Sheraton Steamboat Resort housekeeper Caroline Silva empties a recycling basket while cleaning rooms. Yampa Valley Recycles named the Sheraton its Outstanding Recycler of the Year for 2010. Lyn Halliday, of Environmental Solutions Unlimited, commended the Sheraton’s Vince Rosa for his efforts at a Wednesday lunch for local sustainable businesses.

Photo by John F. Russell

Sheraton Steamboat Resort housekeeper Caroline Silva empties a recycling basket while cleaning rooms. Yampa Valley Recycles named the Sheraton its Outstanding Recycler of the Year for 2010. Lyn Halliday, of Environmental Solutions Unlimited, commended the Sheraton’s Vince Rosa for his efforts at a Wednesday lunch for local sustainable businesses.

String of sustainable events upcoming in Steamboat Springs

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If you go

What: Local participation in Earth Hour, a worldwide event to reduce energy consumption and raise awareness about conservation. Local event includes fire-spinners, acoustic music, hot cider, a candlelight vigil and more. Take a candle.

When: 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Routt County Courthouse lawn, on Lincoln Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets in Steamboat Springs

Online: Learn about local Earth Hour participation through the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council’s website at www.yvsc.org. Learn about the worldwide event at www.earthhour.org.

For more

Learn more about the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s environmentally focused programs at www.steamboatchamber.com/sustainable. Or call the Chamber programs and communications manager Morgan McDougald at 970-875-7003.

— Hang on to those big, tubular light bulbs, business owners.

Lyn Halliday, of Environmental Solutions Unlimited, said the Cents for Steamboat program, an initiative of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s Sustainable Business Program, has collected enough local contributions to fund a light bulb recycling event May 19 and 20 at Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus.

Halliday said she consistently sees burned-out bulbs stored in back rooms of local businesses and expects bulbs “in the thousands” to be recycled during the two-day event at CMC.

“I think this is a good chance for everybody to do some spring cleaning,” Halliday said about the business-oriented recycling effort. “The tube (bulbs) are the ones we’re after.”

Halliday said volunteers would be needed from noon to 5 p.m. each day. She can be reached at 970-879-6323.

There’s a slew of other environmentally focused events scheduled across Routt County in coming weeks and months, according to discussions at a Wednesday lunch for the Chamber’s Sustainable Business Program. Halliday said the program now has 79 members.

The first upcoming event is local participation in Earth Hour, a coordinated effort to reduce energy use worldwide. The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and other local groups are hosting Steamboat Springs’ event from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday on the Routt County Courthouse lawn.

Later in spring or in early summer will be another ReTree Colorado event, Halliday said. At the first ReTree event in June, volunteers planted thousands of trees across the county.

The Bike to Work Commuter Challenge also will return this year, with individuals and teams tracking their cycle commuting through June. SmartWool’s David Harms said children will be able to take part this year, by tracking their bike trips to and from school or summer programs.

Cycling was a theme of Wednesday’s sustainable business lunch, at which Mike Loomis, of Routt County Riders, was the guest speaker.

Loomis said the cycling group tripled its membership in 2010, reaching 468 paying members. The Routt County Riders Spring Bike Fest, formerly known as the Bike Swap, is May 14 at Howelsen Hill.

Halliday said the light bulb recycling event represents a step forward in fundraising by Cents for Steamboat, which now has six participating businesses and raised about $2,000 in the past year.

Cents for Steamboat enables businesses to ask customers for a voluntary contribution, usually equal to 1 percent of the bill or a set amount such as $1.

That money is channeled to a Chamber-managed fund for green projects selected by the participating businesses. Halliday said a Web page for online donations could be set up through the Chamber by mid-April.

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or email mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com

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