Our View: Making our green mark

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Editorial Board, May 2008 to August 2008

  • Bryna Larsen, publisher
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Mike Lawrence, city editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • Eric Morris, community representative
  • Paul Draper, community representative

Contact the editorial board at (970) 871-4221 or editor@steamboatpilot.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

It's been 38 years since Americans celebrated the first Earth Day, a grass-roots effort spurred in part by former U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and his concerns about mounting environmental issues.

That tradition continued Tuesday, albeit considerably more mainstream than any previous Earth Day celebration. That's largely a good thing.

Americans, and much of the rest of the world, are beginning to come to terms with our impact on the environment and its lasting effect. Escalating fuel prices, smog-filled cities and finite water supplies are thrusting increased attention on environmental issues, conservation and sustainability.

And as people take notice of these issues - and more important, take action - corporate America follows suit. The number of options for hybrid vehicles is increasing. Hotels encourage guests to conserve water by reusing bathroom towels. Bottled water companies promote bottle designs that use less plastic. Grocery stores sell reusable shopping bags. Restaurants promote locally grown and organic ingredients. The list goes on.

Here in Northwest Colorado, the environment and our natural resources help define who we are. We value the national forests and mountains for their biking, hiking, running, skiing and snowmobiling opportunities. The Yampa River provides an avenue to fish, kayak, tube and swim, not to mention drinking water and energy production.

Many Routt County residents and businesses have taken a proactive approach to environmentalism and conservation; too many of us haven't.

We complain about downtown Steamboat traffic and rising fuel prices, but we don't take the initiative to ride the free bus, hop on a bike, carpool or stroll to work along the Yampa River Core Trail.

We think nothing of stocking up on groceries and other consumables but can't be bothered to sort the recyclables and make a monthly trip to Waste Management to drop them off.

The good news is that it's never too late to change our habits. There are dozens of things we as individuals and companies can do on a daily basis to reduce our impact on the environment. Will it make an impact on global pollution or natural resource consumption? No. But it can make a difference at the local level, including the promotion of cleaner, healthier lifestyles. And that doesn't even mention the significance of our local environment to our economy.

In honor of Earth Day and our precious natural resources, we offer some tips (courtesy of EarthDay.gov) all of us can follow:

- Buy Energy Star appliances for your home or business

- Cut back on heating and air conditioning use

- Insulate water heaters and pipes

- Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs

- Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth

- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap until it gets cold

- Scrape (instead of rinsing) dishes before putting them in the dishwasher; only run the dishwasher when completely full

- Wash only full loads of laundry, or be sure to adjust the water level for smaller loads

- Repair leaks (a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day)

- Water your lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day

- Adjust sprinklers so they don't hit streets or sidewalks

- Sweep your deck, driveway and patio instead of hosing it off

- Buy permanent items instead of disposables

- Buy products with less packaging

- Use cloth napkins or towels

- Donate old clothes and other items to charity instead of throwing them away

- Reuse grocery bags and trash bags

- Recycle paper products, glass, cardboard and aluminum

- Buy recycled products and products that use recycled packaging

- Ride your bike, walk, carpool or take a bus to work, even if only once a week

- Support businesses that use sustainable products and follow environmentally friendly practices

Comments

Pc 5 years, 12 months ago

I was reading the editorial about ways to conserve our resources while working out at the gym. Those are good ideas, I thought. Then I looked up and there were two city workers with a fire hose. You guessed it -- hosing down the sidewalk!

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ColoradoNative 5 years, 12 months ago

Stop printing newspapers and make people view online!

What do you say pilot? :)

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