Eartha Steward: Walking the green talk |

Eartha Steward: Walking the green talk

by Eartha Steward

What connects you to the earth? Drives you to the save the planet? Makes you care about the environment and inspires you to take action? Over the years, I’ve definitely gone through my fair share of eco-phases. Whether it was a compulsion or a down-right obsession, some have (I’d like to believe most) become a part of my life as if they always existed while other environmental actions have been a constant struggle from the get-go. For those more difficult ones, I’ve had to force myself to participate like morning cardio or a post-winter diet.

From recycling to composting to Dumpster diver, keeping things out of the landfill was (and still is) my passion. I’ve taken on other new and hip green habits like homemade natural cleaners, worm composting (which is still my favorite), backyard farming, bringing my own bag, bringing my own water bottle, turning off lights, turning off computers, buying local, buying consignment or thrift, precycling …

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always a smooth transition into Eartha Steward. I knew that changing my habits to be more responsible as a human being would better myself and the planet. It’s still tempting to give up the easier and most often faster option of throwing everything away.

I’m not perfect, not even close! I still list new environmental actions to pursue on my New Year’s resolution every year. I still own an energy-sucking dryer and need to work on hanging my clothes up the natural way. I can’t resist a “happy” free-range chicken from time to time. I haven’t figured out how to get rid of those pesky plastics from my shopping list – they still seem to be everywhere. My list of earth to-do’s is as long (if not longer) than my everyday green actions. I don’t foresee myself becoming 100 percent waste free anytime soon, but darn it, I’m going to try!

My greener way of life and knowledge of human impact has also been a mental curse. Now when I go to the grocery store, I see an ocean of plastic bags and high-fructose corn syrup. The curse is good, though, because it keeps me on my toes and the best part, I get to tell my story to others. Maybe this is starting to sound too much like a testimonial, a sales pitch, or a religion, but I owe most of my earth-friendly transformation to the High Country Conservation Center (HC3).

If you haven’t heard, HC3 is a local, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing you with the practical solutions you need to reduce waste and conserve resources in our mountain community. That’s our mission! Whether it’s an energy audit, a green cleaning workshop, a film about sustainable food, a compost demonstration, or a fact sheet about recycling, we are the resource to help our community save resources.

HC3 started as the Summit Recycling Project back in 1976 by local activist, Tim McClure. Tim understood the consequences of irresponsible consumption and believed whole heartedly in saving resources. Although I never had the privilege of meeting Tim, I’ve heard amazing stories of his efforts to get recycling going in Summit County. In 1985, Tim died in an avalanche, but through the years, many others have carried out Tim’s mission. Though the name has changed, the roots, mission, and nature of the High Country Conservation Center remains the same!

We need your support! Our biggest fundraiser, the 21st Annual Tim McClure Memorial Benefit, is this 7-9:30 p.m. this Friday at the Maggie in Breckenridge. The McClure Benefit is a great opportunity to meet other earth enthusiasts and longtime locals. The benefit includes dinner, funky bluegrass music from Coral Creek, the Mountain Gypsy Trip Bellydancers, a huge silent auction with a Green Products Showcase and much more. All proceeds support the conservation programs of the High Country Conservation Center. Give us a call to purchase tickets or come to the event Friday night. Call (970) 668-5703 or visit for more info.

Eartha Steward is written by Jennifer Santry at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation in our mountain community. Submit questions to Eartha at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User