Ask Eartha: Honoring another’s commitment to a green cause (column) | SummitDaily.com

Ask Eartha: Honoring another’s commitment to a green cause (column)

Dear Eartha,

I have a friend in the community whom I admire due to her contribution to environmentalism. I am continually inspired as her actions urge me to do more for our environment. Is there a way to recognize her?

-Veronique, Summit Cove

Veronique, we are so very grateful you reached out to honor your friend's influence. Our community is filled with individuals committed to sustainability, environmentalism and conservation. We find that these visionaries who help us keep nature at the center of our perspective are often quite humble as well. Nevertheless, they deserve their due recognition. This is one of the reasons the High Country Conservation Center started the Green Scene Awards. These awards honor individuals and businesses in our community who strive to create awareness and cultivate solutions for a greener Summit County, and it sounds like your friend is one of them!

Each of the awards has a purpose or an inspiring individual behind them. For example, the Julia Butterfly Hill Individual Achievement Award. Julia "Butterfly" Hill was an activist who lived on a 6-by-6-foot platform in a Redwood tree for 738 days to protest the clear-cutting campaign undertaken by Pacific Lumber Company. From 1997-99, in addition to gaining international media attention for her efforts, Pacific Lumber Company finally agreed not to touch the "butterfly's tree, nor any tree within 200 meters of her."

In honor of Hill's resilience, we give this award to a dynamic individual who makes our community greener and keeps an eye on Summit County's environmental movements. Last year, Nora Gilbertson with the town of Frisco was the lucky recipient for her efforts on the town's Green Team and for diligently working toward making town events zero waste. Nominate your friend soon at HighCountryConservation.org because nominations are due by Friday, Feb. 9. A brief description of his or her sustainability efforts is all that is needed to nominate someone.

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Our youth award, dedicated to making his or her school, home and community a more sustainable place, is in honor of cartoon character Lisa Simpson. For 29 seasons, this yellow vegetarian has been an environmental activist. She also climbed a tree to save it from deforestation just like Hill did in real life. For her composting efforts, Raelynn Haddix was our 2017 Lisa Simpson Green Scene award winner.

We also like to honor volunteers and educators committed to caring for our planet and initiating environmental practices within the workplace. Paul Weller won the Organic Fertilizer Volunteer Award and Ryan Burr won The Essential Earthy Educator Award in 2017.

Furthermore, a local business that institutes environmental programs for its employees or clients wins The Greener Summit Business Award. Broken Compass Brewery took home the prize last year and continues to strive to be the most sustainable brewery in the world.

A community leader in our hearts, Tim McClure started working to reduce society's impact on the environment through recycling in 1976. His efforts led to the creation of the Summit Recycling Project, an organization dedicated to collecting materials for recycling and reuse. In honor of Tim instilling a sense of environmental ethic in our mountain community, we present the Green Scene Awards every year at the annual Tim McClure Benefit.

This year's 29th annual event will be on Friday, Feb. 23, at the DoubleTree in Breckenridge. For this audience of nature lovers who want to support HC3, we offer beer and wine tastings from local brewers and wineries, food and fun. So, come on down and enjoy live music by Ms. Amy and the Jetset, belly dancers and the silent auction. Tickets are on sale now at HighCountryConservation.org. I already bought mine for my entire family!

Veronique, since you will presumably be nominating your friend for HC3's Green Scene Awards, we look forward to you being there to cheer on all our local community members in their sustainability and environmental efforts.

Ask Eartha Steward is written by the staff at the High Country Conservation Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to waste reduction and resource conservation. Submit questions to Eartha at eartha@highcountryconservation.org.

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