bingo!
Download your printable Bingo card here (pdf, 370kb). You can also save the image of the card at right. We encourage folks to fill your card out digitally, otherwise you can print a copy to mark off through the month.
We can also mail you a hard copy - if you'd like a printed Bingo card, please send your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 8.
While we offer a prize drawing for completing a Bingo, we encourage you to see how many actions you can do in the month of April. Can you fill out the whole card?
Tips are listed for Bingo card actions from left to right, starting with the top row.
You may already be doing some of the ongoing actions (like composting your food scraps), or some actions might not apply to you. Our advice is to follow the spirit of the action in that case. Even if you have done a one-time activity in the past (like recycling electronics), you should do it in April to earn the credit.
- Sign up for the Kirkland Green Trip Reward Program - sign up for Kirkland Green Trip / Rideshareonline and earn rewards for telecommuting, riding the bus, biking, walking, or carpooling instead of driving alone. If you’re working from home during the pandemic, make sure to log your telecommute days to earn rewards!
- Post a pic of your favorite Kirkland tree on social media - trees are environmental powerhouses, providing habitat for native wildlife, preventing erosion, improving air quality, keeping our city cool, and more. Kirkland's proud to be a Tree City USA. When you post your pic, tag the City of Kirkland's account @kirklandgov on Instagram and use the hashtag #EarthMonthKirkland
- Recycle electronics - In Kirkland we have a special curbside collection program for all types of personal electronics, so you can recycle things like keyboards, cell phones, and other peripherals for free next to your cart (schedule with WM). E-Cycle Washington offers free drop-off recycling year-round for TVs, computers, monitors, and tablets. Electronics contain heavy metals that can leach out in the landfill, so it's better for the environment to recycle them. There are also valuable components in many electronics that can be reused or recycled. We encourage you to reuse electronics that still work.
- Grow an edible plant in your yard or a pot - grow a salad mix from seed, or try peas, herbs, or other greens. Peas are very simple to grow, you just need a pot with holes for drainage and room for about 12" of roots, good potting soil, and something for them to climb. Microgreens can be grown in your window. Check out info on container gardening from KCLS' Overdrive online book collection. Look for seeds from local companies, who will carry varieties that do well in the Pacific Northwest. Get free advice from the Garden Hotline at email@example.com. Grow something that you'll like to eat - if you don't particularly enjoy kale from the store, you won't like it much better from your garden :)
- Plan your meals for a week - planning your meals is a great way to keep food from being wasted because you can buy only the food you know you'll need to make those meals.
- Create a travel utensil kit for your bag or car - special travel utensil kits are available to buy, but you don’t have to buy something special to be ready to eat waste-free away from home. Roll a fork and spoon in a cloth napkin and tuck it into your purse, laptop bag, briefcase, or glovebox. If you don’t have a fork or spoon to spare, you can pick up a reused one from Goodwill for about a quarter. Next time you get takeout for lunch, you can ask for no plastic utensils and prevent a little waste.
- Replace single use batteries with rechargeables in one item - Rechargeable batteries are significantly better for the environment, many able to be recharged 1000+ times. Batteries contain toxic materials, so it's better to reuse rechargeables than using many many single-use batteries. Already switched over your AA and AAAs? Rechargeable 9v batteries are also available.
- Get your family’s water footprint at watercalculator.org - your water footprint includes both the water you use directly, plus the water that's used to produce the other things you use, like food, clothing and household goods
- Have a leftovers or scrap cooking dinner - use up odds and ends in your fridge with “fridge-clearing soup” or dishes that you can throw in a little dash of this and a dash of that like omelets, fritattas, casseroles, chilis, burritos and stir fries. Find inspiration for “second meals” from cookbook “Secrets of Great Second Meals” or leftover ingredient recipes from Save the Food.
- Collect at least five items to donate or sell for reuse - reuse is one of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of your belongings, both giving away or selling items to be used when you’re done with them, and buying secondhand goods rather than new when you can.
- Fix something or do preventative maintenance - extending the life of an item means that you don't have to get a replacement, which has a big environmental impact. Repair is an important part of preventing waste! Check out iFixIt for repair guides for everything from your smartphone to a torn hem.
- Contact one of your elected officials to let them know you support protecting the planet - not sure what to say? If they've supported an environmental policy that you like, thank them. Let them know your top priority for the environment, like orca recovery, air quality, or climate change. Share a brief story about why the environment is important to you. Or ask them to support a policy you'd like to see happen.
- Free square!
- Go outside and count how many birds you see - Look out for the migratory birds that flock to our region every spring! Figure out what you’re looking at with the Audubon app. Want to help birds in your neighborhood? Check out Eastside Audubon.
- Shorten your shower (goal = 5 min or less) - showering accounts for 20% of the water used in your home! You can get a low-flow showerhead and shower timer for the cost of postage from Cascade Water Alliance if your water is provided through them, or Finn Hill Juanita and Kingsgate residents served by Northshore Utility District can get low-flow showerheads from them.
- Unplug unused electronics - "vampire electronics" draw power even when they're not actively being used. Unplugging electronics can slash your energy bill by up to 10%!
- Put all your food scraps in your gray food and yard waste cart all month - composting your food scraps is a great way to reduce your waste going to the landfill. Food scraps that are composted get turned into a rich soil amendment in just a few weeks, returning nutrients to the earth, while food that goes to the landfill sits for years because there’s not enough oxygen for normal decomposition. And remember, no plastic bags in the compost – only things that were grown can be composted!
- Hike in (or to) a local park - Kirkland has dozens of parks across the city. Find one near you, and remember to follow social distancing guidelines and stay six feet away from other people!
- Eat a plant-based (no meat or dairy) dinner - you can find lots of ideas for meatless meals at Meatless Monday, or check out some vegan ebook cookbooks from King County Library System’s online Overdrive collection.
- Bike or walk instead of driving on one trip - Biking and walking are great for the planet and healthy for you! Many of the trips people take are short, only a mile or two, perfect for walking or biking.
- Plant a native plant or remove an invasive plant - find the right native plant for your yard in King County's native plant guide or see our suggestions for native trees (pdf), native shrubs (pdf), and native groundcovers (pdf). Follow our DIY native landscaping guide (pdf) to incorporate native plants into your garden. Native plants support wildlife and are suited to our climate, while invasive plants grow aggressively and crowd out native plants. See this photo guide of which plants are invasive. Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, butterfly bush, and English holly are some of the most common offenders - if you have any in your yard, consider replacing them with a native plant instead.
- Set your thermostat to 68 during the day and 61 at night - lowering the temperature 7-10°F when you're asleep or away can save up to 10% on your heating costs! If you have baseboard heaters (not a furnace or heat pump), turn the thermostat down or off in unoccupied rooms and close the door to reduce your heating costs and save energy.
- Don’t buy or drink bottled water all month - bottled water costs a lot more money than tap water, but the majority of those costs are for everything but the water – bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing, and profits! It costs 2,000 times more to drink bottled water than it does to drink from the tap. Watch this video to learn more reasons to skip bottled water.
- Install low-flow aerators on your bathroom and kitchen faucets - check your existing faucet aerators - WaterSense bathroom aerators reduce the flow to 1.5gpm, compared with standard aerators at 2.2gpm. It adds up - swapping to a low-flow aerator can save 700 gallons of water a year! You can get a low-flow kitchen and bathroom aerator for the cost of postage from Cascade Water Alliance if your water is provided through them (most neighborhoods except Finn Hill and Kingsgate).
- Follow Kirkland Conserves or Green Kirkland Partnership on social media or join email
- Follow Kirkland Conserves on Facebook or Twitter or get monthly emails (scroll to bottom section and check "Kirkland Conserves" box). Learn about recycling and natural yard care classes, along with info and tips to help you go greener at home.
- Follow Green Kirkland Partnership on Facebook or get monthly emails. Learn about opportunities to volunteer to restore natural areas, plus seasonal wildlife and plant facts.
Fill out a Bingo (five in a row, column, or diagonally) and be entered in a drawing for a gift certificate to a Kirkland EnviroStars restaurant of your choice. One $50 gift certificate and two $25 gift certificates will be awarded. Three winners will be selected by random drawing in May. Limit one entry per person.
Kirkland EnviroStars restaurants include: Cactus, SPUD Fish & Chips, Le Grand Bistro Americain, Cafe Juanita, Thumra Thai, Pagliacci Pizza, Gyro World and Rumi Restaurant. EnviroStars restaurants have earned recognition for following environmental best practices.
To be entered in the drawing, email your card with at least one Bingo to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 8.
If you’re not able to take a picture of your card or send a digital version, you can mail it to us at:
Kirkland City Hall
Solid Waste Division
123 Fifth Ave
Kirkland, WA 98033
Cards must be received by May 8th to be entered in the drawing.
Participation is based on the honor system. Thanks for celebrating Earth Month with us! We hope you enjoy taking action to help the planet. Share your pics with us using the hashtag #EarthMonthKirkland.