live sustainablySustainable Capitol Hill wants to help you get green, because even small changes at the individual level can lead to big changes in our community!

  1. Recycle! If your home or apartment does not have a recycling bin, visit Seattle Public Utilities to find out how you can get one, and what you can and cannot recycle.
  2. Compost! With yard waste collection now broadly available in Seattle, it is easier than ever to reduce what goes into your trash can, and consequently into the landfill. Non-meat food scraps, like apple cores, tea bags, egg shells, coffee grounds, etc… can be composted through the city’s collection program. Even some food-soiled containers, like pizza boxes, as well as napkins and paper towels, can be put into your yard waste bin. For a complete list of compostables, or to get a yard waste bin for you apartment or house, visit Seattle Public Utilities.
  3. Walk, Bike, Bus or Zip! As Capitol Hill residents, we are very lucky! With our bustling commercial districts, and our proximity to downtown, we have some of the best reasons to ditch the car and hit the pavement! Walking and biking is not only great exercise, but a way to get out and interact with the community while reducing our carbon footprint. Need help with your bike, or buying a new one? Community organizations and businesses like The Bikery and 20/20 Cycles can help. If you need wheels, there are many Metro bus routes that can get you to your destination; or try car-sharing! Zipcar offers access to dozens and dozens of shared vehicles on Capitol Hill for a low-cost membership for those times where you need a car for the occasional errand. And if you do drive, make sure to get regular tune-ups, check tire pressure often, drive 55 instead of 65 (uses 10% less gas!), carpool whenever possible, and if you have a pick-up truck, cover the bed or remove the gate (uses 5% less gas!).
  4. Buy or Borrow Local and Re-used Products! Why buy something that’s been mass-produced through socially irresponsible practices, or flown half-way around the world when you can find local and recycled products that support our local economy? With dozens of artisans producing hand-made local goods in Seattle, you can find almost anything you might need or want. Better yet-get thrifty! There are a number of thrift stores and consignment shops on Capitol Hill that offer clothing, furniture, appliances and more on the cheap, like Atlas Clothing, Take 2, Crossroads Trading, Red Light, Le Frock, Value Village, Goodwill, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, as well as neighborhood garage sales. Or try on-line at FreeCycle and Craigslist! And don’t forget to use that great free neighborhood resource: our Capitol Hill Library!As for buying local food, the Broadway Farmer’s Market is held in our neighborhood every Sunday, May through November. Stroll over and find some of the freshest, most delicious seasonal fruits and veggies grown right here in Washington! And during winter, you can find local produce in many of Capitol Hill’s grocery stores, such as Madison Market. There are also local grocery delivery services, like And the Hill has a number of restaurants that feature local products, including Artemis, Julia’s on Broadway, Volunteer Park Cafe, Poppy, Lark, Licorous, Monsoon, Olivar, Quinn’s, Smith, La Spiga, Spinasse, and more! For more information check out our page on eating locally.
  5. Bring Your Own Bags! Can you imagine how many paper and plastic bags could be kept out of our landfills if everyone brought a reusable bag with them when they shopped? Do your part and tuck a canvas bag or two into your purse or backpack! If you feel like being crafty, join one of Sustainable Capitol Hill’s Tanks-to-Totes gatherings to sew your own reusable bag!
  6. Go Paperless! Just think of opening your mailbox and not seeing a bill, or a catalog, or an advertisement…. It’s possible! You can pay nearly any bill on-line these days, or by setting up an automatic withdrawal plan with your bank. Plus, there are ways to get off of catalog and advertising mailing lists: try
  7. Clean Green! There’s no need to use harsh chemicals to clean your house anymore. Get back to basics by buying eco-friendly cleaners, or better yet, make safe and effective household cleansers yourself- baking soda, lemons, and plain white vinegar are everyday household items that you can clean with! Check out National Geographic’s Green Guide for household cleaner recipes.
  8. Get Growing! If you rent or own a home with a yard, plant native plants and trees that will thrive in the Northwest’s climate with little effort. If you’ve got enough room for a small garden, it can be fun and rewarding to grow a little bit of your own food. In a sunny spot, try tomatoes or green beans. Got shade? Try growing salad greens, broccoli or beets. If you’re an apartment dweller, you can still harvest your own greens in a window box. Try hearty herbs like rosemary, sage, and mint. Come visit our Gardening Page for more information.
  9. Conserve Energy & Water! Simple things like turning off the lights when you leave a room, or shutting off an unused power strip, can make a big difference on your electric bill, and save a lot of energy. Weatherizing windows and doors, insulating pipes, and lowering the thermostat, can cut down on heating costs too. When replacing appliances, buy new appliances with the Energy Star label, that way you can be assured of their efficiency. To save water, try low-flow showerheads and toilets, collect rainwater and use native plants and drip irrigation in your yard. Reducing your shower time by even a minute can save water and the electricity needed to heat the water too!
  10. Volunteer! Whether through a neighborhood work party, a community social gathering, or one of many non-profit organizations on Capitol Hill, you can find a way to blend your interests and skills and lend tremendous support to your community. Getting acquainted and working with your neighbors is also a great way to make new friends and to build a strong, safe and sustainable Capitol Hill!