For launching promotions that increased employee recycling at City Hall and helped residents cut carbon emissions, the City of Bellevue has received awards from the Puget Sound chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Partly as a result of a 2008 promotional campaign that included a competition between teams of employees, in-house recycling at City Hall and other city facilities rose from 48 percent to 77 percent. In addition, nearly half of all food scraps and food-soiled paper generated at City Hall is now composted.
To make it easy for residents to reduce the amount of carbon they generate, the city introduced the Carbon Yeti, a cartoon bigfoot who wastes energy around the house. Through Puget Sound Energy's Powerful Choices for the Environment program, sixth graders in Bellevue's middle schools learn along with the Carbon Yeti how to conserve energy.
Students take home pledge books that explain global climate change and suggest easy ways to reduce energy use in and around the home. So far, nearly 400 residents have sent in pledge cards listing ways they are shrinking their carbon footprints. Bellevue residents who would like a Smaller Footprint Pledge book should call Bellevue Utilities at 425-452-6932.
The PRSA gave the city two Totem awards, for professional excellence and ingenuity, at a ceremony in Seattle on Wednesday.
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