| Ford Church

The Next Step

In a recent poll by Outside Magazine, 57% of people think that the environmental movement is finally turning the corner and making a difference. With the organic industry booming and the fact that 754 major U.S. cities have signed the Kyoto climate agreement, things are indeed looking up. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we focus on taking the next step to live green.

The Cottonwood Institute is taking the next step and walking our talk in terms of environmental sustainability. We recently partnered with the Green Heart Institute to purchase wind credits to offset our CO2 emissions. We use 100% post consumer waste recycled paper and our paper is printed by Alphagraphics, a company certified by Partners for a Clean Environment. Every year we offer the Mt. Evans Volunteer Project as a free program to get up in the high country and give back to the mountains we all love and enjoy. Finally, our core programming initiative, the Community Adventure Program, received the 2006 Environmental Education Award for Excellence in the Citizen and Community category from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) and our courses are designed to inspire students to become environmental stewards both in the backcountry and throughout their daily lives.

Guiding Question: What are some other ways in your personal or professional life you can challenge yourself or your company to take it to the next step in terms of living green?

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4 Responses to “The Next Step”

  1. Ford Church

    This is an important question because it is easy to become complacent and pat ourselves on the back when we throw a plastic bottle in the recycling bin. Nobody is perfect and I know there are hundreds of ways I can do more to reduce my footprint both in my personal and professional life. For me, the most important step is to maintain my awareness of my footprint. This way I can knock out the easy things and set small attainable goals to do more to tread lightly in my community.

  2. Jenny Parham

    In terms of environmental sustainability, education and innovation are key! In addition to living green, we must also teach green. As our population continues to grow, we face the challenge of meeting society’s growing demands in a “big” yet sustainable way. This reality forces us to not only live green, but to also be creative in how we apply going green to the rest of the world.

  3. Eric Ellison

    It is vitally important to stay aware of your foot print, and to remind yourself not to get complacent. Another next step is to look beyond yourself to a small-community level, like a campus, club, religious organization, or small neighborhood. Get together, brainstorm ideas with community members, and find a way that the community can “go green” in a way that the individuals would not have been able to alone. If you ask me, we’re entering a new age where synergy is everything.

  4. Jamie

    There is an article today in the Rocky Mountain Times that talks about the Governor’s Energy Office’s program that has created a “carbon fund.” The carbon fund is a way for social conscious citizens of Colorado to off set their carbon footprint so they can sleep better at night. The author of the article, Peter Blake, takes a much needed humorous approach at a typically boring and
    uninteresting topic.

    Wind technologies fall under the alternative fuels sources that are captured by the carbon fund. Blake interjects humor and carefully brings the reader back into an environmental, human and world issue that all warrants our investment in attention and conscious simmering.

    The Cottonwood Institute strives to reduce our carbon footprint by carpooling to weekend courses, buying recycled products to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the production of raw materials-aka new products. No matter if you politically dash your name with a D, R or I, offsetting your carbon use just makes sense.


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