Waste Reduction

Topics related to waste stream reduction

Plastic Bag Facts

Disposable Plastic Bags:

According to the Town of Breckenridge, less than 5% of the over 2 Billion Disposable Plastic Bags used annually in Colorado are recycled.

The Wall Street Journal reports that we use about 200 Billion disposable plastic bags EVERY YEAR in the United States. They also report that getting consumers to change their shopping habits and actually use their re-useable bags often only happens when there is “a personal reward…associated with the change”. Learn more HERE.

“Plastics, like Diamonds, are forever!” say researchers at the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, “Plastic goes through a process called photodegradation, where sunlight breaks it into smaller and smaller pieces, all of which are still plastic polymers.” Also: “all plastic introduced into [the] marine environment remains there, getting smaller but never breaking apart” As the plastic breaks down, it enters the food chain on a molecular level. Learn more HERE.

Colorado Initiatives & Legislation:

Telluride, Colorado has banned plastic bags and charges a $.10 bag fee for the use/ distribution of paper bags in city limits. Learn more HERE.

Breckenridge, Colorado has instituted a plastic bag fee similar to the one potentially proposed in Fraser. Learn more about the details HERE and HERE. To see a copy of their ordinance, click HERE.

Aspen bans plastic bags. Learn more HERE.

The City of Boulder has instituted a $.10 disposable plastic bag fee. Learn more HERE. Read the ordinance HERE.

State Measures & Initiatives:

Oregon Senate Bill 113 seeks to regulate single-use checkout bags in the state of Oregon. Learn more HERE.

Providence, RI, STATE HOUSE, April 4, 2013 – Environment Rhode Island yesterday presented lawmakers with more than 7,300 signatures on a petition in support of legislation to ban plastic bags at store checkouts in Rhode Island. Learn more HERE.

Arkansas State Representative Denny Altes has introduced a bill into the Arkansas General Assembly to ban single-use plastic bags in food stores. Lear more HERE.

Learn about pending and passed State legislation HERE.

Plastic Bags Fatal for Marine Mammals

Learn how more than a hundred plastic bags and other ocean debris helped contribute to the death of this Sperm Whale in the Mediterranean HERE.

ECO Roadshow 2013

2013 marks the birth of the ECO Roadshow –

Banner_eco roadshow

Grand County Colorado’s own Sustainability Fair. Infinite West will be collaborating with Cooper Creek Square to bring you live entertainment, sustainability education, puppet shows for the kids, and other fun activities.

The ECO Roadshow is a collaborative sustainability event, bringing environmentally conscious businesses and non-profits together with the public for the purpose of education for all ages. The event is being held in conjunction with a Solshine Music Festival weekend and is designed to promote a Greener Grand County.

2-4 Live Music with Afro-Pop Ensemble, Nokuthula

Cooper Creek Square will be providing and funding a stage with local musicians and entertainment!
NOKUTHULA 2

11-1 Rocky Mountain Puppet Show

These puppet characters by ventriloquist Meghan Casey come to life! The show promises to be a magical and totally realistic interaction between Meghan and her characters. Expect to feel good and laugh a lot. This puppet show will feature an ecological and planet-friendly theme.
MEGHAN CASEY

1-2 Magician

11-4 Sustainability Education Booths & Demonstrations

Infinite West is coordinating educational booths & vendors, with the intention of raising awareness on sustainability issues & strategies, as well as promoting Green Business in Grand County. We will draw from local resources, as well as bringing in outside technologies and advocates to show in the event.
COOPER CREEK KIDS

Thank you to our ECO Roadshow Sponsors!

2013 SPONSORS

Infinite West is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, located at the headwaters of the Colorado River in Grand County, Colorado

Beauty In Awareness: /Art/Music/ Poetry/Fun!

Beauty In Awareness: /Art/Music/Poetry/Fun!

Local Grand County artists are joining together this year to generate change in our communities, and our world. Join us in supporting the Beauty In Awareness Artists Advocate Party.  This is a kick off celebration party for anyone interested in participating in The Beauty in Awareness Art Show, slated for Spring of 2013. Several Cooper Creek business are sponsoring a mixture of fun activities to support the event, such as The Nest, Mountain Grind, and Smokin’ Moes.  starts as a daylong event taking place at Cooper Creek Square in Winter Park. Get your art on with in a collaborative piece, listen to live poetry, amazing music, and add your own artistic expression. Coordinators are looking for artists to participate in this spring’s Beauty in Awareness Art Show, designed to celebrate art for sustainable change.

Who:  Calling all artists, community members, kids, and caring people!
What: The Beauty in Awareness Artist Advocate Party
Where: Cooper Creek Square (The Nest, Mountain Grind, Smokin’ Moes)
When: February 9, 2013

There will be a small entry fee to attend the evening events, including a Happy Hour, art show at Nest.artistic home, and music at Smokin’ Moes. A portion of the proceeds will go to Infinite West to help support the upcoming Beauty in Awareness Art Show.

Beauty&Art

Events Include:

Art at Nest. artistic home – Information Hub
10 o’clock – ON – Collaborative Art Project: Throw Some Paint! – Nest
3-4 o’clock – Lindsey England: Images & Readings from her book The Hermit in the Woods – Nest
7-9 o’clock – Mixer & Poetry Slam – Mountain Grind Coffee Shop
9 o’clock – ON – THE CONGRESS – Rockin’ music with heart at Smokin’ Moes, Winter Park
4-7 o’clock – CASH MOB

Get a FREE TICKET to Saturday Night’s Show!
How? Participate in Saturday’s Cash Mob… Spend $20 at Nest and get free admittance to The Congress at Smokin’ Moes at 9:00 Saturday Night.

This event is organized by Lavender Elephant (find us on facebook!) & Nest. artistic home in Winter Park, Colorado. Sponsors include:

Cooper Creek Square
Nest . artistic home
Smokin’ Moes
Sushi Bar
BE
Mountain Grind Coffee Shop

For more information contact:
Abbey Arabie- 985.630.5256 / abbeyleigharabie@gmail.com
Carolyn Bailey- 970.531.8625 nestartistichome@gmail.com

2012 Local Green Gift Guide Product Registration

Businesses can feature a Green Product in our 2012 Local Green Gift Guide for holiday shopping. The purpose of this guide is to provide locally available sustainable options for shoppers during the holidays. The guide is free to featured businesses, as long as you meet our cirteria for a sustainable, ‘green’ product (criteria are listed in the following form). The guide is free to the public to download or print. This is a service provided by Infinite West. Have a look at our 2010 Green Gift Guide here.

Fill out the form below to submit your featured product for the 2012 Infinite West Green Gift Guide. Guides will be released by December 7, 2012. Products without photographs will not be considered. Tell us how your product is considered sustainable and ‘green’, using the following criteria list and comment forms. Be sure to leave as much contact information as possible.

Please submit a clear 330 dpi photograph of your product to the email below. Contact infinitewest@live.com with any questions.

Volunteer Recycling Saturdays in Granby

Help us keep recycling alive and well in Grand County! We are collaborating with Valley Recycling & Disposal and Curbside Recycling to offer volunteer-based recycling at Country ACE Hardware (map) every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Bring your recycling and hang out with us for a couple of hours to help direct people to the proper bins. It’s easy, fun and a great way to meet progressive thinkers in the community! Contact: email or call Tommy Harris, Director at (970) 531-6054.

What Can You Recycle at Country Ace Hardware?

  • Glass Bottles & Jars – All Colors (please no windows, plate glass, or any other non-container glass!)
  • Plastic Containers 1-7 (Please remove lids!)
  • Plastic Bags
  • Clean Aluminum Cans &  Aluminum Foil (please separate from tin cans)
  • Tin Cans
  • Scrap Metal
  • Cardboard – Including: Corrugated, Paper Board, Cereal Boxes and Egg Cartons
  • Mixed Paper – Including: Paper Bags, Newspaper, Magazines and (please no Wrapping Paper! the Coating will not allow us to recycle it locally)
  • You can recycle Plastic Air Pillows! (those packaging pillows for shipping) You can either pre-pop them (fun for the whole family) or pop them on-site with the help of a friendly volunteer. Last Saturday we did a snow dance while deflating.

Environment 2011: Local Sustainability Actions Update

Have you been wondering what your environmental groups have been up to this last year, and what their plans are for 2011 and beyond? Join us on Wednesday evening, to find out!
Energy Opportunities, Grand County Economic Development Association better known as BEDA, Infinite West and the Grand Resource and Recycle Coalition (GRRC) will be hosting a forum next Wednesday, January 26th, at 6:30 at Granby Library to discuss accomplishments over the last year and plans for the future.

Liz McIntyre will be presenting the developed Regional Energy Plan with discussion to follow.
The GRRC will be discussing recycling options and their 2011 goals.
Infinite West will present plans for sustainability initiatives in the county, including sustainable development initiatives and Terracycle programs in schools.

This is a great opportunity to identify which programs might interest you for future involvement.

Environment 2011: Local Sustainability Actions Update
Agenda:
6:30 – 7:15 Regional Energy Plan Presentation
BEDA and Energy Opportunities will present the progress of the Regional Energy Plan, which has been crafted by a team of locals from Grand and Jackson Counties over the last 9 months.
7:15 – 7:30 Discussion
7:30 – 7:40 Presentation of Local Alternative Energy Installations in 2010
7:40 – 8:00 GRRC (Grand Resource and Recycle Coalition) Presents Accomplishments and Goals
8:00 – 8:10 Discussion
8:10 – 8:30 Sustainability Update
Infinite West will present accomplishments of 2010 and goals for the new year.

Please RSVP to infinitewest@live.com

Talking Turkey About Recycling

Board members of Infinite West always get questions about recycling. So, in this post and in a few to come, we’ll try to answer the many questions about recycling. We hope that you’ll share this information with everyone you know.

So what can you recycle?
This is the simplest list but keep in mind that recycling is different for each locale and each recycler’s business, so it is best to always ask and then review lists made available from that recycler. Then, follow their instructions.
The simple list looks like this.

  • Aluminum (cans, CLEAN foil)
  • Plastics 1 and 2 (CLEAN)
  • Steel cans (CLEAN) with or without the labels, other metals
  • newspaper, magazines, catalogs, shredded paper, junk mail
  • cardboard (CLEAN)
  • glass–all colors
  • e-cycling is recycling computers or other small electronics–not all recyclers e-cycle

Recycling Ethics
If you have curbside recycling and it is single stream, congratulations;
not all communities have this. Therefore, it is best to always sort your recyclables by the list above or by the list given to you by your favorite recycler. The small efforts pay big rewards.
Be on everyone’s favorite list by sorting your recyclables and never “hand someone a bag of trash or unsorted, unclean goods to recycle.”

Cleanliness Counts
Why is it important to wash out the peanut butter jars, mayo jars, spaghetti sauce jars, the steel cans, the wine bottles, the soda cans, etc.? Sugars, oils, and acids from foods can contaminate batches of recyclables. Why risk possible contamination and forcing the recycler to pitch a whole batch, thus wasting all those people’s efforts…including your own? Take a few moments to rinse food debris and oils. It really does count!

Why won’t the recyclers take my pizza boxes? Again, food debris–oils mostly, can contaminate a batch of boiled cardboard. Any portion of the box that has food debris on it should be simply thrown away. Recycle the rest.

Cardboard
Corrugated cardboard (which has air holes in it) is not the same as paperboard. Cereal boxes, cartons for beer bottles, and other miscellaneous products packaged in paperboard are not the same as corrugated cardboard. Paperboard products often have hazardous inks, dyes, plastic coatings, and other nasty materials on them, which makes them not recyclable. Always ask your recycler what kinds of cardboard they take.

Milk cartons
It is difficult to recycle milk cartons due to the plastics or wax contained in or on them.

Plastic Industry Codes can be found on nearly all plastic products inside of a triangle. Some manufacturers are now using the acronyms instead of the numbers so, it is good to know both.
Plastics 1 and 2.
Nearly all containers that deliver food contents, laundry soaps and softeners, to us, comes in a plastic of type 1 – Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET, PETE, or 2 – High Density Polyethylene or HDPE.
Did you know that plastics 1 and 2 can be repurposed into your favorite fleece jacket or pants?

Plastics to avoid
Plastics 3 – Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC, 4 – LDPE, 5 – Polypropylene Polypropylene or PP, 6 Polystyrene, and 7 other (combinations) –should be avoided as much as possible due to the chemicals found in them that could be harmful to humans, such as BPA.
Here is a link to the Plastics Industry’s web site to find examples of each type of plastic and to read more about the chemicals found in them.

What may be considered most disturbing is that our yogurt, cottage cheese, and ricotta cheese containers are nearly all 5s. We can change this if we band together, write some letters to these food industries as well as your local grocer, and ask them to use plastic 1 or 2.

We hope this helps to understand what can be recycled and why. Check back here to see other important information on recycling and let’s continue the dialog on recyclables.

Recycling on Saturdays at Granby’s Country Ace Hardware

Infinite West has joined with the Grand Resource and Recycle Coalition (the GRRC) to staff the recycling bins provided by Valley Recycling at the Granby Country ACE Hardware on Saturdays from 9am-1pm. Our groups have been taking turns staffing the bins to assist in recycling efforts and to get the message out to residents that, “yes, there is recycling in Grand County.”

It has been great getting to know the people who are so concerned about Grand County’s recycling situation. We are grateful to those who have joined our efforts by becoming members (family, individual, and business) as well as those who have stepped forward to become sponsors.

Our Infinite West board members as well as several volunteers have been advising recyclers about what is acceptable to recycle, and how to prepare recyclables that are brought to this drop off location.

We’re always looking for more volunteers to help! If you have questions about what or how to recycle, or would like to volunteer for this or other of our efforts email us or come by on a Saturday. We’re happy to help.

February 2011     Check us out!

Infinite West, friends and volunteers

Infinite West, friends and volunteers at ACE Recycling Day

Just another Recycling Day in Granby, Colorado at Country ACE Hardware.

Sustainbility Corners for GC Library District Begins

Infinite West and the Grand County Library District are collaborating on creating a “sustainability corner” within each of the Grand County libraries.
Sustainability, as defined by the United Nations and that Infinite West subscribes to is this: “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” With all things seemingly connected, we put our local economy into this definition also.

UPDATE: 1 NOVEMBER 2010
We have submitted the name of the first book to go into this collection. Toward a Zero Energy Home, by David Johnston & Scott Gibson
Hooray! This corner is now a reality.
We honor the Ghincea family for their generous donation in support of this program.
Check your local Grand County Library for the latest sustainability additions (books or media) or ask your librarian which titles Infinite West recommends.

As you find or read a good book, watch a DVD or listen to a CD on a sustainability topic, take note of it and send us a note about that title and why you feel it is important for others to read about it. Then, become a part of this collaboration by joining us in making a contribution to Infinite West to go toward this collaboration. Please ensure that you submit that title (or titles) along with author and publisher’s name to us for this “sustainability corner.”
Drop us a note with your suggestion and your contribution to P.O. Box 1955 Granby CO 80446.
Since the Library District gets the better deal on cost, it is best if we submit the list to them and let them buy the books or media.
Happy Reading!

Fur for Oil…We Need Your HELP!

We need your help to get over 70 bags of alpaca and llama shearings–fiber or fur to the Gulf Coast to help soak up all that oil. We also need your pantyhose!  Matter of Trust has been promoting the use of natural booms made of animal and human hair, which have been proven to soak up oil very quickly.  Infinite West wants to contribute  and help to clean the waters of our Gulf  Coast.
All monetary donations can be mailed today to Infinite West, P.O. Box 1955 Granby CO 80446. (Plz add “Fiber Shipping” to the note area of your check.)
Pantyhose can be dropped off at Lonesome Fiber mill, 946 County Road 60 in Granby.  Please consider doing this TODAY…the sooner the booms are in place, the sooner all that nasty oil is gone.
Here are some images from Matter of Trust on what is being done and what can be done with a little help.

Wanted:PantyHose, Tights and Knee Highs for OIL

alpaca-in-stockings

alpaca in stockings

fiber hair booms

fiber hair booms courtesy of Matter of Trust (http://matteroftrust.org)

If you’re curious as to what can be done with these booms once the oil is soaked up, check out worm poop.

Thank you for helping!

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