Help celebrate Earth Day in Summit County
What is happening for Earth Day this week? I’d love to be a part of the celebrations. — Lacy, Summit Cove
Happy Earth Day! This year, Summit County has a variety of activities and events to take part in. Did you know Earth Day started in 1970 to raise awareness for the protection of our environment and natural spaces? Today, Earth Day is a globally-coordinated event that over 190 countries celebrate!
On April 21, the Sierra Club, High Country Conservation Center and Colorado Mountain College presented “The Great Divide” — a feature-length documentary exploring the historic influence of water in connecting and dividing an arid state and region. Millions of people, billions of dollars and an enormous amount of economic activity across a vast swath of America from California to the Mississippi River are all dependent on rivers born in Colorado’s mountains. The film focuses on the mounting demand and limited supply of water in the West and the need for all citizens to better understand and participate in decisions affecting this critical resource. If you missed it, “The Great Divide” can be viewed online at http://www.thegreatdividefilm.com.
The High Country Conservation Center will be hosting its first Fix-it Workshop today at the Community and Senior Center from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Rather than throwing out your damaged, broken or outdated household items, HC3 is offering residents a day of education about how to repair or update them. The Fix-it Workshop will feature a number of community experts who are able to assist in fixing or updating items that would otherwise be thrown out. We have experts from A Stitchin’ Time Sewing Services, Brad’s Bicycle Repair, Christy’s Sports Ski/Snowboard Tune Shop, The Hub electronic repair, Zero Waste and furniture refurbishing. So bring some old household items, and learn how you can fix them up rather than disposing of them.
Also kicking off on Earth Day is the first annual Green-Off Challenge. By incorporating recycling and conservation strategies into their daily lives and improving on what they are already doing, the Green-Off households will compete for title of the most sustainable! Areas of focus include transportation, sustainable and healthy purchasing, energy and water efficiency as well as waste reduction. Families that enter the competition must be willing to participate for six months and keep a monthly blog about their experience. The winners of the challenge will be announced at HC3’s annual Harvest Dinner at Vinny’s Euro American restaurant in September.
This Earth Day, the Eartha Steward household is challenging you to identify and fix a water leak in your home or replace a faucet or showerhead with a water efficient model. Toilets are suspect number one, and, even if they don’t have a leak, they still use a lot of water. A simple water displacement method in your toilet’s tank can help you save on water used to flush. As we look toward the outdoor irrigation season, consider a rain detection irrigation system or an automatic timer. Look for ways to replace water intensive grass with native and drought tolerant landscaping. If water isn’t what interests you, consider energy use in your home. Energy takes water to produce and water requires energy to be distributed. Getting an energy audit on your home can help you button up your building’s envelope making it more comfortable and less expensive to manage. You’ll save water in the process!
Finally, for Earth Day consider growing your own food. Transportation in our industrial food system requires a lot of fossil fuels and emits greenhouse gases. The more local our food, the less stress we put on the entire system. There are four operating community gardens in Summit County this summer, and all of them still have available plots to rent for the season. Crops that grow well in our environment include carrots, potatoes, broccoli, arugula, spinach, leafy greens, kale, peas, beans, radishes and beets. There’s nothing better than a homegrown salad with your dinner!
Remember, we don’t need a special holiday to celebrate the bounty and beauty of our natural environment. We should be striving to be good stewards of our environment every day of the year. For more information on ways to reduce your eco-footprint and become more efficient and sustainable in your own lives, visit http://www.highcountryconservation.org.
Happy Earth Day!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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