Eartha Steward: Helping out with the Gulf spill |

Eartha Steward: Helping out with the Gulf spill

Is there anything I can do (from Summit County) to help out with the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast?


Valerie, Frisco

It’s hard to imagine it’s been 23 days since we first heard news of the Gulf oil spill, the worst oil spill in this country’s history – exceeding in size and environmental damage the calamitous Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989. In the face of this huge disaster with unimaginable environmental consequences, it’s easy to feel angry and powerless.

We know it’s a grim picture, there’s no defined end in sight, and it’s clear that coastal ecosystems and vital wetlands will be hard hit by oil pollution. However, just because we live in a landlocked state doesn’t mean we can’t be part of the recovery efforts.

The spill has been a major topic of conversation over the past few weeks at the High Country Conservation Center (HC3). I think it’s safe to say this disaster has brought all of us at HC3 together to fish for some solutions. We’ve all agreed that we need to move beyond the anger, guilt and fear and figure out how we can take action.

Zero Waste community partner and local Summit County business, Envy Salon, gave us some great information on ways in which businesses and individuals can help out. Envy Salon is going the extra mile to demonstrate their commitment to our environment by donating all of their hair clippings to Matter of Trust. For more information, call Emma at Hair Harmonies – (970) 668-9491, Mel at Breckenridge Hair Co. – (970) 453-0800, and Ryan at The Gentlemen’s Barber Shop – (970) 468-0539.

To learn about the Hair for Oil Spills program, visit

You can also take action by writing your elected representatives and your president, and tell them you do not want any more offshore drilling. Ask them to support clean-energy solutions like wind and solar power, efficiency and clean cars instead of new proposals for offshore drilling projects. You can also join the organization, who is urging a ban on offshore drilling.

Members of the Sierra Club are hosting Clean it Up events throughout the country calling on the president and Congress to stand strong with the Gulf Coast. Learn how to get involved by visiting

At the least, which has the potential to make a huge impact, make a personal commitment to change the way you consume energy. Pump less gas, bike to work more, choose reusable containers instead of petroleum-based plastic disposables, host a Clean It Up event, or ride your scooter to a rally.

Eartha Steward is written by Jennifer Santry and Erin Makowsky, consultants on all things eco and chic at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation in our mountain community. Eartha believes that you can walk gently on our planet, even if you’re wearing stylish shoes.

Submit questions to Eartha at or to High Country Conservation Center, PO Box 4506, Frisco, CO 80443.

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