Ask Eartha: Get ready to Party for the Planet

Lisa Hueneke
Ask Eartha
Each Party for the Planet party pack includes a special edition stainless steel pint glass, local beer, a reusable tote and a two-for-one punch card valid at five partner breweries.
High Country Conservation Center/Courtesy photo

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!

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.

Conservation wins

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 food scrap collection and glass recycling programs, even while navigating all the changing COVID-19 restrictions.

Our community took collective steps to target the county’s big emitters: transportation and buildings, which 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 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 electric buses to the Summit Stage fleet. The High Country Conservation Center is leading the development of an electric vehicle readiness plan to make charging stations more accessible. These are all wins our community should be proud of, wins that should show us even during a pandemic that we can make an impact through our daily actions and our buying power.

Party for the Planet

What could be better motivation than a party (even a virtual one)? The Conservation Center 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 Green Scene Award winners, locals making a real difference in the health of our environment. RSVP at to get your link and join the watch party featuring program information, local craft breweries and event sponsors.

Get party ready by purchasing a single or double party pack, which includes a special edition stainless steel pint glass, local beer, a reusable tote and a two-for-one local beer punch card valid at five partner breweries.

Starting Friday, Feb. 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 p.m. March 5.

Throughout March

The party for conservation continues beyond March. All month long, take a self-guided beer tour at any of the event’s five partner breweries: Angry James Brewery, Bakers’ Brewery, Highside Brewing, Outer Range Brewing Co. and Pug Ryan’s Brewery. Each of these breweries will feature a special craft beer with $1 benefiting the nonprofit.

Locals can raise a glass with the conservation center and the 50-plus community sponsors and partners who support our local environment. While a virtual event won’t replace the in-person experience, our community still can connect to motivate one another 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.

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

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