ASK EARTHA: Celebrating Sustainability, Pandemic Edition
Dear Eartha, As the pandemic continues, I’m having a hard time staying motivated in my sustainable habits. It seems like we are just even further from tackling the issues of waste and our changing climate than ever before. I could use some motivation!
Let me be your conservation cheerleader! Yes, the pandemic has impacted the environment in a variety of ways, from an increase in single use plastics to overuse of the natural areas we hold so dear. While the enormous task of addressing climate change still looms before us, it’s really important to recognize our accomplishments. We don’t even have to look very far.
Wins for Conservation in Summit County
You and 1,600 of your neighbors doubled the pounds of residential food scraps diverted from the landfill: more than 600,000 pounds in 2020! Local restaurants got in on it, too. More than 10 restaurants started new food scrap collection and glass recycling programs, even while navigating all the changing COVID restrictions.
Our community took collective steps to target the county’s big emitters: transportation and buildings, which together make up a whopping 60% of local emissions. Those steps included the adoption of new Sustainable Building Codes which will keep our community growing more sustainability. Additionally, 40 more homeowners put solar panels on their rooftops through Solarize Summit. That comes on top of 65 homeowners who transitioned to rooftop solar in 2019.
In the world of transportation, Summit County Government added three new electric buses to the Summit Stage fleet. The High Country Conservation Center is leading development of an EV
Readiness Plan to make electric vehicles and charging stations more accessible. These are all wins our community should be proud of. Wins that should show us even during a pandemic we can make an impact through our daily actions and our buying power. Let’s celebrate so we can stay motivated to keep the wins coming.
Party for the Planet
What could be better motivation than a party (even if it is a virtual one!)? The High Country Conservation Center (HC3) is celebrating local environmental wins with Party for the Planet, Pandemic Edition on Friday, March 5. And of course, the event comes to you a little differently this year.
Attendees will meet the 2021 Green Scene Award winners, locals making a real difference in the health of our environment. RSVP at HighCountryConservation.org to get your link and join the 6:00 p.m. watch party. The video is free to watch and will feature HC3’s programs, local craft breweries and event sponsors.
Get party ready by pre-purchasing a single or double Party Pack. Packs include a special edition stainless steel pint glass (local beer included), reusable tote and two-for-one local beer punch card valid at five partner breweries. Know someone who could use a little party cheer? Consider gifting a Party Pack.
Starting Friday, February 26, an online silent auction features tickets to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Loveland Ski Area and Aspen Snowmass; skis and a snowboard; outdoor gear from Viper, RMU and Outdoor Research; spa and wellness packages; local craft spirits and wine items; and much more. Auction bidding closes at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 5.
The party for conservation continues beyond March. All month long, take a self-guided beer tour at any one of the event’s five partner breweries: Angry James Brewery, Bakers’ Brewery, Highside Brewing, Outer Range Brewing Co., Pug Ryan’s Brewery. Each of these breweries will feature a special craft beer with $1 of proceeds benefiting HC3.
Locals – and their friends and family across the country – can raise a glass with HC3 and the 50+ community sponsors and partners who support our local environment. While a virtual event won’t replace the in-person experience, our community can still connect to motivate each other throughout this pandemic. It’s a great way to remind ourselves that we are not alone in our sustainability efforts, nor can we afford to slow those efforts down. Let’s come together to cheer our collective wins and renew our resolve in conservation.