Keeping The Emerald City Green

From Seattle, a duo of stories aiming to keep the Emerald City from losing it's green hue. First, Mayor Greg Nickels wants to plant a new tree for every man, woman and child in Seattle (about 649,000) to help "regreen" the city over the next three decades. Since the early 1970's, Seattle has lost more than half of its tree canopy to growth and development; aside from giving us more trees to hug, they're valuable urban assets for filtering pollution from the air, reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and absorbing rainwater before it becomes contaminated and runs into area waterways. A few miles north of the mayor's office, Seattle's Ballard neighborhood is looking to become the nation's first climate-neutral community. The initiative, sponsored by politicians, environmentalists and businesspeople alike, would offset the neighborhood's carbon footprint through investments in alternative energy through Climate Trust (we've featured them before, twice), a Portland-based organization that develops and oversees carbon neutralizing projects. Seattle non-profit NetGreen, who is directed by Flexcar founder Tracy Carroll, will be helping to get the word out to the 2,400 Ballard residents and businesses, with a goal to get everyone to commit to offset their carbon emissions by the end of 2006. If successful, the initative would likely spread throughout Seattle and King County. ::Mayor's Tree-Planting Plan [Seattle P-I] via ::Hugg and ::Ballard Goes Climate-Neutral [Seattle P-I] via ::Gristmill