FAQ

What is sustainability, anyways?

Sustainability, in the most fundamental sense of the word, means “the ability to be maintained.” Within the context of human communities, sustainability is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as the intersection of three main pillars: environmental protection, economic viability, and social equity. It’s important to recognize that actions like promoting inclusion or staying civically engaged — while not typically associated with “going green” — are vital components of a holistically sustainable community.

What are the benefits of owning a certified EcoHome?

EcoHome LO’s certification program, checklists, and resources are tools designed to guide you toward a holistically sustainable lifestyle. We’ll provide a framework and structure for your sustainability plan, connect you with community groups and activities that align with your interests, and work with you to accomplish the most difficult of checklist items. In return, you’ll begin to see the benefits of your efforts almost immediately, whether through a reduced electrical bill, thriving garden, or stronger connection with your city.

Furthermore, if you decide to remain involved with the program after attaining certification, you’ll have the opportunity to work with other Lake Oswego residents to compete in EcoDay challenges, develop on community projects, partake in fun and educational events, become local leaders, and more. You’ll also get your own EcoHome lawn sign and decal!

Does getting certified cost money?

No — you can get fully certified without spending a dime! However, do keep in mind that many green home/transportation investments pay themselves off and ultimately save you money over time. Be sure to check out our resource library to learn more!

How do I get certified?

While the EcoHome LO application system isn’t yet open for public submissions, there are a few things you can do right now to get involved!

  1. Fill out the interest form, which will help us learn a little bit about you. Once we process your entry, we’ll reach out to you with some basic information. We’ll also provide a point of contact to answer any initial questions you may have.
  2. Head over to the checklist page, where you’ll be able to view, copy, download, or print a provisional version of the certification checklist.
  3. Once you’ve created a personal copy of the checklist, mark off any items that already apply to you.
  4. If you don’t initially qualify for your desired certification level (don’t worry — most participants won’t), scan the checklist for items that you’re interested in accomplishing, and make a plan to complete them over time.
  5. Hang onto your personal checklist, continuing to mark off highlighted items as you complete them. Once the application system is open for public submissions, we’ll send you an email with information on how to create an EcoHome LO account. At that point, you’ll have access to a portal through which you can submit your checklist for certification! (Please note: parts of your application may be audited upon submission, so be sure to preserve photo or written evidence of the items you complete.)

When in doubt, our online library of resources can help you learn what a certain checklist item would require you to do and give you pointers on how to follow through and complete it.

Should I invite those I live with to participate with me?

Yes! EcoHome LO certifies households, not individuals, which means that each Lake Oswego address can only receive one certification. Inviting those you live with to participate in the certification process along with you will increase your external impact, bump you up toward a higher certification level, and help you build deeper connections with those you live with!

What happens to my EcoHome status if I move homes?

If you remain within Lake Oswego city limits, our team will guide you through the process of renewing your certification while living in a new home: simply reach out to our City email address to get started.

Didn’t find the answer you were looking for? Email ecohomelo@lakeoswego.city with any additional questions.